Construction sites to depend more on monitored tech for security
As the construction sector finds it feet again, and the costs of materials soar, once again building sites become prime targets for organised criminal gangs.
The construction sector is now experiencing a boom period following the suppression of building work during the pandemic. But alongside the pipeline of busy works schedules, there is also a surge in site thefts, further exacerbated by the shortage of materials. The consequence is delayed projects and spiralling costs as some components’ prices soar.
The price of copper has soared by 70 per cent in just a year, whilst lithium carbonate, used to accelerate silica based cements and mortars, has all but doubled, rising by 97 per cent.
- In January this year a pan-European crime gang were convicted in a Belgian court over a €1-million series of thefts of cranes, excavators and trailers. The haul, including a €460,000 cement pumping truck, a €108,000 bulk tanker and €50,000 worth of trailers, were stolen, resprayed and sold to unsuspecting customers across the UK and Ireland.
- A month before that, a gang of metal thieves had been jailed for stealing 92km of cable over several raids in the UK.
The Construction Equipment Association (CEA), owners of the CESAR scheme (the plant marking and registration initiative), noted a worrying increase in construction machinery theft in the UK since the introduction of lockdowns caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. One company, the Clancy Group, reported an increase in the theft of construction machines from their sites by as much as 50 per cent.
Mr Corten adds: “Deploying traditional manned security guards can ensure there is a visual deterrent on-site with a quick response to incidents, but there can be substantial costs, especially for 24/7 manned guarding. Plus they are only able to be in one place at one time, which is a problem for larger sites. And they are, after all, human: they may not stay alert for night shifts, or they miss critical areas of the site.”
Increasingly, site security managers are turning to monitored technology to provide more sophisticated solutions that enhance, improve or replace guards, without compromising the security of the site, and often for far less cost.
Several technologies have been specifically geared to protect construction sites from intruders, and can differentiate between genuine breaches and false alarms, as well as secure and detect utility faults.
“Our CCTV Smart Towers comprise of three key technology elements. Operating without an external power supply, means there is no need for extra cabling to get in the way of your workforce. They provide a visible deterrent, helping to prevent trespass on to your sites before they occur and as truly rapid-deployment solutions they can be installed and operational in a matter of minutes. Our CCTV Tower can be stand-alone or networked to multiple CCTV towers to give a full layer of site protection. This robust mobile CCTV solution can be easily installed in any location, no matter how remote or challenging, and can be moved, added to or reduced in capacity according to the dynamics of a site.” Says Steve Hands, Director of Macaw Security Solutions.
CCTV security systems can be monitored locally or remotely 24 hours a day, with ever more sophisticated software analytics that have helped significantly reduce the chance of false alarms. Accredited companies have SSAIB certification to provide clients with the additional safety of knowing their security provider is operating safely and securely.