Not surprisingly, holidays, weekends and when a school is unoccupied are the most common time for school break-ins and vandalism. Without the watchful eye of staff and coming and going of students, there is little to deter perpetrators.
School break-ins mean costly damage
A break-in can mean costly damage, interruption to staff holidays and uncomfortable students and parents. Every school should assess its premises for security risks and implement appropriate measures to not only prevent theft and disruption but to keep students and staff safe.
Security technology can provide an important first line of defence. Installing CCTV camera systems and a graded Alarm System can help to deter criminals, who are less likely to commit offences in visibly monitored areas. Footage can also be used to support police investigations. During term time, CCTV may be used to support efforts aimed at reducing bullying, violence and assault, the use of weapons and drug and alcohol related problems.
A monitored alarm and monitored CCTV service can provide peace of mind that Advanced Overwatch as the school’s security provider will respond swiftly to an emergency over the break and active Police response or the emergency services, if required while simultaneously notifying key holders.
A quick response can potentially reduce the time that a school is exposed to damage by vandals and thieves. Our research shows that members of the public are unlikely to investigate or call the police when they hear an alarm go off in their local area, so it’s important not to rely on surrounding neighbours to keep school premises safe.
Find out more about our Educational Security Solutions, designed specifically for the challenges that educators and facilitators face to prevent theft and burglary in Northern Ireland.
What steps should a school take to enhance security?
Developing a school security checklist can also help to ensure a consistent approach to school security. This may include some of the following:
- Lock away all non-secured outdoor play equipment and wheelie bins, as these can be moved and used to jump fences or access the building through higher windows.
- Remove loose materials lying around school grounds which may be used as projectiles, such as loose bricks, large rocks or branches.
- Check all security lighting is in proper working order. Lighting can help to deter thieves and vandals.
- Arrange to have trees trimmed, as overhanging branches can hinder local observation of school grounds and buildings.
- Ensure no money is left on site and put up signs to indicate the same.
- Lock away un-issued keys in a secure location.
- Secure all portable and valuable resources, such as laptops and TVs, away from windows and under lock and key or in an alarmed room.
- If the school is alarmed, ensure the monitoring provider is notified of all site users, including caretakers, contractors and cleaners. Ensure users are reminded of the alarm procedures and their responsibilities to secure all windows and buildings.
- Provide afterhours and key-holder contact details to monitored alarm providers or the local police, if the school does not have an alarm system.
- Display the security provider’s phone number on publicly visible school noticeboards during holiday periods.
- Lock all gates, doors and windows before leaving the premises. Security fences should be checked to ensure there are no gaps between the fence and ground that could allow access.
Finding a professional school CCTV and Alarm Installation company
Consulting a security specialist can help a school to identify potential security risks and develop a comprehensive security strategy. Advanced Overwatch offers a range of tailored solutions for the education sector.
For more information visit our contact page to send an email, start a live chat or call: 02870 878 077.