Major industries all over the world stand transformed as a result of the pandemic. Some security businesses were adaptive right from the start, shifting to remote guarding in the early days of Covid-19. The rest took some time to figure things out. Either way, the things we learned last year about security in a time of upheaval will be instrumental in helping security companies deal with the challenges ahead – the second and third wave of the pandemic seem to be upon us already.
In our previous blog, we talked about the Impact of 2020 on the video surveillance industry and what the experts predict will happen in the coming months within the security services workforce. After taking stock of research out there pertaining to the video surveillance industry, it is clear that even with all our sophisticated technology, we live in a world where health safety and physical security may always be at risk.
Think of it this way, even if someone can stay home during the lockdown to ward off illness but physical safety of people and their belongings never completely assured. In light of these findings, we set about trying to understand the unique security challenges that different sites present.
Before we commence our deep dive into the intricacies of each site-specific security sector, we want to share an interesting piece of research. According to the 2020 State of Safety survey conducted by Safewise, a burglary happens once every 26 seconds on average. In fact, 62% of the respondents named break-in as their top property crime worry. Despite that high level of concern, only 24% of Americans have a home security system, like security surveillance, to protect their property from burglary.
We penned down this blog to raise awareness about the security challenges faced by the various sectors in the remote security services industry. Let’s take a closer look at each sector.
Last year, healthcare organizations were repeatedly put to the test when disease outbreaks and riots ravaged the world. Healthcare organizations already face massive challenges during normal times – so the safety concerns that come up during times of global crisis can be disruptive to say the least. Such events can put the safety of staff and patients at risk even further, making it critical for security providers to ensure that these places of ‘healing’ do not turn into spaces where lives are endangered. The following are the top security challenges faced by hospital leadership.
Violence or injury
Even after zero-tolerance policies enacted by a majority of hospitals and other healthcare institutions, people still encounter physical, verbal and psychological violence. A perpetrator can be anyone from a current or former staff member, visitor, patient or even an intruder. However, if abuse takes place within a clinic or hospital, it becomes a shared responsibility between the security provider and the institution to implement strict anti-violence protocols. More than 600 incidents of violence, harassment, or stigmatization took place against healthcare workers, patients and medical infrastructure in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic according to a statement issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) statement on Aug 18. Remote security providers can help security agencies and healthcare institutions stay vigilant and monitor spaces to prevent violent crimes.
There are certain sensitive rooms and areas in hospitals that are not for general public access. Only certified personnel and authorities can have access to the enclosed space. Such restrictions are made in order to protect the safety and privacy of people associated with the institution. If intruders do not obey rules and try to gain access without permission, such activity can put people, property and even hospital machinery in danger. Voice down capability is a great way to deter intrusion within hospitals or clinics – even before the crime occurs.
Hospitals are spaces that are meant to ensure patient care and safety. However, as the past year has clearly illustrated, physical guards may no longer be sufficient when it comes to protecting property and people in today’s day and age. Here is a shocking statistic. Total abductions of infants related to healthcare confirmed by NCMEC in November 2020 in the USA came to 329. Out of those abducted children, 140 were taken from healthcare facilities. Apart from infant abduction, there is also the issue of severely ill or diabled patients who may not be able to call for assistance but may require 24/7 monitoring. Live monitoring is a potential solution that can help healthcare providers keep an additional eye on such patients.
In January 2021, President Joe Biden used his executive powers to direct the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services to reopen educational campuses. According to the US Department of education, “American Rescue Plan will provide $130 billion to help schools implement these safe reopening measures and address the academic, social, and emotional needs of students.” During the lockdown, the activity on educational campuses had whittled down but with the reopening, the threats concerning health and property maintenance are on the rise amidst half-full campuses and rising frustrations. Both schools and colleges can be kept safe using gatehouse monitoring, video surveillance as well as ticket escalations to on-ground law enforcement.
The reopening of campuses has not come about as a result of the cessation of the pandemic. People are tired of staying indoors, jaded by the uncertainty of when things will go back to normal. Amidst this backdrop, many institutions are opening up with appropriate guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus while navigating a new normal. The fact remains that a young demographic of school and college kids may be very difficult to control with safety guidelines being disregarded, ridiculed or altogether ignored. This behavior may even put the health and safety of those who do follow the safety guidelines at risk. Remote guarding is one way to keep tabs on large campuses to ensure adherence to safety guidelines both indoors and outdoors.
Unfortunately, harassment is a common occurrence on school and college campuses. Acts such as bullying, name-calling, physical battery and even sexual assault are serious crimes. Educators and physical guards can only do so much to ensure a safe environment. Live monitoring can help security providers contact the local authorities if they detect a crime in progress. In cases where the victim does muster up the courage to speak up after an incident has occured, video footage retrieval can also be a useful tool in helping authorities identify and interrogate perpetrators.
Vandalism and intrusion
Along with the general population, vandalism and rule-breaking are also back on campus with a bang! Intrusion and entry to restricted areas after specified hours are common on educational campuses. Regardless of whether property is defaced intentionally or by mistake, this is a loss that the institution has to bear. Voice down protocols can help prevent a crime even before it happens by helping inadvertent intruders get off the property before any damage occurs.
Warehouses are one-point storage spaces for many high-value products. Without CCTV surveillance, these facilities will be dealing with theft, vandalism and intrusion all by themselves. Here is an interesting fact. Did you know that Covid-19 vaccines are on the highest priority distribution channels and are also a prime target for theft? Until the general public is vaccinated, vaccines will continue to be at a high risk for damage and theft. Warehouses are unique spaces with a unique set of security challenges.
Manufacturers rarely have control over whether their goods are safe at a warehouse or not. Without full visibility of the inventory, many goods at a warehouse will be prone to theft and vandalism. In large warehouses with massive inventories, physical guards will not be enough to locate and thwart crimes happening in real-time. Suppliers and manufacturers in the warehouse management to safeguard their products. What happens when warehouse facilities are unable to uphold this trust?
Warehouses are often spread across vast pieces of land that may have multiple gates for entry and exit. This vastness, though necessary, can also be leveraged for criminal activity. These secluded locations with a large number of unattended goods can attract a lot of unlawful elements. The real question is this – can human guards really keep an eye on properties this vast? With remote guarding, security agencies can immediately inform law enforcement, thwart crime and protect property.
Irrespective of the size of the property, all warehouses are at risk for break-ins. There need to be a a lot of some areas, the entry to which is limited to a few authorized personnel. Access control is important to prevent the general public from vandalizing. Sometimes, the warehouse owners fail to notice that having manned guards with a register is not sufficient. The need is for physical evidence backed by irrefutable evidence.
Construction sites are constantly laden with high-value plants and materials. Security can be a challenge owing to the fact that the site is under constant evolution. It is continuously growing in value as the project is building. Construction site managers also have a duty to protect the public and provide measures to manage access across defined boundaries and steps to exclude unauthorized people. Sensitive plants, fuel and costly materials are the main assets at risk through theft, while vandalism, attacks on workers, arson and security breaches of temporary site buildings are also genuine hazards.
Construction sites have a lot of heavy plants and machinery. Curious trespassers often compromise their safety by walking on these sites. The loss of the victim will land on the shoulders of the authority. Being liable for such incidents may prove to be a considerable disadvantage to the construction companies and they can find themselves liable for accidents. This happens when there is inadequate security on the sites.
Some human-raccoons can take advantage of the scarce security measures resulting in the theft of plant, fuel and materials from the site. They might even steal personal possessions from the construction workers. The reason for this crime is the ongoing movement of people on the site. The greed for the lawbreakers is the high-value plant, materials and equipment on the ground. A blog by the Great American Insurance Group states, “Industry experts estimate annual losses at roughly $400 million in the United States.”
Vandalism is widespread on construction sites and is carried out by people who want to cause unnecessary damage and destruction. Some people, who are against the construction, may also choose violence due to political or commercial reasons. Terrorism may not be as expected but still poses a risk, especially if the site is exceptionally high profile. Vandalism is not only a threat to the physical goods but also the manpower working on the site.
Not just the sectors mentioned above, but the risk to life and belongingness is everywhere. The need for security is omnipresent. Even if you are owning retail stores, banks, shopping malls, residential plots, corporate houses or parking lots, there is a threat from the following crimes.
You may never know when a mishap will cause you an unexpected loss. In matters as serious as security, isn’t it best to make changes over care? The most feasible solution is to hire a remote security team to ensure your clients get round-the-clock perimeter security. With access to real-time monitoring and 24×7 video surveillance, your clients will not only feel safer but be safer.
- Devi, Sharmila. “COVID-19 exacerbates violence against health workers.” vol 396, issue 10252, p658, The Lancet, 5 Sep, 2020, doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31858-4
- Edwards, Rebecca. “8 Surprising Home Burglary Facts and Stats.” Safewise, 25 Feb, 2021, www.safewise.com/blog/8-surprising-home-burglary-statistics/
- N.A. “Infant Abductions.” Missing Kids, N.D., www.missingkids.org/theissues/infantabductions
- N.A. “Removing the Threat Of Construction Site Theft.” Great American Insurance Group, N.D., www.greatamericaninsurancegroup.com/content-hub/news-details/removing-the-threat-of-construction-site-theft
- N.A. “U.S. Department of Education Continues Aggressive Plan to Safely Reopen Schools.” U.S. Department of Education, 12 Mar, 2021. www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-continues-aggressive-plan-safely-reopen-schools