Industry News

Forecourt Eye launched to reduce crime at Petrol Stations

Early this year The Daily Mail reported that driving away from a petrol station without paying for fuel is no longer considered a crime. The decision came about after Devon and Cornwall Police said it would not investigate forecourt crimes unless there was obvious proof of criminal intent. The force has blamed budget cuts for their decision but this leaves countless business owners at risk. Where does this leave Petrol Station owners? Many business owners install CCTV systems with a Digital Video Recorder to capture evidence of criminal activity so Police can investigate. This method is effective at reducing crime but reviewing and sharing evidence with the Police can be time consuming. “Since the last BOSS survey for 2012, losses attributable to Drive-Offs and ‘No Means of Payment’ (NMoP) combined have risen to £31.4 million (2012: 24.6 million), an increase of 28% over a period when fuel prices fell by 6%. Although the two surveys are not directly comparable as they were based on different samples of service station the upward trend is clear.”BOSS Report on forecourt theft In a report from the British Oil Security Syndicate (BOSS), the theft of fuel from Britain’s forecourts cost retailers an estimated £31.4 million during 2014. Kevin Eastwood, executive director of BOSS, said: “Losses from forecourt crime is at an unacceptable level and during the last 12 months BOSS has taken steps to improve the recording and reporting of incidents”. Monitor Crime with Forecourt Eye Forecourt Eye is a revolutionary online service (with App) that enables forecourt retailers and members of the public to monitor forecourt crime. Forecourt Eye hopes to provide an all-in-one solution to help forecourt retailers prosecute criminal and civil offences that happen on a daily basis throughout the UK. Criminal offences are your typical fuel up and drive off cases whilst civil offences typically cover people who have fuelled up and claim to have no means of payment. Both types of crime are a significant percentage of financial loss for petrol/forecourt retailers. Benefits of Forecourt Eye Cut crime and fuel losses Forecourt Eye enables the Retailer and Police to tackle low-level crime by sharing images within groups for the prevention of crime and by submitting digital evidence files to the Police to help solve crimes. The data is also shared with NaVCIS the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Services, linking the forecourt crime to the bigger picture, like Organised Vehicle Crime or Fraud. Debt Recovery Debt recovery deals with motorists having ‘No means of Payment’ after fuelling up. It is enforced through the proper legal channels by instigating HMCTS Pre Court Protocol Directions and (ADR) Alternate Dispute Resolutions after 31 days from the date the fuel was obtained. The debtor can follow the Government HMCTS Court Directions and Guidance, taking them through various legal settlement procedures. Automated Security With ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) combined with Forecourt Eye, you can be alerted to Stolen Vehicles, Stolen Number Plates and Repeat offender alerts in real-time. Forecourt Eye uses file sharing capabilities that allow retailers to instantly share CCTV evidence to Police, which is compatible with current Police systems. Forecourt Eye also gives retailers and Police Forces the ability to track repeat offenders using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras and facial recognition software. This key feature of Forecast Eye streamlines the whole process and allows retailers to monitor criminals operating in their area and gives Police the necessary evidence to prosecute offenders.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms will be a legal requirement for rental properties

Under new measures announced by the housing minister Brandon Lewis, all landlords will be required by law to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms (CO) in their properties from October 2015. The move is part of a wider government push to ensure sufficient measures are in place to protect public safety, without driving up the cost of rent or restricting the supply of homes. The proposed changes have garnered strong support following a consultation on the condition of properties in the private rented sector. Dwellings with no smoke alarm accounted for 38% of deaths in home fires in Great Britain, and nearly one fifth of deaths occurred where no smoke alarm worked.Source: Fire Statistics April 2013 – March 2014The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) Smoke alarms provide the vital extra few seconds people need to escape, and represent the simplest and most effective method of protecting tenants and homeowners from a fire. This is a worrying statistic that we hope will fall when more properties are fitted with the necessary detectors. The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has pressured the government to make a change to the law, arguing that the small cost of fitting alarms will be far outweighed by the economic and human benefits. Department of Communities and Local Government statistics for 2014 show that: Homeowners without a working smoke alarm are at least 4x times more likely to die in a fire Smoke alarms were not installed/working in nearly 40% percent of house fire deaths The vast majority of landlords already fit smoke alarms to their properties. The regulations will force rogue landlords to take the safety of their tenants – often the most vulnerable members of the community – more seriously Significant decreases in fatalities have resulted from regulatory changes on foam-filled furniture and building regulations; this move represents the next logical step The landlord’s obligations The proposed changes to the law will make it mandatory for landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property, and test them before the start of every new tenancy. Landlords will also be required to install carbon monoxide alarms in every room considered to be a high risk, such as those where solid fuel heating systems are present. Any landlords who fail to meet these new requirements will face sanctions, with a maximum penalty of a £5,000 fine if no smoke or CO alarms are installed. These amendments to the legislation will bring private rented properties into line with existing building regulations, which dictate that all newly built homes must have hard wired smoke alarms installed. It is quick, cheap and easy to install these pieces of equipment, so making them mandatory makes sense and should weed out those who are currently putting their tenants at risk. While the majority of landlords adhere to best practice by ensuring fire and smoke detectors are installed in every property they own, we feel that landlords and tenants can only benefit from this additional safeguard.British Property Federation Fire and rescue authorities are expected to help private landlords meet their obligations through the provision of free fire alarms, to be paid for by grant funding from the government. The funding allocation for fire and rescue authorities will be announced shortly. The vast majority of private landlords offer a good service to their tenants and already have smoke alarms installed in their properties. In 1988, just 8 percent of homes had a smoke alarm installed – now it’s over 90 percent. However, this change to the law will give every tenant the protection they need. The new regulations are expected to come into force, subject to Parliamentary approval, on 10 October 2015.

Tony Porter proposes a voluntary CCTV code of practice for home-owners

Tony Porter has proposed that a code of practice be bought into affect from March 2015 to regulate Home CCTV use after a surge of complaints about neighbours being spied on using surveillance technology.

What is the SSAIB?

Founded in 1994, the SSAIB (Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board) is the leading Certification Body that offers a wide range of schemes for installers of security, fire and guarding services throughout the UK. Their aim is to promote high standards within these sectors and provide recognition for companies who are accredited with the SSAIB. Becoming a member of the SSAIB isn’t easy and companies who are awarded the accreditation have to pass a long list of criteria before they are approved. This ensures that SSAIB approved companies are skilled, competent and worthy of the SSAIB accreditation. When it comes to security it’s important that consumers know they are dealing with a reputable, trustworthy and reliable company. Who are the SSAIB? As a specialist Certification Body, we hold a wide scope of accreditation within the specialist fields of security services, electronic security and fire systems, Telecommunication services and fire risk assessment. Our objective is to provide a comprehensive range of certification services within these specialist sectors. At time of writing this, the SSAIB have around 1500 accredited companies and we’re proud to be one of them. Why should you choose an SSAIB approved Security Company? The SSAIB (Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board) only certificate companies that can demonstrate technical and managerial competence through an inspection of the processes and procedures they operate. SSAIB certification means that you can be confident in the quality of service provided to protect your business from the potentially devastating consequences of fire or crime. The SSAIB check the following so that you don’t have to: Personnel have been screened to the relevant British Standard Competence and experience of management and staff Insurance cover is relevant to the level and nature of work undertaken Premises are adequate for their activity and that the security of documentation and records is ensured That best-practice standards are maintained. That sufficient staff and resources are employed to provide the services offered Compliance with all relevant standards and codes of practice, British or European Identity cards are carried at all times If you’re looking for an approved company for your home or business security needs, our team are ready to help! Give us a call on 01252 543309 or send us an email.