Among the major security challenges at development sites is the threat of intruders, squatters, and burglars. The unauthorized access by these people often leads to theft and vandalism. Squatters can also cause fires, or use your property as a criminal operation base for drug trafficking or sexual offences. The best vacant site security system solves these challenges with a remote-monitored alarm response system that notifies owners and the authorities in the event of unauthorized access.
The Fox Lane – Vacant Site Video Camera Security
The Fox, a public building in Palmers Green, has been around for hundreds of years. This site now sits in the centre of a buzzing and fast-growing residential area. The Fox is no more than a 5-minute walk to the train station that provides a 20-minute link to Central London. Construction has begun in the Palmers Green scheme around it, targeting to provide apartments to residents that want quicker transport and improved access to amenities.
Security challenges at the site
These changes have demanded significant upgrades and renovations to the Fox Pub and its car park. From new floors to new rooms and other restructurings, the old site has been going through transformations in alignment with the greater Palmers Green development plan. One of the catch 22s for the project owners was how to protect the vacant property from squatters and other intruders. We were tasked to provide a vacant site security system that could stop unauthorized access, theft, and vandalism on the property.
Because of the residential location of the property, one of the most significant issues for the client was keeping off unauthorized people on weekends and holidays. The fact that the Fox is a public space somewhat further improved its attractiveness to intruders. The right system needed to be a perimeter remote monitoring system with police response without accruing unbearable surveillance costs.
Vacant Site Security Solution Chosen
After a squatter incident at the Fox Pub site in Palmers Green, the main contractor contacted us at Bison Security to provide a vacant site security solution. We carried out a site visit and provided drawings on how our verified video detectors would be placed on the property for full coverage. Given the residential area location of the property, we recommended a remote monitored system that would ensure 24/7 protection of the site even on off days and weekends.
Deployment of Temporary CCTV system and Results
We rented out our video verification CCTV system to the site for a 52 week period with a contract clause to extend hire with small weekly charge thereafter if they wished. One of the critical customizations we made during the deployment phase was that we added alarm activated floodlights and horn speakers at the site. With these, our security personnel can directly speak to intruders and squatters attempting to access the place and warn them to keep off.
The Bison Security temporary CCTV system hire has so far caught intruders after three break-in attempt incidences at the site. All these perpetrators are now in the hands of the police. Providing evidence for their arrest was as easy as downloading and submitting images.
Other benefits of our void property security system at the site:
- Cost savings – the system has eliminated the need to hire full-time guards.
- Scalability – the wireless camera alarm system is easier to reposition or expand as development progresses at the site.
- Squatter deterrent – the system has made it easier to keep off squatters before it becomes a legal nightmare.
- Immediate response – The remote monitored system complete with speakers on-site makes for quicker response and incident resolution in the event of a break-in.
Security System Considerations for a Vacant Development Site
At Bison Security, we believe that the right vacant site security should address the below dilemmas:
Squatters have rights, and that makes it more challenging for a site owner trying to remove them. In the UK, squatting in public property is not considered a crime. This definition, however, does not magically make the security risks that they pose disappear. The law advises the use of CCTV alarm systems among other measures to discourage squatters from entering the development site in the first place.
What is a squatter in the UK?
Squatters are persons who are not the owners that take possession of a property and start living there. It could also be a tenant that stops paying rent and continues to live on a property. Some laws allow a squatter to legally take over a property that they have stayed in for the long term. So for property owners, keeping squatters away is critical.
What is the procedure for Evicting Squatters?
Can squatters be kicked out? It’s not that simple. You may have to pay legal fines if any harm comes to the squatters during the eviction process. The stipulated procedure for evicting trespassers is alerting the authorities and letting the police deal with them. For tenants that stopped paying rent, the process is lengthy and involves filing an eviction notice or lawsuit.
How to Secure an Empty Property against Theft, Vandalism?
We strongly recommend the use of a video-aided alarm system to safeguard a vacant building against thieves and vandals. It makes it easier to alert the authorities in the event of a break-in. These criminals can be caught red-handed, which would serve as a warning for other offenders in the areas. A video surveillance system improves the efficiency of your monitoring system as we recommended for the Fox Pub and car park. It enables filing accurate police reports, evidence provision, and the successful arrest of the culprits.
How to deter and prevent squatters from accessing a property?
Some of the commonly used deterrent measures against squatters is the use of tamperproof locks, putting up ‘no trespassing’ signs, employing security guards, and installing security systems with video verifications. Some owners go as far as cutting power, water supply, and other utilities to the site but this measure might not be feasible in a development site that’s in an active state.
Carrying out regular inspections can be used to ensure that squatters are removed quickly before they start getting ideas about taking over a property. The use of a video-verified monitoring system automates such an inspection process. The Bison Security system is designed to automatically route alarms (when a squatter attempts to enter your property) to NSI approved security centres. It saves time and money in squatter deterrence and eviction.