Security of public areas has to balance the public’s desire for freedom and self-expression with protection of property and the safety of individuals.
Good security often starts with the design of the area to be protected including landscaping, seating, circulating areas, food kiosks and other amenities. A fortress mentality should be avoided, and well-lit public areas that are filled with shoppers until late in the evening are perceived as safer than concrete canyons where people are not encouraged to linger. In addition to the more usual crimes, high profile prestigious buildings can sometimes attract terrorist attack, and as incidents in France illustrate, even quiet provincial towns can experience this sort of criminal activity.
Public spaces can be both internal and external; and as well as shopping areas and leisure centres there are hospitals, public government buildings, and education campuses. Each of these facilities must have a security plan in place, but in addition the spaces in between them also need attention. These spaces each have unique challenges, and can be used for events and demonstrations as well as more usual access.
Here we look at some strategic ways of protecting public spaces:
Inevitably the public will have access to some areas, but not to all. Managing and controlling access is relatively straightforward utilising the advanced technology available, but the design of the system needs careful consideration. Physical barriers and gates, biometric technology and many other attributes can be used in a mix that is bespoke to each particular site.
CCTV with 24-hour monitoring
CCTV not only provides a deterrent to criminal and anti-social activity, it also provides high-qilaity evidence that can be used to prosecute offenders. As with access control, the design of the system needs to be carried out by a professional supplier, as there are many elements that can contribute towards complete CCTV protection. Vehicle number-plate recognition can add an extra layer of security.
Fire and intruder alarms
When linked to a 24-hour monitoring centre these can be used to alert the police and other authorities to break-ins, fires, and other breaches of security.
Security guards for public events
Public spaces are usually in regular use, and this often means large gatherings that will require marshalling and protecting by trained security personnel.
Perhaps GBSG can help with the design and installation of a system for your public areas security?