Man (Guarding) Vs Technology
Technology is rapidly improving. So quickly in fact, that it is hard to keep up with it all. It seems there is a new bit of tech out each week, and existing tech can do more now than it ever could. And we rely on it, and I mean really rely on it. When was the last time you looked at a map before driving somewhere or went to the local library to read up on something? It just doesn’t happen anymore. And why should it, we have everything we need in the palm of our hand.
But what about security? Is security better when we rely on technology or not? Yes, you can look at your IP camera/s covering your business assets from anywhere in the world (as long as you have a reliable internet connection) but does that mean your assets are safer?
Now before we go any further, let’s get one thing straight: all businesses are vulnerable to attack. No matter what the business, or the business assets, they are exposed to risk. Therefore, all businesses should utilise some form of security risk management to protect themselves, not to mention that protection measures are often required for compliance to meet insurance policies. But what sort of protection should you use?
Let’s look at it in a bit more detail, to help make up your mind.
Manned guarding the advantages.
Round the clock manned security services ensure there is a visual deterrent on site with potentially little or no delays in responding to incidents.
- A visual deterrent from crime, trespassing, and vandalising.
- Incidents reported by a human will tend to be genuine and not false alarms.
- An on-site response to utility faults.
- General inspection and management services.
- Real time surveying of CCTV footage, if applicable.
- Alarm system surveillance.
- Manned guards may hear a possible breach before CCTV sees it.
Manned guarding the disadvantages
- Substantial costs for 24/7 manned guards.
- Guards can only be at one place at a time (problem with larger sites).
- Guards are only human- they may not stay alert for the entire shift (has been known for guards to fall asleep).
- A high degree of trust is required for high value sites.
- Unless an audit system is in place, regular patrols may be missed.
There are a lot of technologies available today that can monitor properties for intruders (they can differentiate between genuine and false alarms), secure and detect faults such as water leaks and can provide the Police with evidence for prosecution.
- Alarms: specially designed and adapted so that they run wirelessly.
- Cameras: able to film both day and night, high quality images can be recorded and saved off site.
Thinking about installing CCCTV? Read my blog about it here.
- Many alarm sensors can be fitted around a property to provide a number of ‘eyes’ all at once.
- Alarms are attentive, they monitor 24/7.
- Substantial cost saving compared to manned guarding.
- Visual and audible warnings can be used, if installed.
- Breaches can be captured on video in real time. Monitoring stations can determine if such breach is genuine or false before further action is taken.
- If there is a security breach it can take a long time to send security staff.
- If the cameras aren’t monitored no action will be taken.
- Less of a deterrent on site.
- False alarms will occur.
- Not suitable for all sites.
Choosing the best fit-for-purpose solution
So where does that leave us? They both have their advantages and disadvantages. Where do we start?
The sensible place to start is with a complete security risk analysis. This will highlight all your needs and prioritise and give you a lot of clarity when it comes to making the decision. Utilise the skills of a security professional will save you time and money in the long run. Secondly, talk to your insurance company, ensure you comply with their requirements. The last thing you want is for an incident to happen and find you’re not covered.
No two sites are the same and each must be treated on their own merits. Some sites will favour manned guarding, some sites will suit technological alternatives, but most would be protected by a mix of both solutions. By utilising both solutions you gain the benefits of both in terms of effective security and alerts, cost savings and a human presence.
If you would like to know more about our Security Risk Management Services or need help protecting a site, then please get in touch. We are more than happy to help.