In recent years, there has been a general trend to increase building security. Many sectors have adopted higher standards because of the perceived increase in the vulnerability to crime of both building inhabitants and contents. Healthcare and education premises are particularly sensitive in this respect, while higher value residential property is considered to be at greater risk, particularly in urban areas.
The healthcare sector faces a difficult challenge. It must allow visitors and employees a large degree of freedom of access, while at the same time protecting sensitive areas from unauthorised entry. Located in the heart of communities, the buildings can become the subject of unwanted attention when unattended. Given the potential for opportunist crime throughout what are often large sites and buildings, even areas of low sensitivity may require a high standard of protection, particularly as security staffing levels are often low.
Security is a prime concern to education authorities, given the duty of care to pupils and the potential for class disruption in the event of burglary or theft. Equipment and documents may not be immediately replaceable, and the need to do so will inevitably place pressure on budgets. Ultimately, this may also have an adverse effect on the level of confidence in and education provided by a school. Vandalism and unauthorised entry remain a major problem. Unprotected doors, windows and rooflights are prime potential entry points, and even unsuccessful attempts to break in invariably necessitate remedial work. Malicious damage, attempted arson and theft of electrical equipment provide strong motivation for opportunist crime.
High specification housing
Figures taken from the Domestic Burglary Crime Statistics, show that burglary accounts for 7% (733,000 offences) of all British Crime Survey (BCS) crime, and 12 per cent of total police recorded crime. Regardless of whether entry is successful or not, this does not take account of damage and psychological impact on victims. High specification housing represents a significant target for would-be intruders and as statistics show, the households most at risk, regardless of location and demographic, are those with no home security measures.