Balancing Act

Balancing Act - Security

BalancingAct

Security is a precarious balancing act for holiday park operators. Holiday makers arrive on site, ready to have a good time, ultimately taking away some precious memories when they set off for home, safe and sound and without incident. One of the greatest challenges each season is managing visitor expectations and enjoyment during peak periods.
Security measures need to be almost invisible until they needed with security staff, particularly, a reassuring presence for guests.

HARDWARE

Specialist suppliers like Ramtech completely understand that as a holiday park operator you need robust yet discreet security solutions that enhance the leisure experience you provide to your customers.
Ramtech’s alarm monitoring system is tailored to meet the specifi c challenges faced by the caravan and holiday park market, enabling you to offer additional peace of mind to your customers that their investment in their holiday homes and valuable contents is protected all year round.
“Our wireless alarm system provides reliable, effective security that also delivers a valuable additional selling point and revenue generation tool for your park. Once installed, the alarm systems can be operated and monitored by your own security teams, putting you in complete control,” says Ramtech’s Cat Widdowson.
BalancingAct2“We’re currently the trusted security system provider for over 200 parks that have over 100,000 holiday or residential park homes on their sites, including Bourne Leisure, Park Resorts, Parkdean and Park Holidays UK.”
Touring caravans left on sites, and even static caravans can be a target for thieves. All caravans manufactured in the UK since 1992 have a 17-digit vehicle identifi cation number (VIN) etched onto the vehicle chassis and windows. Mark your VIN number with a security marker inside cupboards and other places to help you identify your caravan if it’s stolen.
Although North Wales is one of the SAFEST PLACES to live, work and visit, the regional force works pro-actively to remind caravan owners and holidaymakers of these simple steps to help reduce chances of becoming a victim of crime including: • Immobilising the caravan with an approved clamping or locking system once on site.
• Fit a tracking device so the caravan can be traced if stolen • Fit a reliable alarm and always switch it on “Holiday park theft is becoming a big issue as caravans,lodges and holiday homes increasingly have more valuables in them,” agrees Roy Williams of security provider Crosby Intruder Alarms.
“It is commonplace these days to have two or more televisions, Sky boxes and other audio and video entertainment systems. It can be lucrative for a thief to target these units, particularly in the closed season when there is less chance of being disturbed.

LOCKDOWN

While alarms and CCTV can go some way in tackling crime on parks, often much simpler and inexpensive steps can be taken to prevent theft. One such product from Cardea Solutions – the Buggy Lock - is becoming widespread at holiday parks across the country. The device is designed for families and allows prams and essential transportation equipment such as scooters and bikes to be secured safely. Stores of agricultural equipment and often vehicles for maintenance use around the premises need to be kept secure. These can range in value but hold an appeal to criminals as items that are easily sellable. It is important for site owners to protect these items by storing them correctly and securely in locked buildings or compounds, with keys removed and stored in a safe place.Many caravan and holiday home parks suffer from some form of vandalism from time to time. Installing Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) can help to combat this problem. There is some very high quality CCTV equipment these days that doesn’t cost the earth that can provide clear images in both day and night situations. From an insurance point of view, commercial insurance is a two way street whereby insurers will do all they can to provide a safety net to protect a company’s assets and their ability to trade. In turn, insurers may provide clients with guidelines to adhere to which they hope will serve to limit the potential for claims. Holiday Parks are well accustomed to having the correct physical security in place, barriers, CCTV, alarms are all common to protect a park from traditional thefts. However the threat of a digital attack or loss is ever increasing in the modern world. With the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect it’s concerning that according to Government Statistics only 38% of businesses are even aware of this new data protection act. Unfortunately, we operate in a world where cyber attacks of one form or another have become a common part of everyday life – 46% of businesses reported a cyber security breach in 2017 (Source – UK Government Cyber Breaches Survey 2017).

INCREASED LEGISLATION

BalancingAct3This combination of increased regulation and more regular breaches means that it’s more important than ever that your business takes steps to protect itself in the digital world, even if you don’t operate online it’s likely that your systems are connected to the internet and therefore could be vulnerable. Most businesses in this sector will have an electronic booking system and/or hold customer data electronically; access control may also be digitalised. All of this could leave your business exposed to signifi cant costs and expenses and importantly loss of income, in the event of a system failure, fraudulent or not! Businesses should look at their IT infrastructure to ensure they have robust security in place to minimize the risk of a breach however it is not possible to guarantee any system is completely secure – user error or a determined hacker can often still cause a breach. Therefore, parks are recommended to look at Cyber Protection.
Commercial combined policies for holiday parks should provide an option to include the contents of the business, any holiday lets and the owners’ personal effects. At Towergate, for instance, an extension is available to cover plant and machinery used to maintain the property. In addition, it is understood that many sites, particularly those of a larger scale, will use agricultural or commercial vehicles, which can also be included on a combined policy. Insurance provider Leisuredays recently dealt with a report of eight break-ins at a holiday park in south east England during the closed season after thieves gained access in a vehicle and stole property from a number of holiday caravans. “We carried out a survey of the park and the park owner has increased security by installing a 24 hour security guard and a number plate recognition system,” explains Gareth Walker, head of Leisuredays Development. “We have always aimed to reward the security conscious parks with lower premiums. Many parks will employ a series of security measures, such as perimeter fencing, thick prickly hedging, CCTV, light sensors, guarded barriers and security lighting. It can be a tricky balancing act for park owners to protect their customers but also not create a heavily controlled environment.” Theft and vandalism cover is included as standard on all Leisuredays holiday caravan policies as well as cover for replacement locks and keys in the theft or damage. The company offers advice on safeguarding property, as well as supporting initiatives such as the Caravan Park Watch, where associations and parks work together to share information and develop crime prevention campaigns. We know you are busy. But, we cannot advise strongly enough to take the time out, and risk-assess the effectiveness of measures in place, to ensure and to be able to demonstrate that your park is as security-proof as possible

Lincolnshire Parks Get Tough On Crime

Lincolnshire Parks Get Tough On Crime

Members of the Caravan Park Watch Scheme at Park Resorts’ Southview Leisure Park in Skegness.

Members of the Caravan Park Watch Scheme at Park Resorts’ Southview Leisure Park in Skegness.

Holiday parks in Lincolnshire have seen a 45 per cent drop in crime levels, thanks to a successful crime prevention scheme in the county.

A partnership between Lincolnshire police, local holiday parks and other stakeholders, the Caravan Park Watch initiative has gone from strength to strength since it was started in 2014 and now has in excess of 50 member parks.

Members of the Caravan Park Watch scheme and the National Caravan Council (NCC)recently met with Boston and Skegness MP, Matt Warman, to brief him on its success in the area.

MP Matt Warman said: “The Lincolnshire Caravan Park Watch scheme is leading the way when it comes to preventing crime and sharing resources and ideas across the sector.

“The huge reduction in crime to date is testament to all the hard work that has been put into developing this important partnership.”

 

Lock Down

Lock down

Above: Walk-in burglaries are known to increase during the summer months, so there’s no better time to assess the effectiveness of the security measures in place.

Lock Down

A man found guilty of burglary at Parkdean’s West Bay Holiday Park was recently handed a four year custodial sentence. During the trial, the jury heard how Anthony Bown had burgled the Nisa convenience store on the park, stealing cigarettes, cigars and tobacco worth £3,300.

In a separate incident, a cleaner admitted stealing electronic devices from caravans at Haven’s Devon Hills Holiday Park in Exmouth last summer. Richard Copley admitted two counts of burglary when he appeared in court and was subsequently jailed for eight months, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay almost £1,400 in compensation.

Incidents like these are unfortunately all too common in holiday park locations. While complete protection from such occurrences can never be guaranteed, there are a number of measures and precautions that holiday park operators can implement to safeguard their parks.

The good news is that the latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales and police revealed that crime level fell by 16 per cent in 2014. Decreases were evident for all major crime types compared with the previous year; violence saw a 23 per cent fall, criminal damage fell by 20 per cent, and theft offences decreased by 12 per cent.

Lock down 2

Above: The Irish-manufactured HKC system is backed by Crosby Intruder Alarms and offers a flexible solution for caravans, lodges, lockers and sheds.

Walk-in burglaries are known to increase during the summer months, so there’s no better time to assess the effectiveness of the security measures in place to ensure that your park is well protected.

“Holiday park theft is becoming a big issue as caravans, lodges and holiday homes increasingly have more valuables in them,” says Roy Williams of security provider Crosby Intruder Alarms.

“It is commonplace these days to have two or more televisions, Sky boxes and other audio and video entertainment systems. It can be lucrative for a thief to target these units, particularly in the closed season when there is less chance of being disturbed.

“There is also an increased risk of theft from lockers or sheds, as these often go completely unprotected.”

While simple measures such as door and window locks and burglar alarms offer some degree of security, Roy recommends an all in one wireless system for intruder, fire, personal attack and mains fail.

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CARDEA SOLUTIONS
Tel. +44 (0)161 413 0766
www.cardea-solutions.com

CROSBY INTRUDER ALARMS
Tel. 0844 588 6912
www.crosbyintruder.co.uk

FRONTIER PITTS
Tel. +44 (0)1293 548 301
www.frontierpitts.com