Is crime rising?

Is crime rising?

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 Forecourtin 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.

CCTV control roomWhat 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

FarsightYourSight is an easy to use and highly secure fault and incident tracker (find out more about how YourSight works here). Amongst many other features, nominated parties can log in to YourSight on desktop, mobile or tablet to view details of incidents. Our operators log and track all incidents in YourSight with exact details of what took place. These details are also emailed to nominated parties, so you have the details straight to your inbox.

3. We ensure all information is logged

Our operators log, in YourSight, details of every call we make to the emergency services and/or keyholders. This means, if it comes to the details being used for evidential purposes, you’ll know exactly what was said and done.

4. We have developed an innovative CCTV portal

Our CCTV portal is also proving to be a hugely useful tool for installers and customers. Through the CCTV web portal nominated parties can log in from desktop or mobile to look back at footage from the incidents we dealt with. The benefits of the portal include:

  • Complete transparency between Farsight and our customers – you can see exactly how we dealt with and responded to an incident
  • You can assess how the incident arose and if further steps can be made to prevent a similar incident occurring again in future
  • The footage may be useful as evidence

The above four points all ensure we are using the very latest technology to stay ahead of intruders and to provide you – whether you’re an installer or customer – with the information you need.

As we see crime increase, whether this is a seasonal trend or something more long-term, we react appropriately by always staying ahead of the curve.

What can you or your customers do further boost a site’s security?

We do all that we can to make sure we provide the very best service, but there are a few things installers and end-users can do to complement our remote monitoring and innovative technology.

Beyond the advice in our winter security blog, here are some other tips to help you ensure your site is secure as we see crime rise:

Is there sufficient protection from inside jobs?

As previously mentioned, every site needs to protect itself from an inside job – we would really recommend reading our blog, security from the inside out, to understand more about the threat and how you can protect a site. In the meantime, however, here are our top three tips:

  1. Always track who has access to security information such as passwords to your security systems and keyholder access
  2. Provide those who need access with different entry codes and passwords, so you can continue to monitor who has gained access and when
  3. Complete background checks on employees when you consider it necessary

Working togetherWork with us at Farsight

Last but not least, tap into the resources to hand from us as your remote monitoring provider. We can help you assess the security of your site and make sure it’s up to scratch. For example, we can check that all the elements of your security system we monitor are working correctly and we can also update or help you update passwords.

We also have a lot of options when it comes to offering reports on your remote monitoring and the performance of your security systems. This can be a great tool to help you assess what is working well and where there may be some weak spots.

Remote monitoring is key

When crime increases it becomes even more apparent why remote monitoring is so important. There is no way of telling what the result could have been if our operators weren’t on hand to deal with the 65 per cent spike in incidents.

Although crime may be on the rise, according to our statistics, there’s no reason why your site should become a victim given the right security measures and the right remote monitoring response.


Featured image: Creative Commons “Police Line / Police Tape” by Tony Webster licensed under CC BY 2.0