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Safe as houses

May 20, 2024 by Alistair Enser

At Reliance High-Tech, we have seen a real increase in enquiries for body worn video (BWV) recently. I have touched on the use of BWV by retailers and the NHS, but we are also fielding a lot of enquiries about the technology from the private providers and local authorities that manage social housing estates.

We currently protect many public and private social housing authorities. And, just like other sectors, the risk profile in housing has changed, which has forced authorities to readdress the security systems and procedures they have in place to keep residents secure and their people safe.

Duty of care

Housing Associations have always had a duty of care to their people, and Health and Safety Managers, Security Managers and Facilities Managers have spent a lot of time and effort staying on top of ways to protect their people, property and assets.

Lockdown has brought added risk. Many residents are stuck at home, and with schools closed and many young people furloughed, there is the potential for greater incidents of vandalism and theft.

The ability for security installers to get onto an estate and manage installations and upgrades is more difficult due to social distancing – not to mention ‘disruptive’ – so anything we can do to address the changing risk profile and streamline the process is welcomed by our customers and their clients.

Keeping people safe

For those local authority staff working on site, there has always been the risk associated with working alone in what are often economically deprived areas with higher than average levels of crime.

Now that same person working on an estate might be asked to ensure residents are complying with distancing rules – particularly if they are a security officer. We have seen reports in the news of lockdown parties and hostility toward security and police personnel, and whether reviewing private or social housing, the use of BWV can not only act as a deterrent, but also serves as an evidence- gathering device in the event that staff are threatened or attacked.

The cloud on the horizon

Alongside the adoption of BWV, we are seeing a shift in the way social housing handle electronic security such as access control and video surveillance. Previously, valuable control equipment such as servers, laptops and recorders would often have been installed ‘on site’, potentially placing it at risk of theft and vandalism.

With the increased acceptance of cloud and technology stemming from the pandemic, we are now seeing an acceleration for customers moving much of their security infrastructure to the cloud. This makes scaling a system up – or down – simple, it reduces installation time on site, can provide commercial cash flow benefits and reduces risk of theft and vandalism, thus creating greater resilience.

Moving to the cloud also allows us to configure, commission and maintain a security system remotely. At a time when access to sites is difficult due to lockdown, we can even apply systems upgrades from afar, avoiding the need to send a technician out on site.

Security with a single point of contact

The threats that presents themselves to social housing operators don’t appear in silos – yet the solutions offered to counter them often are. It is often the case that lone worker protection and estate security are run entirely separately, bringing added cost and unnecessary duplication.

At Reliance, we ‘Protect your people, your assets and your reputation’. In real terms this means we can provide an end to end solution, combining electronic security, body worn video and remote monitoring.

These solutions can be quickly deployed, are easy to scale and allow private and public sector organisations to protect their people, their property and their assets at the same time, calling on one, dedicated supplier.

Given what has happened over the last 12 months, and may happen again in the future, how resilient is your Social Housing solution? How cost-effective?

Email info@reliancehightech.co.uk to find out more.

Stay safe.