In January, a criminal gang was brought to justice in a Belgian court over a million-euro series of crane, excavator and trailer thefts. The haul, including a £480,000 cement pumping truck, a £108,000 bulk tanker, and £50,000 worth of trailers, were stolen then resprayed, and sold to unsuspecting customers across the UK and Ireland.
Bringing with him 20 years of experience in the construction sector, having worked for multinational Algeco Group, Andy Brind aims to highlight the extra benefits beyond the protection of plant by deploying leading-edge technology for building site security: "In these exceptional times, the construction sector is under greater pressure than ever before.
"As Brexit and the Covid-19 lockdowns cause supply shortages and operational delays, they are struggling to square the circle of delivering projects whilst cutting costs, and doing so all the time within a Covid-secure environment.
"For example, there's been a lot of media coverage recently about the pandemic dangers of London tubes filled with construction workers going to work. Some of these journeys could be reduced by deploying modern methods of construction, using technologies designed specifically for the sector.
"CCTV Smart Towers, for example, could replace traditional security guards, of which there must be thousands in London alone. The 24/7 cameras and sensors are monitored off-site and run independently, often without an external power supply. They could help alleviate the need for so many workers to travel on the tube, plus they can save thousands of pounds in security budgets."
VPS Site Security has seen a dramatic switch from human patrols to more guardless systems in the 12 months prior to the pandemic, but the trend is likely to keep rising.
Recent projects have seen savings of more than 60 per cent in security budgets, providing an improved, more comprehensive security net overseeing sites 24 hours a day but at low cost. It is working strategically to increase its construction partnerships with some of the key players in the market, and launching additional partnerships shortly.
Its current customer base includes household names in the construction sector, deploying CCTV systems to improve their site security. VPS itself has been supporting the security and protection of several Highways of England Schemes and also the massive CrossRail construction project at Paddington Station, comprising five storeys, mostly underground, with 83 HD CCTV cameras, smart analytics ‘virtual’ tripwires, and onsite monitoring.
"Manned guards have always been the traditional mainstay approach in the building sector to secure difficult or remote sites such as highway construction, and they will always be needed in certain circumstances," Mr Brind added, "but technological solutions have really proven themselves in recent years. So much so that, combined with truly dramatic cost-savings and better 24⁄7 protection and safety, we’ve seen a definite shift towards systems designed with CCTV included as the preferred choice."
Mobile patrols may still be required, but they are seen now as much more efficient when deployed with the support of Tower systems, as they can help target problems.
Notes for editors:
VPS secures more than 50,000 properties and employ more than 1,200 staff in locations across the UK and mainland Europe. It specialises in both traffic management solutions and securing, maintaining and managing both occupied and temporarily vacant sites and property across a wide range of customer and industry sectors.
Core services cover the vacant, unoccupied and void property lifecycle from an initial risk assessment, to security, including guarding, monitoring, clearing, cleaning, maintenance and preparation. These services protect properties against unauthorised access and a variety of hazards such as arson, theft, squatting and unauthorised occupation.
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