Most businesses and organisations across the UK are acutely aware of the threats posed by unauthorised trespass to their premises. Security is a major concern, whatever sector they operate within – whether commercial, industrial, agricultural, retail or public sector services. As Europe’s largest purpose-built alarm & CCTV monitoring station, Farsight is a trusted first line of defence – helping to reduce security risks for thousands of organisations around the UK every day. This was demonstrated recently by arrests made at Household Waste & Recycling Centres (HWRCs) by police on two separate incidents at sites in Lincolnshire.
These arrests were as a direct result of our CCTV remote monitoring services. Our CCTV operators who monitor the sites were alerted to unauthorised activity outside of opening hours. The intruders were observed via our cutting-edge cloud-based CCTV monitoring systems, auditory warnings were issued and the Police and keyholders were called. This is a great example demonstrating the benefits of ‘proactive’ remote security monitoring services.
These incidents were not isolated occurrences though. At Farsight our highly trained CCTV operators are trusted by our clients to respond to thousands of alarms every single day covering the whole of the UK – providing a crucial service in reducing the risks of trespass which can result in theft, criminal damage and even fire.
In the News: HWRCs Being Targeted by Thieves & Vandals
Household Waste & Recycling Centres across the UK appear to be an attractive target for intruders making them particularly vulnerable. This is echoed across the media with a raft of news reports from every corner of the UK that show alarming numbers of incidents that are causing concern to not only LCCs and their Contractors but also to the very communities that they serve, as these example news articles illustrate:
Thieves and vandals target recycling centres across Perthshire – The Courier
Recycling centre in the Rhondda set to close after being blighted by vandalism and theft – Wales Online
Two men arrested at Helensburgh Recycling Centre – Helensburgh Advertiser
Residents say burglars are ‘taking whatever they like’ from recycling centre – The Hunts Post
Man arrested over alleged battery burglary from recycling centre – Peterborough Telegraph
Undercover police target thieves after repeated raids on recycling centre – Cambridgeshire Live
But why are Household Waste & Recycling Centres being targeted by thieves and vandals and what security measures can minimise the risks to HWRC site security? In this article we take a closer look at the Civic Amenity Site sector and explore the benefits of CCTV monitoring as a crucial part of improving site security.
Why are Household Waste & Recycling Centres being targeted by thieves & vandals?
For most Local Authorities across the UK, recycling continues to be a key priority. In recent years Councils have invested heavily in Household Waste and Recycling Centres also known as Civic Amenity (CA) Sites. These facilities are designed to dispose of and recycle a wide stream of materials that are not currently collected within domestic waste bins.
Some of these materials have become valuable and particularly attractive to thieves – these can include copper wire, scrap metal, batteries and Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). HWRC process over 500,000 tonnes a year of these alone according to guidelines published in Wrap’s Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) Guide
However, it is not only theft that is blighting these sites; they are also vulnerable to criminal damage and vandalism such as skip fires leading to health & safety issues and even site closures.
How many HWRCs are there in the UK?
You may be surprised just how may HWRC sites there actually are in the UK. The 2004 National Assessment of Civic Amenities (NACA) published guidelines suggest that there should be at least one site per 143,750 residents or within 20 minutes drivetime in urban areas / 30 minutes in rural areas for the majority of residents within a local authority area.
Figures from Wrap’s Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) Guide suggest that there are 734 in England, 176 in Scotland, 95 in Northern Ireland and 60 in Wales.
What are the current HWRC security guidelines?
As well as securing sites against unwanted commercial waste inputs, security may be required to deter other forms of abuse such as vandalism, out-of-hours fly-tipping, arson attacks and theft. The Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) Guide defines the following as priorities to consider:
1. Perimeter fencing – Most sites will have some perimeter fencing. The type of fencing needed will depend on the level of deterrent required, but it should be robust enough to ensure persistent offenders cannot gain access.
2. Cameras, floodlighting and alarms – CCTV can be an effective deterrent and if not, it will hopefully result in sufficient evidence to prosecute offenders. If CCTV is used, there should be enough lighting to ensure that the cameras can detect individuals and vehicles.
In areas where break-ins are common, real-time monitoring of CCTV resulting in a rapid response should deter offenders. This can be linked to a loudhailer system so that offenders can be addressed and scared off.
Floodlighting may deter casual offenders. However, if sites are in industrial or rural areas where they are not overlooked, floodlighting may make it easier for offenders instead of acting as a deterrent. Intruder alarms with automatic sensors on site perimeters can alert security staff or the police.
3. Staff Security staff during opening hours or at night can be a useful deterrent but if they cannot respond to incidents and backup is not forthcoming, offenders soon learn that staff will not challenge them, and they will continue to offend. Security staff can be threatened, as can site staff, and therefore their safety needs to be considered.
What is remote CCTV monitoring and how can it improve HWRC security?
When a HWRC chooses remote monitoring services from Farsight, it can rest assured that highly trained security professionals are vigilantly keeping watch, keeping your site safe.
With real-time alerts, our security operators, working from the Farsight Observatory, can remotely monitor the site’s CCTV systems when it counts – whether that’s 24/7 around the clock monitoring, during unstaffed periods overnight or at a time that suits specific requirements.
Our professional security operators can remotely monitor HWRC alarm systems and site CCTV, responding to alerts of intruders, fire and/or remote access control systems. On an alert, our operators will immediately react to confirm the cause of the alarm and identification of any suspicious activity before notifying the site’s preferred contact (a designated keyholder) and the necessary emergency services department.
The benefits of remote CCTV monitoring for HWRC security:
• A team of highly trained security professionals monitoring your HWRC
• Live audio announcements that usually deter intruders from entering the site
• Remote monitoring can support all HWRC security systems including CCTV, intruder and fire alarm systems and access control, depending on requirements
• Our remote monitoring operators visually verify incidents and escalate to emergency response teams, ensuring a more rapid response
• Potential reduction on insurance premium costs
• Prevent downtime and interruptions to work from thieves and vandals
• Market leading remote monitoring and client support package – SureSight
By choosing Farsight Security Services every Household Waste & Recycling Centre that we work with benefits from our accredited remote monitoring station’s rapid response times, industry-leading standards, market leading client fault reporting and client communication platform (YourSight) and our experience in monitoring CCTV and alarm systems within this sector.
Farsight will provide comprehensive advice on protecting your HWRC, including identifying problem areas, raising awareness to security weaknesses and suggestions for security camera installation. You can also find detailed guides within our blog for ensuring you get the most out of your security camera systems;
If you would like to discuss your HWRC security requirements with Farsight, talk to our experienced team today. Call us on 0845 371 0101 or email us via our online contact form.