In November this year we noted something out of the ordinary – there was a real and noticeable spike in crime.
Monitoring CCTV and security systems for sites across the UK gives us a pretty good grasp on crime trends. Day to day, month on month and year on year we can tell how crime is fluctuating simply from the number of incidents we deal with.
What do our statistics show?
In November 2016 there was a 65 per cent increase in incidents that we dealt with that involved a call to the police, in comparison to August of the same year.
That is a really big jump in the number of serious incidents we’re dealing with here at the Farsight Observatory.
Each time we call the police our operators will have assessed the situation and deemed it enough of a threat to require immediate action. Ultimately it means the security of the site has been breached and the site – or part of the site – is at serious risk of damage, whether that’s from vandalism, accidental damage or theft.
In November 2016 we also saw a 31 per cent increase in the number of calls we had to make to keyholders to notify them of an incident, in comparison to August 2016.
What could the causes of this rise in crime be?
So it’s clear that crime spiked in November. But what does that mean? What is causing this increase?
We could attribute this spike in crime to a huge number of things but our security experts have a couple of possible explanations…
Could the rise be a result of more inside jobs?
We have previously written about the danger of ‘inside jobs’ in our blog. Since writing that blog the risk certainly hasn’t diminished.
Here at Farsight we constantly strive to provide the very best remote monitoring service to our customers – and that also means looking into any trends we notice. Ultimately, if there is an increase in crime or even a spike in the number of false alarms, we need to investigate so we can provide an appropriate response.
With this in mind, we spoke to our operators to understand a little more about the types of incidents they were dealing with in November.
One interesting point they noted was that a lot of car showrooms and dealerships looked to be targeted – often in what looked like break-ins to target specific cars for specific parts. Car dealerships have always been sites that are at a high-risk of being targeted by thieves – that’s why it’s important they have proper car dealership security in place.
Beyond that, customers have increasingly reported crimes happening outside of our contracted remote monitoring hours. Now that, to us, flags up an immediate concern that an insider at the customer’s business – someone who knows the hours of our remote monitoring and plans their break-in around that – is targeting the site.
Is this rise in crime a seasonal trend?
The second possible explanation is that this rise in crime is a seasonal trend. Time and time again we hear speculation over whether or not the winter months make sites more prone to incidents.
The answer, in our eyes, is simply ‘yes’. A site will face different security risks during different seasons, making security measures essential year round and some steps needing to be taken depending on the season.
This peak in incidents in November could well be down to site’s not having taken the necessary additional precautions during the winter. Make sure you read our four top tips to winter-proof your security.
What is Farsight doing to help customers this winter?
As already mentioned, we closely monitor crime trends. But what do we do to ensure we are reacting appropriately when we do notice a spike in crime?
1. We expand our team of highly trained CCTV operators
As always, we place real importance on the quality of training of our CCTV operators receive. You can read more about how we train our team in our blog Security Operator Training: CCTV training done right.
For every shift at Farsight we have, on average, eight trained operators monitoring and responding to alarms. During peak shifts this then averages at 10 operators. To the best of our knowledge, this is the highest – if not certainly amongst the highest – number of operators in a CCTV control room.
In 2017 we’re planning to expand our team even further and will continue to maintain our high training standards.
2. We have developed YourSight