Neighbourhood Watch schemes are common place in residential streets all across the country however, while we are vigilant about looking out for our neighbours’ properties we are often far less so when in the workplace. With UK businesses losing billions of pounds every year to crime it is important that businesses look out for each other and help to reduce this number.
Commercial property is generally secured either electronically or by professional security guards in order to deter intruders. However, security on a busy South East trading estate has been improved thanks to a collaborative initiative spearheaded by Rochester-based Ward Security.
Ward’s free Park Watch scheme on the Trinity Trading Estate in Sittingbourne provides the commercial property equivalent of Neighbourhood Watch. Introduced in 2012, in partnership with the estate’s managing agent, Park Watch is a forum in which tenants share information about matters of safety and security. Once a tenant signs up to take part in the free scheme, they receive regular reminders and advice from Ward’s on site operational team.
Ward Security works with the managing agent to pool individual businesses’ concerns and suspicions, and communicates them through a weekly email. These weekly updates include reminders about security checks and help share best practice in facilities management but most of all ensure that businesses on Trinity Trading Estate remain vigilant. Park Watch works to tackle everything from break-ins, walk-in thefts and vehicle crime to antisocial behavior, discovery of illegal drugs and unlawful occupation by travellers.
Ward Security managing director David Ward said: “By ensuring that businesses on a trading estate are exchanging information about potential security or safety risks, Park Watch helps those businesses function smoothly and securely. Our security guards collaborate with the local police and where necessary other emergency services, to ensure they are up to speed with any incidents on the park which we know they find helpful. The response we have had so far from businesses on Trinity Trading Estate has been very encouraging, with Park Watch helping to make the estate a safer and securer place for employees, premises and assets. This security initiative is helping commercial tenants combat the threat posed by thieves, burglars and trespassers, and we look forward to it being introduced on further trading estates in the South East and beyond.”
Syd Brunt, Managing Director of B.S.B Engineering Services was one of the first businesses to sign up to the Park Watch scheme at the Trinity site and has been an active communicator within the group alerting suspicious incidents on the park. He said “Before Park Watch we rarely heard about trouble or incidents on the site and actually we did not have anyone to report them to either. Sharing these issues with other residents on the estate gives you peace of mind and really helps to cut down on crime. There are regular reminders circulated about making sure your windows and doors are properly locked up and alerts about people loitering around the park. Overall it is a great service and it makes me feel that we are much more responsible employers and businesses for having this in place. I believe every business park should have a Park Watch service, it would certainly help cut crime towards businesses.”