Mitie, the facilities management company, has teamed up with Facewatch to introduce an intelligent and proactive security monitoring solution for businesses vulnerable to crime. Dubbed ‘SafeWatch’, the solution combines cutting-edge alarm monitoring technology with CCTV surveillance to provide real-time visual verification of an incident. This enables members of staff to immediately raise an alert.
As a result, police response times are faster compared when compared with traditional alarm and CCTV monitoring systems. Due to the visual evidence and crime reports produced, the rate of convictions is higher. Police services have estimated that they save approximately four hours of administration work per crime by not having to recover CCTV on discs. Officers are also able to begin their investigations within minutes rather than the average period of between two and four weeks.
‘SafeWatch’ automatically provides real-time visuals of an incident taking place such that staff based at Mitec – Mitie’s dedicated Category II BS 5979-compliant Technology Centre designed to offer 24/7 remote assistance – can broadcast audio warnings to assailants and update the police service accordingly.
Following an incident, all images are then compiled as evidence and passed to the police, allowing participating partners to share ‘Watch Lists’ and threat profiles of assailants.
West Mercia Police states that Facewatch’s easy-to-use platform has allowed more collaboration between security staff, police officers and retail employees, in turn driving a 41.5% reduction in retail crime within Hereford City Centre. West Midlands Police has revealed that, since the introduction of Facewatch, they’ve seen a 30% reduction in routine call-outs.
Integrated approach to security
Jason Towse, managing director of Mitie’s Total Security Management (TSM) business, said: “We’re really excited to be working with Facewatch in bringing this unique solution to market. ‘SafeWatch’ is an ideal fit with our integrated approach to security, using technology to enhance what we deliver. Mitec’s highly-trained operatives are well placed to support this focus on the highly responsive remote monitoring of personal attacks and intruder alarms.”
Simon Gordon, chairman of Facewatch, added: “’SafeWatch’ will lead the way in the monitoring arena, protecting businesses, their employees and customers 24 hours a day when operational or closed. The benefits of real-time video and reporting online are significant for the police service, and will make the UK a safer place as this scheme rolls out on a national basis.”
‘SafeWatch’ is currently being trailed in the High Street retail market. The Association of Convenience Stores recently highlighted that business crime cost convenience retailers an estimated £122 million in 2015. Taking into account what retailers invest in crime prevention, the total cost of crime per store stood at a substantial £3,750.