Daily Archives: 29/08/2014

BSIA launches Guide to Security of Heritage Properties (Form 188)

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has published a new Guide to Security of Heritage Properties (Form 188) which is designed to provide owners, managers and guardians of all kinds of heritage buildings with an overview of the common considerations around risk assessments and security measures at these sites.

The new guide aims to describe the security threats faced by historic properties (as well as those with a shared community value) and explain the techniques, products and services available to protect them.

Paul Phillips, technical officer at the BSIA and author of the guide, commented: “Caring for a heritage property is by no means a cheap exercise. Correcting any damage after a crime could financially cripple owners and, on that basis, the provision of good security is essential. Protecting unique properties often means using unique and costly solutions but, with the help of this BSIA guide, owners should be able to make the most of limited resources and, in turn, play their part in helping to save our history and culture for the future.”

The BSIA guide is primarily intended for the owners of private houses, smaller businesses in listed properties, custodians of individual properties open to the public and groups of volunteers caring for heritage in their community.

The BSIA has launched a new Guide to Security of Heritage Properties

The BSIA has launched a new Guide to Security of Heritage Properties

What’s unique about Heritage security?

Heritage security is unique in that alterations can devalue sites quite considerably. Often, the listed nature of heritage properties means that modern security measures that are usually commonplace are not permitted. Even where security measures are allowed, they often prove more costly for listed buildings.

The new Guide to Security of Heritage Properties offers helpful, independent, free of charge advice on this topic for BSIA members and non-members alike.

Heritage security is an important aspect of heritage property maintenance. For example, it’s often the case that heritage properties have been built without consideration for modern criminal behaviour. Any modernising security measures must therefore be weighed carefully against the ‘devaluing effect’ significant alterations can incur.

In essence, security measures need to be as unobtrusive as possible. A Georgian shop front with external roller shutters, for example, becomes a bland modern building.Similarly, fitting CCTV cameras to the front of an historic house can be unappealing and – in some instances – may actually breach regulations.

For larger or more complex problems the employment of a security consultant can often provide cost-effective advice for a combination of practices and equipment

For larger or more complex problems the employment of a security consultant can often provide cost-effective advice for a combination of practices and equipment

Heritage properties are often located in open areas, remote from neighbours. This level of isolation makes them more difficult to protect. Similarly, and as is often the case, the need to allow authorised public access can inadvertently facilitate criminal access.

Simon Alderson, development director of BSIA member company Vacant Property Specialists and chairman of the BSIA’s Vacant Property Protection Group, has commented on the potential security risks involved in heritage sites.

“Heritage sites are often remote and packed with materials that can attract crime,” explained Alderson, “such as lead on roofs and copper piping. It sounds like something from a Cluedo set, but for the few pounds thieves may obtain from selling stolen metals, they can cause tens of thousands of pounds’ worth of damage. Vacant sites are also targets for illegal raves and squatters.”

The new BSIA guide explains ways in which security measures can be employed and installed in what can appear to be complicated circumstances. It also details ways in which to achieve effective security within the boundaries of available resources.

What’s in the Guide to Security of Heritage Properties?

Alongside informed suggestions, the guide contains Case Studies detailing how BSIA member companies have provided security and protection for heritage properties. It also describes a unique way of approaching security that should help end users facing difficult decisions relating to the allocation of resources.

The guide is primarily intended for owners of private houses, smaller businesses in listed properties, custodians of individual properties open to the public and groups of volunteers caring for heritage in their community

The guide is primarily intended for owners of private houses, smaller businesses in listed properties, custodians of individual properties open to the public and groups of volunteers caring for heritage in their community

Why is it worth reading compared to other publications? This guide provides a huge benefit to those seeking expert and independent advice. Given the often unique nature of heritage sites and the security issues surrounding them, it’s particularly important to draw on the expertise of those with experience in this particular field.

Where else can individuals go for advice beyond the Heritage Security Guide?

For larger or more complex problems the employment of a security consultant can often provide cost-effective advice for a combination of practices and equipment.

It’s always advisable to talk to insurance companies who can provide valuable advice. Failure to follow their recommendations could present a problem in the event of a claim.

The guide aims to describe the security threats faced by historic properties (as well as those with a shared community value) and explain the techniques, products and services available to protect them

The guide aims to describe the security threats faced by historic properties (as well as those with a shared community value) and explain the techniques, products and services available to protect them

To download the Guide to Security of Heritage Properties (Form 188) visit the BSIA’s website

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UK terror threat level raised from ‘Substantial’ to ‘Severe’

The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre has changed the UK’s threat level in relation to the prospect of international terrorism impacting home shores, with Home Secretary Theresa May announcing today that the threat level has moved from substantial to severe.

A ‘Severe’ rating means that a terrorist attack is highly likely, although at the present moment there’s no intelligence available to suggest that any form of attack is imminent.

The official threat level informs security professionals across the public and private sectors as they make decisions about the appropriate level of protection in place across the UK.

Home Secretary Theresa May MP

Home Secretary Theresa May MP

The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre’s judgements are made on the basis of the latest intelligence and represent decisions taken independently of Government ministers.

There are five levels of threat, as follows:

*Critical: an attack is expected imminently
*Severe: an attack is highly likely
*Substantial: an attack is a strong possibility
*Moderate: an attack is possible but not likely
*Low: an attack is unlikely

Developments in Syria and Iraq

Announcing the change, Home Secretary Theresa May said: “The increase in the threat level is related to developments in Syria and Iraq where terrorist groups are planning attacks against the West. Some of these plots are likely to involve foreign fighters who have travelled there from the UK and Europe to take part in those conflicts.”

May continued: “The first and most important duty of Government is the protection of the British people. We have already taken steps to amend our powers and increase our capabilities for dealing with the developing terrorist threats which we face. That process will continue, and the British public should be in no doubt that we will take the strongest possible action to protect our national security.”

In conclusion, the Home Secretary stated: “We face a real and serious threat in the UK from international terrorism. I would urge the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to the police service.”

Watch a video of Theresa May’s announcement on BBC News

Statement issued by ACPO

ACPO’s National Policing Lead for Counter-Terrorism, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, said: “The threat level from international terrorism has changed from ‘Substantial’ to ‘Severe’ in response to the developments in Syria and Iraq. This means it’s highly likely that a terrorist attack could happen in the UK. We therefore continue to urge the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to the police service. We need communities and families to bring to our attention anyone they perceive may be vulnerable, a danger or escalating towards terrorism. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.”

Rowley continued: “Public safety is our priority, and we have a variety of established operational tactics that are regularly used to ensure that the UK is both well prepared and protected. Over the years, we have built capabilities and enhanced our security arrangements against a consistently high level of threat. Much of this is already in place. Our aim is to reduce the risk to the public, and we keep our security arrangements under constant review in line with the threat we face.”

In addition, Rowley commented: “We have activated the established planning mechanisms across the police service, co-ordinated by myself as National Policing Lead on Counter-Terrorism. This will lead to enhanced prevention and preparedness.”

To conclude, Rowley went on to state: “From this afternoon, we will begin to increase our levels of visible patrols and implement other security and protection measures. We will also build on existing community relations to provide reassurance and seek communities’ support and assistance in keeping the UK safe.”

Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the media

Watch a Daily Telegraph video of Prime Minister David Cameron offering his views at a 10 Downing Street Press Conference

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