Criminal activity at school and campus premises

Schools and higher education campuses have found new challenges with the event of Covid 19.  The absence of people on school and campus premises leave a vulnerability the worse one being of course is the danger of arson and other serious criminal offences.  It is not so long ago that a school in my locality was burnt to the ground and that brings it home to you how important it is to protect educational premises.

There are a variety of challenges, not the least of which is the basic principle of safeguarding students, staff, and faculty from possible threats and these need to be addressed.

Implementing robust and innovative security technology is key, and manufacturers and integrators must work diligently to meet the needs of educational facilities by embracing convergence and unification of security systems.

Surveillance systems is an important aspect of security but for surveillance to be effective you need an urgent response when an incident or potential incident is observed.  An old saying which applies today is that ‘prevention is better than the cure’. Prevention is not just the display of CCTV cameras or other technical aids but importantly being aware of the lead up to criminal activity and the response that is available to deal with potential incidents quickly before they turn into something serious.  Modern state of the art technology has this ability to seek out intruders and immediately alert the monitoring station operatives to the potential danger.

Offsite alarm and CCTV monitoring provides the early warning that is key to prevention.  But what about response who is to respond and what arrangements are in place.  Is it safe or wise to arrange for a member of staff or the caretaker or site manager to attend premises where there could be potential danger? The police are far too busy these days and scarce on the ground to respond to minor or potential incidents that are put at the lower end of the list what is a priority to them.  Therefor police response times can be poor to say the least, that is, if you get any response at all.

So, what is the alternative?  Mobile response security is much more effective now than they have been in the past and can respond directly and quickly to offsite monitored alerts.  It is a first response facility, getting there to deter the would-be offender or informing the police having arrived on site to see the potential of a serious situation or a crime in action.   It is a first response on site account and of course if need be, a security officer does have a power to detain offenders if they have seen a crime being committed.

Educational management must assess the potential risk to their people and premises.  They may be reluctant to spend the limited budgets on security when they need it for education. However, burying your head in the sand about risk is, not the answer when there could be serious implications and disruption to the education of students

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