Biosite Systems is urging the construction industry to maintain security safeguards ahead of the Christmas shutdown period, following an increase in sites reducing traditional measures in response to coronavirus (COVID-19). The warning comes as some sites admit they would be prepared to forgo maintaining some security elements, in an effort to cut costs.
Even before COVID-19, construction site theft reportedly cost the industry around £800million per year and once the pandemic struck, there was an estimated 50 per cent surge in cases during the spring lockdown, according to the CEA (Construction Equipment Association). Now, as the Christmas shutdown approaches, sites need to remain vigilant when it comes to ensuring effective protection against crime.
Simon Oakley, Operations Director at Biosite Security, explains: “We have started to see a worrying trend emerging where some sites are reducing normal levels of security reinforcements, including manned guarding, in an effort to save costs or because security has fallen down the priority list in response to COVID-19. What has been especially concerning is the underlying feeling that a small number of sites may be willing to ‘take the risk’ of a potential insurance claim should the worst happen and a site is impacted by crime.
“We understand that COVID-19 has presented many challenges and the industry has responded admirably to new ways of working, including introducing rigorous safety measures. In the same vein, it’s critical that site security is not compromised. Having a physical presence on the ground can be beneficial for many reasons, whether that’s protecting assets from theft or damage or crucially being able to respond rapidly to an incident if an intruder has entered site, particularly if that poses a potential risk to life or to the surrounding area.
“Site security should always remain a priority but especially with the Christmas shutdown approaching, as it could present a perfect storm for opportunistic criminals to strike. Now is not the time to sacrifice site security – it is more important than ever.”