How to combine environmental design with perimeter security

environmental design

Many people assume that perimeter security is simply about installing tough and imposing measures that deter crime. But those who are experienced in the matter will know that criminal behaviour theory underpins the best approaches.

The Broken Window Theory

Properties that are shabby, unkempt, or in perpetual states of vandalism are more likely to be targeted by criminals. This is known among behavioural experts as the Broken Window Theory. It states that properties that are not maintained send out a message to other criminals that this is a safe space to commit their crimes.

Guiding your visitors

Another key part of creating a safe and secure site is managing both foot traffic and pedestrian traffic. Supermarkets are well-known for their techniques to subtly guide footfall. For instance, many supermarkets will change tile shape and distance to slow down the movement of trolleys around specific displays or offers. This is another approach that can be utilised in perimeter security strategy. Flower beds, pathways, and turnstiles can be used to direct pedestrian traffic, while road markings, barriers, height restrictors, and speed ramps can guide traffic.

Keeping on top of maintenance

Security installations can be damaged by the elements, by vehicular traffic, sabotage, or simply worn down over time. Not only does this make them ineffective, but if left unattended it also sends out a message to criminals that you do not take your security needs seriously. Having a regular cleaning routine, as well as a reactive call-out service on hand to attend to any major issues will help to address this risk.

Combining approaches

Sites that are well-designed, cared-for, and approachable are not only likely to avoid falling victim to the Broken Window Theory, but they also can encourage a reaction from members of the community. They may be more invested in the building, and more likely to intervene or report problems to security services.

Part of environmental design means that you should try where possible to make your property appealing and sympathetic to its surroundings. This might mean incorporating friendly features such as lawns, trees, bushes, and flower beds.

However, it’s important to balance this with robust and effective perimeter security measures. While barbed wire fences may seem a little too imposing in certain surroundings, there is nothing wrong with a tough security gate, barriers, and turnstiles as measures to protect yourself.

Start with a risk assessment

Balancing these two opposing ideas can be difficult without experience to lean on, and this is why your starting point should be a thorough risk assessment. A professional company should be able to take into account the nature of your business, your surroundings, your access needs, and other elements to provide you with recommendations.

Whether your business runs from small retail premises or a large industrial site, we can provide you with a free, no-obligation risk assessment, feasibility survey, and quotation to assess your perimeter security requirements. We also provide a nationwide reactive callout service with engineer response times of 8 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours, and 7 days which means that any problems can be dealt with quickly.

For more information or for further advice on how to protect your business premises from criminals, please contact us here.

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