access control

A news story that starts off with a theft and then goes on to have a happy ending is a fairly unusual occurrence. So it made a change to read about this story that was in the news recently. A rare 30-year-old Celtic top had been stolen from the National Football Museum in Manchester at the start of February, after someone had managed to get into the museum without paying. The shirt had been on loan from a football memorabilia collector who was understandably very upset. So it’s not difficult to imagine his delight, and the museum’s relief, when the top was returned anonymously. While no one knows for sure who actually returned it, it would be encouraging to think perhaps there had been a change of heart by the person who took it…

Unfortunately, these kinds of outcomes don’t happen all that often. While police involvement can result in the return of property in some instances, in many cases it doesn’t.  Insurance cover can help with the replacement of some items, property and possessions but it’s still a lot of disruption and inconvenience to sort it all out.  And there are clearly instances, as with the story above, when the item itself is irreplaceable.

Using access control to protect premises

Businesses need to do all they can to reduce the risk of theft and there are several ways they can strengthen their defences to avoid being targeted. One approach is to consider access control. Its versatility means that it can offer security solutions that can suit very small businesses all the way up to large sites with various complex access requirements. Access control systems enable businesses to have far greater management over who can get into their premises and, once they are in, where they can go. Unsurprisingly, such systems can be a considerable deterrent to the casual thief - if it’s hard to get into premises, or move around within them, only the most persistent thief or other criminal is likely to keep trying.

Access control systems can take many forms

Access control systems can include straightforward stand-alone systems such as door keypads that simply require the use of a code to open the door or gate. They can also provide more complex solutions, using a variety of more sophisticated security technologies. That could include proximity readers that use cards or fobs. Some access control systems utilise biometric technology, like fingerprint readers or iris recognition. Mobile devices can also be used to control access; smartphones, wearables and tablets can all be used to gain access (and have the advantage that people usually have them close to hand!). Depending on the type of system installed, temporary access can be quickly provided, or taken away as needed.

Access control systems also have the potential to be integrated with other systems to provide additional security benefits: for example, they can be connected up with time and attendance systems or CCTV systems for improved surveillance. They can also offer security benefits in emergency situations too; some businesses and establishments are looking at how to achieve a rapid lockdown of parts or all of premises in the event of a sudden incident that demands an emergency response.  In the event of a fire, access systems can be set up to rapidly generate a roll call to check if everyone inside the building has been evacuated.

Access control can be used by any business that’s seeking to improve its security and safety by better managing the location of staff and visitors. With so many low cost access control options available, it might be time to consider whether it would be useful to explore how it could help you further enhance your security. If you’d like more specific guidance about how it could operate in your premises, please contact us.

Along with several other forces across the UK, Greater Manchester Police is also encouraging businesses to consider becoming more involved in partnerships. Its website provides information about a list of such partnerships that might be of interest to businesses in the Manchester area, and in some instances across the UK in general.