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News

Remote monitoring reduces theft at Builders Merchant

RemGuard Visual Management, : 02 June, 2009  (Application Story)
Event triggered remote monitoring of CCTV surveillance equipment at James Burrell leads to 80 percent reduction in material losses through criminal activity
Remote monitoring reduces theft at Builders Merchant
RemGuard Visual Management - part of AD Group - reports that its remotely monitored, detector activated, CCTV service which provides vital out-of-hours protection for the Ossett, West Yorkshire, branch of James Burrell Limited - the North's leading independent builders merchant - has reduced theft at the site by an impressive 80 per cent since going live.

This sort of success is fuelling a growing demand for event-driven CCTV amongst UK builders merchants, whose large, often secluded, sites with valuable stock readily visible in external yard areas make them particularly attractive targets for criminal gangs and opportunists alike.

Richard Day from James Burrell Limited who manages the Ossett site, takes-up the story: 'The reality is that builders merchants carry an extensive and valuable range of products stored on large premises open to everyone. Traditionally builders merchants have been a prime target for thieves because of the volume of materials, however, as a result of more up-to-date systems and stock management procedures, criminals have now focused their efforts, away from daylight hours, to the nighttime and weekends when merchants are closed.'

When the Ossett branch of James Burrell was set-up in 2007 they had real issues, in the first six months, with criminal incidents such as theft, primarily occurring at night or on Sunday mornings.

Commented Richard Day: 'The site we took over at Ossett is on an industrial estate, which is pretty typical of today's builders merchants. This means that after working hours the whole area effectively becomes a ghost town so no one is around to deter criminal activity'

As a result of growing security concerns it was decided to opt for remotely monitored, detector-activated CCTV solution from RemGuard Visual Management to protect the Ossett branch. The solution consists of cameras and detectors placed strategically around the site linked by specialised RemVu Aquila transmission equipment to RemGuard's BS8418 compliant RVRC (Remote Video Response Centre). Here RemGuard's operators can visually confirm what is happening, call-up on-screen plans of James Burrell's Ossett site - and even issue verbal warnings (via on-site speakers) to intruders. RemGuard's experience across the sites it monitors suggests that this step alone is a sufficient deterrent in over 90 per cent of incidents - stopping crime before it actually happens. If necessary the RVRC operators can also alert the police who, as the incident is confirmed visually, should provide a priority response.

Said Richard: 'From our perspective, we have achieved a favourable return on investment by going down the remotely monitored, detector-activated, CCTV route. The most obvious benefit is that there have been no successful criminal attacks out of hours since the CCTV was installed, whereas in the previous six months we had considerable losses due to theft. To put this into perspective our total losses from theft have dropped by 80%.

'Another advantage with the RemGuard service is that when the detectors are set-off the RVRC operators are able to use the CCTV images to ascertain the seriousness of any incident and decide who needs to be informed, whether it is me, one of my colleagues or the police, rather than issuing a blanket alert to everyone. It has also allowed the whole of our vast yard to be covered effectively, rather than simply the small office area.

"The flexibility of the system means that I can access the same images as the RVRC in our office during business hours and at other times using viewing software at home. For added security all members of staff also have designated passwords which they need to provide to gain entry.'

Following on from the positive experience at Ossett, James Burrell decided to roll out RemGuard's solution to a second location, Bishop Auckland, in January this year.

Commented Alan Collinge, Operations Director at RemGuard: 'It is satisfying to see the dramatic change which our service has made to the security of James Burrell's Ossett branch, especially the 80% reduction in theft. Time and again, remotely monitored, detector activated, CCTV has demonstrated that it is ideally suited to large scale sites where more conventional solutions are simply not cost effective or able to stop criminal attacks before real damage is done.'

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