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The word 'media' may conjure up a variety of meanings; but in the context of this Hardfacts it relates to organisations that use high specification electronic audio/visual equipment, whether it is owned or hired/leased, such as cameras/camcorders and related editing/mixing desks etc. all as typically used in connection with commercial film/TV and recording industry work.
The trend towards Hi-Definition (HD) and 3D capability of media equipment increases its value such that, coupled with its relative portability and general anonymity, it has become highly attractive to some thieves - who may be prepared to use considerable planning and/or force (robbery) to obtain it.
This guidance outlines some potential security measures that may be adopted to minimise the risk of loss.
The necessity for media equipment security measures should always be determined after considering the impact on your organisation of possible loss e.g.
Armed with this information you will be in a better position to consider the relative importance of having good security measures. These can be categorised into several broad headings:
When reviewing security bear in mind that the best security is usually achieved by adopting a range of complementary measures.
The relevance of the advice that follows needs to be considered according to the type of equipment, its likely location (storage and use), method of use and whether or not the equipment is owned and used by you, owned and hired/leased out or hired/leased in.
Providers of Hired/leased out equipment
Away from their own premises, those who hire/lease out equipment clearly have a limited ability to seek a specific level of security for equipment on hire. However, they can encourage their customers to consider the additional risk they are taking on by hiring/leasing such equipment and encourage them to take suitable measures - perhaps by providing an advice sheet (such as this one!).
Hiring/leasing in equipment
Those hiring/leasing in equipment need to be mindful that, as well as the possible effects of a crime related loss on their own operations, their financial interest in preventing equipment loss may need to extend (depending on hire/lease terms) to consider equipment replacement costs plus on-going hire/lease charges, e.g. pending equipment replacement.
When reviewing security measures don't forget to check your insurance arrangements and in particular whether your insurer has any specific requirements.
Procedural Security Measures
Good procedures are an important part of your security measures. Options to consider include:
Physical Security Measures - Premises
A well secured perimeter, either of a building or an area within it, but ideally both, will usually provide significant benefits. Perimeter protection should take account of the nature of the buildings and the location, ease of access, hours of occupancy and the type (theft attraction) of the media equipment present within.
Further information on general Perimeter Security, Door and Window Security and Locks & Lock Standards can be found in various Hardfacts information sheets available in our 'Knowledge Store'.
However, probably the most effective physical protection for concentrations of expensive or critical equipment is to store them in a secure inner store. For example, within a robustly built internal room, sited away from outside walls (ideally on upper floors) and having good quality doors and locks fitted or within a proprietary steel security (or shipping) container, again having good quality locks. In doing so, it should be noted that enhanced physical security may only add significant security value if the area concerned has suitable manned or electronic security covering it and, in particular, its approaches.
Electronic Security Measures - Premises
Given sufficient attraction, thieves will often go to the trouble of overcoming physical security measures. In such circumstances electronic security devices, by potentially limiting the time available for attack, are a vital supplement. Depending upon whether you wish to install such systems to alert local personnel/guards or a remote monitoring centre, options include the installation of:
Security Measures - Equipment
Good procedural, physical and electronic security measures at premises may often provide a suitably robust line of defence, but security measures applied to particular pieces of equipment can provide effective additional security both whilst onsite and elsewhere. Options include:
Security Measures - Manned Guarding
At some premises the values at risk, or the critical effects of a loss, may suggest that in addition to some or all of the foregoing, a manned guarding presence is appropriate either during or outside business hours, or both.
When choosing a guarding company, National Security Inspectorate (NSI) or Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) listing is one of the best indicators of full compliance (supported by external auditing) with UK manned guarding (Security Industry Authority - SIA) licensing rules and good security practice, e.g. adherence to recognised British Standards. In the absence of NSI/SSAIB listing, membership of the Security Industry Authority (SIA) Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) is likely to indicate a fairly high degree of compliance with such standards.
Although it may sometimes be felt to conflict with cost effectiveness/operational convenience, at high risk sites care should be taken to ensure that guards are suitably protected against 'out of hours' duress, i.e. they are there in sufficient numbers to deter such attacks or otherwise that the premises have a suitable remotely monitored intruder/personal attack alarm or CCTV system. Furthermore, where guarded buildings have such electronic protection, the guards should be stationed outside the building(s) they are guarding and not hold keys &/or codes/unsetting devices that could enable them, under duress, to unset the electronic security systems. An alternative, or sometimes supplementary, safeguard in such situations is for the alarm/CCTV monitoring centre to be asked to monitor expected alarm setting/unsetting times and report deviations to suitable off-site response personnel.
Key Action Steps
Effective security is usually achieved only after considering the various risks faced and then implementing an appropriate set of complementary security measures so:
Sources of further information
Other 'Hardfacts' in the Property Protection Security series, which are available in our 'Knowledge Store' at www.aviva.co.uk/risksolutions
For access control, CCTV, intruder alarms and manned guarding:
- National Security Inspectorate (NSI). Tel 01628 637512 or see www.nsi.org.uk
- Security Systems & Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB). Tel 0191 296 3242 or see www.ssaib.org
- The Security Industry Authority - www.the-sia.org.uk
British Security Industry Association (BSIA). Tel 0845 389 3889 or see www.bsia.co.uk
MLA (Master Locksmiths Association). Tel 01327 262255 or see www.locksmiths.co.uk
This document contains general information and guidance and is not and should not be relied on as specific advice. The document may not cover every risk, exposure or hazard that may arise and Aviva recommend that you obtain specific advice relevant to the circumstances. AVIVA accepts no responsibility or liability towards any person who may rely upon this document.
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