How an integrated business security system helps to fight crime

15 Aug 2022
BY Zicam Integrated Security Ltd

I might be a little biased when it comes to security, but I also know for a fact that an integrated, smart security system is a superhero when it comes to fighting crime. It’s a case of more is more; safety in numbers; and having the dream team of advanced security technology together in one place.

A good business security system is like looking at the layers of an onion. An individual security system doesn’t result in a great deterrent, but when you add multiple layers of systems, technology and hardware, then you get a combination that works really well and will thwart even the most determined of criminals.

It starts with the outside of the premises or site. Perimeter protection – that’s your fencing, gates and barriers. An imposing gate or high, well-installed and maintained fence line is both a physical and visual deterrent and the first barrier for keeping intruders off your site. Then we have lighting. There aren’t many places to go when an entire site and its perimeter is lit, or if the system has motion sensor installed then an activated floodlight can literally spotlight an intruder (fairly off-putting). Next we have Business and Commercial CCTV, which literally gives you round the clock eyes on your site that can also be monitored by a remote monitoring station to provide extra security. Then, finally, there’s the internal intruder alarms. If there is a criminal mastermind afoot and they get that far, then the intruder alarm is the final hurdle for them and one that will likely be their undoing.

Is it possible to disable a business intruder alarm? Not one of ours. The British Standards and regulations we have to adhere to in relation to intruder alarms are very rigorous; they include:

  • Not being allowed to install the main control panel in sight of an entry or exit.
  • The control panel must be hidden in a place that’s out of sight
  • The casings all have to be metal and use security screws.

And they go on. Because of these regulations, I’ve never had an incident where a person has broken into a site and disabled the alarm.

How are the criminals caught in the fight against crime?

Have you ever wondered who calls the police when a security system is triggered? It’s all done by automation.

The entire security system is automated so as soon as the CCTV system or the intruder alarm activates, that will then send a signal to the remote monitoring station where an operator will raise police response. You can monitor the system yourself via an app on a smart device, but it is more difficult to raise police response. I’ll explain: to raise police response you have to have a unique reference number (URN). When we install an alarm system we apply to the local police force for a URN. Once they’ve issued it to us we send it on to the monitoring station, so if a customer’s site is broken into, the monitoring station has the URN on record and can automatically issue police response by providing that number. The police also have a set of criteria that they have to meet when a URN is issued which is related to targets and KPIs, for example, response time which means there’s the potential for apprehending an intruder in super-quick (superhero) time.

Why integration is better than ‘bells only’

A standalone system is what we refer to as ‘bells only’. That means if someone does break in, the only thing that will happen is that the bells are activated and police response relies on someone acknowledging the alarm and phoning them. It can be effective but does play a minor role in protection.

In my opinion, there’s no replacement for a smart, integrated, automated business security system in the fight against crime!

Dave Salisbury, Managing Director, Zicam Integrated Security Limited.

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