A remotely controlled and monitored ten-camera CCTV system combined with electrically operated site gates is helping to protect an exposed and vulnerable 5 acre site for Holdsworth Foods.
The remote system was proposed by GBSG as an alternative to fencing the entire site and patrolling with static security guards and the technological solution has proved to be both cost-saving and a more efficient system.
Holdsworth's Worcestershire distribution depot covers over 5 acres. Whilst the internal food storage side was secure and fully alarmed, plant and equipment was a security worry for the company. Open boundaries left the site vulnerable and it was difficult to keep unauthorised personnel off site, particularly with parts of the site not in use, where there were many quiet spots that were more easily accessed by trespassers when the main gates were open. In addition, the site's remote location added to security issues, combined with problems arising from its neighbours, including a nearby Council depot which also attracted trespassers. Shutdown periods and bank holidays were a particular problem, and guarding was used to cover for such times.
Initially, Holdsworth thought the solution would be to encircle the site with a fence to keep out intruders and to patrol the perimeter with manned guarding. It was this specification which was given out for tender by security suppliers, including GBSG.
GBSG director Neil Jackson explained: "Holdsworth originally looked at erecting fence and using mobile guarding patrols – and that's what we quoted for – but we also challenged this idea, explaining that we did not think it would really solve their problem."
"Manned guarding can be the right solution in the right circumstances, and we have a long standing expertise in this area, but as full solution suppliers we don't just look at what the customers think they need, we draw on all our knowledge to think about the optimum solution".
As a result, as well as quoting for fencing and guarding, we also produced alternative recommendations based upon installing electrical, remotely activated operation to the existing site gates, combined with fully remotely monitored CCTV with 2 fully functional dome cameras and 8 external cameras.
Seeing the benefits, Holdsworth Foods invited a comparative tender based on a remotely controlled system. Said director Rupert Holdsworth: "GBSG were more competitive, but also we were more convinced by the proposal that they gave. The alternative supplier quote was more complicated and more costly, with unnecessary additional cameras and detectors which were likely to be set off by wildlife. The GBSG system undoubtedly gives us the right results."
With the system, gates can be kept closed all day long; remote and vulnerable areas are under constant surveillance and out of hours the surveillance is undertaken by GBSG's 24 hour remote video receiving centre which operates to ARC Gold standards.
The gate automation system allows Holdsworth to monitor transport in and out of the site. With 50 – 60 deliveries per day, it's vital that transport is let in and out efficiently. "We can't hold them up, but we equally need to be secure," added Rupert Holdsworth.
"There's a buzzer system at the gate and we also have the facility to utilise staff monitoring so any vehicles other than staff will be identified. We respond and monitor during the day from our transport office and then hand over to the GBSG remote monitoring control room at night or during shutdowns.
"We have had no problems with intruders since the system was installed. The tannoy system really works, where we can give a verbal warning, because they know they are being watched and that's enough to stop them."
Within the site, Holdsworth are also making use of CCTV cameras to keep an eye on their stores area and for health and safety management. The cameras also recently helped to identify a delivery driver who drove into one of the staff cars.
The result is a cheaper alternative to the fencing and manned guarding, providing what the fencing could not - a comprehensive system of protection externally.
"GBSG came up with a simpler, more cost effective solution that was technically superior. We find them very helpful and approachable and it's given us the right results for this difficult site.
"The big bonus is the remote monitoring. We know that we can trust their control room team. They will not bother us with a false alarm out of hours which they can deal with, but we know that if there's a real issue they will tell us immediately."
Rupert Holdsworth, Director, Holdsworth Foods