Hainault Business Park has unfortunately seen its fair share of crime over the years, with theft and vandalism among the most common problems. For some time, members of the Hainault Business Improvement District (BID) have been campaigning for measures to be taken to try and arrest the trend for criminal activities at the site.
After all, the business park is home to a large number of companies of all sizes and operating in a wide range of sectors, many of which store valuable items, equipment, stock and technology within their premises.
It is therefore imperative that security is as tight as it possibly can be, but it seems this has not always been the case. However, SECOM was enlisted to provide expertise and solutions earlier this year and the arrival of its state-of-the-art CCTV system has certainly had the desired effect. The Ilford Recorder told how Redbridge Council selected a series of cameras utilising automatic vehicle number plate recognition software to add a new hi-tech element of security to the facility.
Ultimately, the aim of the CCTV system is to deter any criminals who may be thinking of causing damage or breaking into properties at the premises, and to catch those who still go on to commit illegal activities. The layout of roads close to Hainault Business Park is a particular concern to some companies, particularly as the traffic is often encouraged to drive straight through its centre. This leads to a high number of unauthorised vehicles being on site each day, making it hard to identify those belonging to criminals.
But with the new SECOM installation, every vehicle is logged and its number plate is displayed on an electronic screen at the side of the road. This acts as a deterrent, as drivers know they have already been identified by the system. Chairman of the BID Chris Wyles said his members have spent the last two years seeking out an effective solution and he was keen to point out it is not only the security of the business park that has been improved, but that of the local community as well.
Cameras were installed in February and SECOM has positioned them in view of each of the four entrances to the business park - at Peregrine Road, Fowler Road and Roebuck Road. All of the footage is available to police should they require it for an investigation and the new solution is extremely reliable, in comparison to the old system that was prone to lapses and inaccuracies.
When approached to discuss a possible solution, SECOM worked with the BID and it became clear that the aim should be to create a sterile area in which it was impossible for any unidentified or unauthorised vehicle to travel. Since the installation of the system, there has been a noticeable reduction in criminal activities recorded in the area. Any number plate that is logged will be available on records, meaning authorities can go back to look at instances of crime that occurred weeks or months ago.
It is of paramount importance that the business park is able to tighten its security in order to separate genuine business visitors from those may be up to no good and there has been a significant reduction in the unwanted traffic registered at Hainault since the CCTV cameras were put in place. What's more, the system is able flag up and register suspect vehicles so that an alarm will be sounded when they are recognised by the system.
In addition to the four CCTV cameras that have been installed at the park's entrances, there are further cameras on the business park with different strategic objectives. Another useful tool is the email alert system, which automatically sends a message to the business park as soon as a number plate that has previously been marked as being of interest comes back on to the park.