Why manned guarding is ineffective
Relying on security guards to protect a vacant property may seem like an effective solution when a building is only expected to be empty for a short while, but compared to live-in guards this can be a costly and ineffective option.
Static security guards are usually scheduled to make regular patrols at set intervals around pre-planned routes. This is predictable for people seeking to breach security and unstimulating for the guards making it less likely for them to be able to notice changes or damages in the building. In many cases these patrols are not carried out as scheduled and there have been attempts at designing technology to ensure that patrols are undertaken when agreed.
Static security guards do not have an interest in inspecting the building beyond the remit of their patrol. Even if a building is protected by 24hr manned guards it still assumes the appearance of a vacant building and therefore becomes a target for those who seek to exploit empty property. If static security guards are not on-site 24hrs then there is always a window where an intruder can enter the site.
Manned guarding cannot completely prevent squatting
Ordinary static security guards do not occupy a building when they provide security so the vacant property continues to be vulnerable to the threat of squatting. If it is not possible to prove unequivocally that there has been a case of breaking and entering or damage done to the property then it will require a case at county court to establish rights of possession. There are cases where static security guards are off duty or merely outside in the local area and squatters take possession of a property. If a property is occupied by guards temporarily living in the property then it is easy to prove who is an intruder. This is true even if there is temporarily no guard on-site because the possessions and possession of keys of the guards living in the building provide immediate proof.
The solution to the problems of Static Security guards
Live-in guards provide very effective solutions to the problems of traditional security guards. Each live-in guard has a vested interest in securing and maintaining the properties they protect because some of their possessions are kept within the building and it is also where they live and sleep. These guards move around the building in irregular and unpredictable ways that are impossible for intruders to predict. The vacant property is their temporary residence so they have an intimate awareness of the building that manned guards never develop. They therefore notice quickly when there are changes, damages or security threats. While a building is protected in this way it appears occupied to the outside world and never becomes a target for those who seek to take possession or steal from the property.
Live-in guards are more effective at deterring vandalism, damage and theft
When a property is lived-in, it appears to be in use and this can act as a moral deterrent to potential vandals and thieves who are more unlikely to cause trouble and damage to the places which are occupied and where other people live. This can be clearly seen by comparing the number of vacant buildings that are vandalised with the proportion of occupied buildings. Some vandals also respond negatively to empty but guarded buildings, expressing their resentment at a building being left unused through violence and damage.
Live-in guards are far more cost-effective
Security guards cost around £12 per hour per guard. To have one of these guards on-site for 24 hours a day can cost around £8,000 per month plus VAT.
To reduce the cost, guards are often hired in shorter shifts, which means the property is left without protection. In such a case, employing security guards for two 5 hour shifts per day can still cost around £3,000 per month.
The alternative is to use Oaksure live-in guards who are SIA qualified and provide 24 hour security with protection by occupation at a charge of only £200 per month per property. Oaksure provides more effective security at a tiny fraction of the cost of manned guards.
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