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False security alarms 'on decline'

An active partnership between police and the private security sector has helped to reduce the number of false alarm activations over the last few years.

Since 1995, the proportion of incidents where safeguarding systems have misinformed the authorities that a break-in was taking place has fallen from 1.36 per device, per year to 0.1 per year in 2013.

As a result, this has allowed the police to be significantly more effective than they might have been two decades ago, enabling them to pool their resources more effectively and ensuring that time and money on both sides are not wasted in responding to calls for help that turn out to be non-genuine.

Higher standards

Traditionally, one of the main reasons why a system might have been inadvertently activated was due to lower standards when it came to its fitting and maintenance. 

While accidental activation also played its part, the fact that the force was being called out to so many time-wasting incidents resulted in the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) being forced into taking action to limit this from happening.

Its response was to publish its own policy on alarm response. While this was first issued in 1990, its development has been an on-going process.

Meanwhile, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) moved to enforce a series of support and guidance updates aimed at the UK's alarm installation and manufacturing sectors, coming up with Codes of Practice that ultimately ended up being adopted not only as standards across Britain, but also the European and international communities.

Chairman of the Security Systems Section of the BSIA Martin Harvey said: "The development of new technology, methodology and standards within the private security industry has contributed significantly to improving the reliability of alarm systems, with the introduction of Unique Reference Numbers revolutionising the way police respond to alarm activations."

Safer business

Because of this concerted effort, businesses have benefited from being better protected, while the improved efficiency of security systems has resulted in the public purse suffering from less wastage due to fewer unnecessary callouts.

ACPO's security liaison inspector Kenneth Meanwell said: "The police have been very happy to work with the private security industry and see the development and adoption of ACPO’s Policy as being a huge step forward in reducing false alarms from security systems, to the extent that ACPO now endorse compliant and registered companies for security systems."

Of course, alarm systems alone can often only fight half the battle. While a reduced number of non-genuine incidents means the police have more time to respond to crimes that have already been committed, firms that employ manned guard services can have personnel on-site to react to any potential offences taking place as they happen.

This means that when the alarm does sound, there are trained professionals already in the vicinity of the break-in to hopefully apprehend any suspected wrongdoers.

Why not see what Storm Operative Security has to offer to your business? By protecting your assets and property, it could well prove to be a worthwhile investment.

Posted by Andrew Miller

Image by Thinkstock

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