Audio challenge no longer requirement for BS8418

GBSG Security monitoring services employing audio alert

GBSG is welcoming the announcement by the NSI (National Security Inspectorate) that the police no longer require an audio challenge to respond to a security alert.  This is good news for projects where such alerts are not authorised by the local planning rules.

What is an audio challenge?

It is a tannoy system that monitoring companies like GBSG use from a control room when an intruder is detected to warn them that they are being monitored. It is advisable to incorporate an audio challenge element to a comprehensive security system, but there are times when planning rules won’t allow it, for example on some solar farms.

What does the NPCC announcement mean?

npcc logo


The National Police Chiefs Council has declared that they no longer require an audio challenge facility in order to deliver a level one police response. Prior to the change, police would not issue a URN number or offer the highest level of police response. The change seems to be in recognition of the constraints on some businesses that would opt for audio challenge but can’t due to planning restrictions.

According to the NPCC, this requirement is still shown in Appendix R of the April 2024 NPCC Policy but it will be removed when the document is reviewed in 2025.

What is a level one response?

GBSG Security monitoring services

Once installed and commissioned, a police response intruder alarm system will receive an immediate police response. Most businesses that are unoccupied for periods of time opt for an alarm system that is BS8418 compliant and meets the requirements of the police for a level one response.

“We would always recommend an audio challenge facility in the systems that we design but this hasn’t always been possible in the past. Now we have the flexibility to exclude it, if required without it being detrimental to the client in terms of a robust police response,” Neil Jackson, MD, GBSG.

For information on CCTV, remote monitoring and any other security systems, contact us. 

Recommended Posts