Each year, the UK construction industry suffers around £800 million in losses as a result of several common crimes taking place, particularly theft, vandalism and health and safety neglect. The costs incurred are caused by both the crimes themselves and the financial burdens which they create, including project delays, replacement or repair of goods, and substantially higher insurance premiums.
We discuss the three most common types of crime which occur on construction sites, their impact and how you can prevent them from occurring in the future.
Theft is by far the most common crime experienced on construction sites, with a 2016 research study finding that 21% of 1,100 construction industry professionals surveyed having experienced theft each week, while a whopping 92% stated that they experienced theft either weekly, monthly or yearly. What might come as a surprise to many is that around half of these thefts are carried out by site employees or contractors who are working on the project themselves.
The tools and machinery found on construction sites are expensive, which means that replacing these stolen items can produce significant financial pressure.
There have been advancements in recovery rates in recent times, due to the introduction of the Combined Industries Theft Solutions (CITS) organisation and good co-operation with police in recovering stolen site equipment. However, there is still a rather long way to go.
The only way to truly beat the statistics is to properly equip certified staff with the right knowledge on how to deal with and report theft, while investing in excellent security solutions across the site.
In the same research study as above, 91% surveyed reported that they had experienced vandalism, demonstrating the breadth of the problem.
Having good quality fences and locks fitted will help in stopping a large number of intruders from entering and causing damage to the site. Likewise, implementing excellent site-wide security, such as CCTV, intruder alarms, and the physical presence of a security guard, will certainly make would-be trespassers think twice before entering.
Health and safety neglect
The construction industry is particularly prone to dangerous situations, which often occur due to health and safety neglect. Site owners must seek to take extra precautions to stop accidents from taking place, and they can do this by ensuring better compliance with health and safety standards and carrying out thorough site risk assessments.
Access control systems ensure that members of the public cannot enter your construction site and hurt themselves, while hiring manned guards and high-quality modern CCTV cameras across the site will also deter trespassers from entering.
Moreover, CCTV systems allow for constant monitoring of site activities, which helps to identify and address potential staff health and safety threats before they can create a significant problem.
How else can you protect your construction site?
Properly training staff on how to deal with, prevent and report crimes is essential and should form a key part of your employee training. Likewise, ensuring only legitimate staff can enter and work on the premises, by carrying out identity and reference checks is vital.
Staff must also be told how to properly and securely store high-value equipment, while site-owners can register all their plant and equipment with the Construction Equipment Security and Registration Scheme (CESAR). CESAR works by making use of modern identification technology, linked to a central database, to track down equipment which has been reported as missing/stolen.
However, the best way to protect your site from crime is to invest in wide-ranging, high-quality construction site security. Millennium Security offers several options including CCTV, access control systems, wireless video detection and SIA guards – contact us today to discuss your needs.