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Top Deterrents for Thieves on Construction Sites

04/12/2019 in Security

With the construction industry losing a reported £800 million per year on average to theft, vandalism and the associated costs, it is now more important than ever to start taking the correct precautionary measures to keep thieves and other trespassers at bay.

Unfortunately, the presence of high-value goods, such as plant and machinery, makes a construction site particularly vulnerable to theft, especially when it is not adequately protected.

With that said, there are several different methods you can utilise to deter thieves from entering your construction site.


Aside from barking dogs, which unfortunately aren’t a realistic round-the-clock construction site mainstay, CCTV cameras have ranked as one of the top deterrents for thieves, which means that you should prioritise this when putting together a construction site security plan.

The mere presence of a working CCTV camera is often enough to frighten away would-be criminals, especially if they are aware of it being there. For this reason, security cameras need to be conspicuous, in a prominent area and with clear warning signs so that potential thieves understand the consequences if they are to be caught.

If a theft does occur, CCTV cameras provide valuable evidence via the captured footage, helping to aid police in their investigations and also being used for insurance purposes in the case of stolen goods.


The last thing a thief wants is to have attention drawn to them, which is why they tend to strike when it is dark outside, as they believe that they are less likely to be caught. It is for this reason that lighting is a proven method for deterring unwanted trespassers, particularly in dimly lit areas or where sites are left unattended overnight. Likewise, during the winter, when it gets dark earlier on in the day and many sites close down during the Christmas break, it is important to ensure your lighting remains up-to-scratch.

Motion lighting, infrared lighting or large floodlights are normally the most effective types to invest in when securing a construction site, but your choice should depend upon the size of the site and the areas that need illuminating.

Once installed, you should carry out regular maintenance checks, as well as the replacements of units, so as to ensure lighting remains in good working order. This is important, not just for deterring thieves, but also because without high-quality site lighting, any CCTV footage captured could be compromised. Even with state-of-the-art technology in place, the camera may not be able to spot trespassers in pitch-dark areas.

Locking and fencing

Fancy modern technology aside, good old fashioned quality locking systems and sturdy perimeter fencing do, in fact, go a long way in helping to deter criminals from entering a site. A large number of thieves act out of opportunity, which often means that if an excessive amount of effort is required to break into a site, they tend not to bother.

Rather than making yourself an easy target, it is best to invest in robust fencing and barriers, which are an affordable security measure, as well as physical padlocks (ideally tamper-resistant), in order to prevent entry at access points.

If you are shutting down over the Christmas period, be sure to thoroughly check your perimeter and entry and exit points for damage, such as gaps in the fencing. This way, you can have total peace of mind that your site is kept safe and secure while left unoccupied.

Manned guards

Of course, the latest technology and physical security measures all work as fantastic deterrents on construction sites, but the actual presence of a person is also a sufficient way to stop thieves from entering. Trespassers are certainly less likely to attempt to access a site when they know there is a guard patrolling the area. Moreover, if a guard does spot something suspicious, they can act quickly and immediately report it to the authorities.

That being said, it is imperative to hire guards who are SIA-certified, in order to thoroughly protect yourself. SIA licensed guards are fully trained to deal with specific security issues (among other procedures), knowing exactly when to act and who to report to in the case of an emergency.

To discuss comprehensive construction site security measures for your site, contact Millennium Security today.