lost £20,000 of equipment to theft overnight

In a recent news article, a road construction company in Norfolk lost £20,000 of equipment to theft overnight. Typically, their site was locked and they had gone many years without trouble when would be thieves broke the lock and took the equipment without a trace.  The article states that the company involved, Emneth Construction, “believes those who stole the equipment could have made up to four trips to the yard during the raid.”

This happens all too often and when this happens, productivity and project deadlines are hurt as much, if not more than, as budgets. Most companies have insurance but as company secretary, Linda Chilvers puts it “Obviously we have insurance but we simply can’t afford to replace all of it.”


There is something you can do to protect remote sites. SWL Security has several options to help prevent lost productively and protect your budget and timeline. CCTV and Alarm Monitoring that can be connected to permanent, simi-permanent or temporary perimeter detection equipment coupled with CCTV verification is part of the solution. Additionally, advanced response tools such as live loudspeaker warnings, alarm response officer dispatch and 999 notification ensure a complete solution for your site.





The statistics on retail crime are out

The statistics on retail crime are out. In an article by The Guardian, the figure stands at £613 million worth of crime and theft in 2015. This is a 2% increase from the previous year. And the hope for 2016 statistics is not brighter; we will release those statistics as soon as they become available.

Retail crime is rising because of increasing organised crime, clever criminal tactics such as foil lined bags and de-tagging equipment to fool magnetic sensors.  This means that the value of the crimes is on the rise rather than the quantity of crimes. Also on the rise are cyber-attacks on retailers, which has increased by a massive 55% as well as a disturbing 28% increase in abuse and violence against store employees.

To add insult to injury, Police budgets are increasingly squeezed reducing the resources our Police Officers can tap into to help you reduce crime.

The Solution?



These trends, as disturbing as they are, can be mitigated with certain steps:

  • One step to better retail security is by completing a security self-audit. These are available for free from SWL Security so please email info@swlsecurity.com for your free copy.
  • Another step is to have a site survey performed by a security consultant (such as SWL Security) to identify security risks and vulnerabilities.
  • A further step is to join the SWL Business Wardens scheme (starting at less than £2 per day) in which professional security officers help you fight crime in a targeted and intelligent way.
  • In most cases Business Wardens strike the best balance of being affordable (because they are a membership based shared resource) and effective (25 % decrease in cumulative incidents between 2014 and 2015 in Portsmouth stores using the service). However, sometimes persistent offenders may epitomise the word persistent and a manned guarding solution is needed. We can provide this as well.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss any of the above information.




Business Wardens (turning customer-ship into membership)



It seems that everywhere you go, you are treated like a customer. That means you can become just a number or an income for someone else. At SWL, we have been mulling over this concept of Business Wardens. These Wardens are essentially a shared retail loss prevention (they prefer profit protection these days I hear) solution. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a static security guard in a store and thought, “that one officer could be making an impact to 10 stores rather than inefficiently standing sentry at the entrance of one store”.


So what we aim to do with Business Wardens is serve ‘members’ rather than customers. To encourage all stores, big and small, chains and independent to join our profit protecting crime fighting dream team, at a fraction of the cost of manned guarding, but with real results and analytics that can be measured in real time and utilised by our Wardens to target crime when and where it is happening.

I wish I could tell you everything about the wardens now but neither of us have time right now. Get in touch if you want to know more and watch this space.

With business Wardens, you are asked to join a membership programme; essentially becoming a member of something special that delivers ROI in many ways.


New Years Eve Safety & Security

At SWL we genuinely care about safety and security and this time of year those concerns are greater for us. This is why, through our connections with the Security institute, we are publishing this blog post with information from the MET police and the Security Institute. weather you are going up to London to party or staying in your local town, these tips could be relevant.

Any questions let us know: info@swlsecurity.com

From the Security Institute:

New Year’s Eve is fast approaching and many will be thinking about their plans to celebrate the arrival of 2017.

The highlight of London’s celebrations will again be the spectacular Mayor’s fireworks display on Victoria Embankment, which is a ticketed event that has already sold out.

The Metropolitan Police Service has been working closely with the Mayor’s office, British Transport Police (BTP), Westminster City Council and others, to ensure the event runs smoothly and spectators enjoy a fun evening and ring in the New Year safely.

Road closures in central London start from 14:00hrs on Saturday, 31 December; these include the following bridges: Lambeth,Westminster, Waterloo and Blackfriars. The area is expected to be very busy with people travelling into the city.

People with a ticket to watch the fireworks are advised to check the website www.london.gov.uk to ensure they are aware of conditions of the ticket and what they will, and will not, be allowed to take within the ticketed area.

If visitors do not have a ticket, entry will not be permitted to the event, so the advice from the Met is to watch the fireworks from the comfort of your home.

Around 3,000 officers will be on duty across central London on New Year’s Eve, both within and outside the ticketed areas to prevent crime and disorder; and keep everyone safe.

Thousands of other New Year celebrations will also be held in restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs across the Capital, most of these are ticket only so plan your night out before coming into central London.

Local borough police officers will also be on duty to deal with local events, supported by additional pan-London police resources as necessary.

Detective Superintendent Phil Langworthy, is the Met’s spokesperson for New Year’s Eve. He said:

“It is an exciting time of year and we want all who come to central London to have a good time.

“Officers have been planning for several months for New Year’s Eve, and that plan remains under constant review. This is not as a result of any specific intelligence.

“Officers will be out and about to deter criminals and keep crowds safe but we need you to do your bit to look after yourself and those around you as well.

“If you see anything suspicious or that causes you any concern please tell a police officer or steward.

“Keep an eye on your belongings and only bring what you need.

“Make sure you agree a meeting location should you become separated from your friends and family.

“I would also urge you to plan your journey. If you have a ticket for the fireworks, arrive in plenty of time as there will be search entries so it will take longer to get into the viewing area.

“If you drive into town during the day you won’t be able to drive home once the road closures have been put in place, so check www.met.police.uk/nye for more info.

“Make sure you know how you are getting home. There is a huge demand for public transport at certain points in the evening. After midnight you may have to wait some time before getting on the tube or train so be prepared to queue. Check the website at www.tfl.gov.uk/nye to get updates on your journey.

“You wouldn’t get into a stranger’s car, so don’t use unlicensed and unregulated mini cabs.”

For more information to plan your night visit: www.met.police.uk/nye


Vulture Concept into Reality


There are many reasons that a remote site might need security. Theft, vandalism and in our experience, arson are but a few that we have come across. Having a solution that is far more affordable than manned guarding and all-inclusive is important. Why? Let’s look at that:

Affordable – Let’s face it, manned guarding is expensive. Living wages are high, and why not (guards have to survive just like the rest of us). On top of that; recruitment, management, uniforms, insurance, national insurance and I could go on, all really add up, cutting into the charge rate for having a security guard. In other words, it gets pricey.

Other mobile CCTV solutions are not affordable because they provide one aspect of the solution, leaving you to either self-monitor or pay a premium for their behind the scenes dealings with their subcontracts in order to make the solution ‘complete’.

All-inclusive – As I just mentioned, complete solutions that are affordable rarely exist. That’s what we are doing at SWL with the Vulture. We are certainly not the first to market with a CCTV trailer, but we believe we have the most complete and well thought out solution at the lowest price. We also have tried to keep red tape to a minimum to minimise the responsibility of of customers and really deliver peace of mind that is out of sight and out of mind.


You may be asking – How is Vulture ‘affordable’ compared to not having any security at all? You may just figure that your plant and equipment is insured and therefore your costs of theft and vandalism are mitigated already.  Believe me I’ve been asked this before. I can tell you I do have an answer.

The main one is the issue of lost time. If you are a site manager of roadworks or building site and a tool or equipment is stolen or your plant is vandalised, you may lose a day of work on a particular aspect of a project. When your project follows a critical path this can create a domino effect.


If you are a farmer nearing harvest or event manager, missing equipment the day of the ‘big show’ can be devastating, you may not be able to recover from that kind of incident. Vulture aims to minimise the chance of anything happening and is probably the best insurance you can buy.


What does bespoke mean to security?


A bespoke option in a non-bespoke industry

What does bespoke mean to you? I think of a well-fitting suit to be honest. The only time I’ve ever been able afford a bespoke suit was when I was living in the Far East, I had a bespoke tailor in Hong Kong that was superb.

So how can a security company be bespoke?  At SWL Security, because we are unwilling to utilise unscrupulous labour practices and therefore we pay our officers honest wages and give them 28 days paid holiday; this comes at a cost. We are therefore left to make sure we communicate to you the benefits of our ethical employee policy and ensure we tack on a lot of added value to give you the most bang for your buck that we possibly can (we do lots of bending over backwards as they say).

That is really where the bespoke side of things comes in. We have excellent management practices that are unique to you and can therefore deliver the best possible service to our customers. It really trickles all the way down to your customers too. Give us a try and see how bespoke we can be.


Black Friday security alert

Black Friday is almost upon us. Wherever you stand on the idea of competitive shopping to save a few quid, it is a logistical nightmare for businesses that are open for business on the last Friday of November.

This is why the Metropolitan Police are urging stores to ‘review security plans’ and ‘ensure that adequate resources are in place to respond to any increased demand’.  As most are aware, the Police Forces across the UK are being stretched to the limit as far as resources are concerned which is why the MET is urging retailers to ‘provide their own security arrangements during the (Christmas) sales and consider police assistance only as a “last resort”.   I believe this advice and the following bullet point list is transferable to every corner of the UK.

Using last year as an example, according to the MET, there were incidents of fighting and overcrowding that led to a number of arrests. The MET is encouraging retailers to consider plans that will help reduce such incidents in 2016.

MET Police retailer security list (not exhaustive):

  1. Premises should be suitably staffed with a prominent management presence (that can make themselves identifiable to police in the event of an incident).
  2. Security officers, where possible, should have a visible presence on premises and should clearly display ID Badges at all times.
  3. If your store has access to a community shopwatch radio ensure that it is switched on and make good use of it during the day to liaise with neighbouring stores and local police.
  4. Ensure all staff are fully briefed and encourage a positive engagement ethos for staff to proactively engage with the public.
  5. All staff should remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to security and / or police.
  6. Check that your emergency equipment/grab bags/ first aid supplies and radio communication systems are stocked and fully operational.
  7. Check and test building security and emergency systems.
  8. Ensure all members of staff are fully aware of any emergency/evacuation procedures.
  9. Ensure CCTV coverage is fully operational and can provide the highest recording resolution as possible and that staff members are trained in the operation of your systems.

If you need to discuss any of your black Friday preparations, please do give me and my colleagues a call on 01202 97720 or Jake.Durbin@Swlsecurity.com.