The pandemic has meant there’s been no such thing as ‘business as usual’ this year and we are no exception.
As a result of COVID19 and the work from home mandates, many sites have been left vacant and the demand for CCTV monitoring services and intruder and fire alarm monitoring has grown. Sites that were ordinarily being monitored overnight and at weekends were often monitored 24/7.
We’ve seen an increase in petty theft incidents, particularly on construction sites. This is likely due to a combination of sites being unattended, as many workers were furloughed or construction was paused, and there being supply chain issues experienced by construction material providers.
Through the easing of lockdowns, there has been a consistent shift in customers’ requirements and their perception of CCTV monitoring has changed. Those who had perhaps been resistant to change had their hand forced when it was either not safe or not practical to have manned security presence on site, either because of economic drivers or because of manpower challenges.
As businesses have been under mounting financial pressures, we’ve seen a greater migration from manned guarding to CCTV monitoring services which has generated significant cost savings for clients. Our security savings calculator has proven very popular this year. CCTV monitoring services have also relieved some of the burden of security recruitment difficulties.
Continuous improvement in AI and deep learning software has resulted in CCTV monitoring technology being more accurate and reducing the number of false alarms. This increased confidence means it has become a more attractive option.
COP26, which took place only a few miles from the Corps Monitoring Centre in Glasgow, focussed minds about how we can all conduct ourselves and our business in a more sustainable manner. The use of appropriate monitoring technology in place of mobile patrols, or manned guards who must travel to sites every day, has an instrumental part to play in reducing the carbon footprint of the security industry.
For us, the launch of our Corps Secure reporting portal in mid-2021 has given our customers a powerful view of their security operations– providing a real-time dashboard overview of their monitored sites, backed up by the ability to drill down to granular detail like where incidents have been identified or to see billing information. This functionality and level of transparency is unique in our sector and has been well received by our customers.
Electronic security has certainly proved its worth in terms of reliance and cost savings during the pandemic and it’s a ‘go to’ now for many businesses looking to secure premises whether they are occupied or vacant, and save costs.
The significant uplifts in the Government’s National Living Wage rates, as well as a 1.25% increase in National Insurance contributions for both employers and employees will without doubt mean that many more organisations will re-examine how security is delivered to their business. It’s highly likely that the increase in wage-related costs, along with the industry-wide challenge of the security labour shortage will result in more companies opting for an integrated security model utilising a blend of manned security backed up by robust technology.
The reduction in the number of manned security hours delivered provides cost savings which enable customers to reinvest back into their staff by improving pay rates and ensuring more fruitful recruitment and retention rates, whilst improving the overall effectiveness of their security model.
The UK’s public switched telephone network (PSTN) will be switched off in 2025 and every phone line in the UK will be digital routing all calls over Internet Protocol. This affects businesses and homes and doesn’t just affect phone lines either. It affects everything connected to PSTN or ISDN lines like alarms, EPOS machines, door entry systems, CCTV, and faxes. Everybody will need to prepare for this so this will generate a flurry of activity for the security monitoring sector in 2022 as people prepare. As a remote monitoring company, we are ready to provide all the support and guidance our clients need.
Looking ahead, 2022 is already set to be a busy year and change is a given. Our learnings over the past 18 months have made us ever more resilient as a business. Our senior management team is always thinking outside the box and looking for ways to innovate and challenge the status quo in remote monitoring. 2022 will be no exception.