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Police remind private firms of security responsibilities

Recent trends such as growing demand for police services mean private businesses have a greater responsibility to follow the advice they are given on making their own security improvements.

That's according to Surrey Police, who spoke to Get Surrey about the need for firms to implement their own measures to enhance security following complaints from a local members' club.

Foxhills Club & Resort in Ottershaw said it had been forced to spend tens of thousands of pounds on security improvements and compensation after being targeted by criminals over the past two years.

There have been a number of break-ins and trespass incidents at the club, with thieves taking items including a golf ball collector worth £19,000 and £20,000 worth of small garden equipment.

In January last year, a utility vehicle was taken from the golf compound and then used to steal an ATM machine.

This was followed by an incident in August when the members' golf bag locker room was broken into, after which Foxhills spent £50,000 on strengthening security, repairing damage and replacing stolen clubs.

The club believes that Surrey Police should be doing more to investigate these offences and has submitted a formal compliant over what it sees as a lack of action by the authorities.

Jason Adams, manager of Foxhills, contacted the local police force's temporary chief constable, Nick Ephgrave, to say he was "coming to the end of his tether" over this issue.

He said that forensic teams had been on-site after some break-ins, but there has been little progress in any of the official investigations.

Mr Adams also claimed that the club had offered high-definition CCTV footage on a number of occasions, but it had either not been accepted or had not led to any significant developments.

Surrey Police said officers from Runnymede Safer Neighbourhood Team had met the club's managers and staff several times over the last two years to offer crime reduction advice.

"In February 2015 Surrey Police officers met staff at the club to offer to provide specialist officers to give advice about the design of new buildings to reduce the risk of being targeted by criminals," a spokesman said.

"Following the recent complaint, senior Surrey Police officers have again met managers at the club to review their current security arrangements."

The police force stressed that, while it will continue to provide high-visibility patrols and guidance on crime reduction and prevention, private firms must take some responsibility for enhancing security.

"Given the increases in demand for police services and the changing nature of crime there is also a greater onus on private businesses to follow police advice around making security improvements," the spokesman said.

Professional security services such as manned guarding and management of entry points can make a big difference to organisations that want to deter criminals while also providing peace of mind for staff and customers.

Posted by Andrew Miller

Image courtesy of iStock

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