John Briggs – Electronic Versus Manned Security

John Briggs, Operations Director of First Security
John Briggs, Operations Director of First Security

John Briggs, Operations Director of First Security writes his second article exclusively for John comments:

“It is estimated that there are at least 4.2 million security cameras in the UK – the equivalent to one camera for every 14 people, and, according to statistics the average citizen is caught on CCTV camera 300 times each day.

“Electronic solutions are being developed all the time and can be highly effective, but they should not be the only security method that is used. Why? Electronic security monitors, but manned guards act. And how do we know this? Over 10,000 manned security guards are being employed at the London 2012 Olympics to help protect public safety. But they are not doing it alone.

“So how can industry make the best use of this security mix, using both electronic and manned approaches in parallel so that they compliment each other and contribute to a safer environment? With so many different options available it is often difficult for customers to choose the best approach.

“Companies are naturally striving to achieve the best security mix through analysing the various options available to them. CCTV, for example, has the benefit of acting as a deterrent as well as keeping a log of recorded surveillance. Yet at the same time companies still need a human, visible deterrent that is able to intervene and prevent disorder on the ground.

“In our experience at First Security we have found that by adopting a combined approach, an effective, tailored solution can be achieved.  There are countless examples of where this is being used to good effect.

“For instance, an automatic number plate recognition system (ANPR) placed at the entrance of a car park is able to recognise vehicles that have been registered with the police as stolen. When this happens, notification is flagged automatically to a security guard who determines where the vehicle is parked and reports this to the police for action. Awareness that a number plate recognition system is in use often acts as a deterrent.

“Equally, turnstile technology acts as a physical barrier only allowing access to those with swipe cards or tags, which are read by computer-operated detectors. However, this does not stop individuals trying to beat the system by tailgating or jumping the electronic obstacle.  This is where a security guard has an important role to play; firstly by acting as a warning and also, when incidents do occur, making a judgement, confronting the individual and dealing with the situation appropriately.

“The right security solution does not have to comprise of technology alone or rely solely on manned guards. In fact, the best approach is to use both together to support and complement each other in an intelligent manner.  Ultimately, an effective solution lies in creating the right balance to deliver an effective, safe and secure solution.”

First Security Website