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Police Stations using Silver Fox copycat methods to improve their own security

The Daily Mail reported last Saturday (7th March 2010) that Police Stations, recognised by the Police themselves as being comparatively easy to break and enter into, have been using Undercover Officers, pretending to be burglars, to test their security at all hours of the day and night.

The squad of Undercover Officers apparently claimed a success rate of 100% on breaking and entering at least six police buildings. Essex Police Federation leader Mark Smith reportedly admitted that he was disappointed at the security lapses but added “I am glad the shortcomings have been identified and can now be addressed-frankly I’d rather we tested security and found the failings than it happened for real”.

Well done, Mr Smith—we wholeheartedly agree with you. FM Contract Watch have been saying this for years and encouraging the manned security industry to use the high profile “Silver Fox” Audit service to give real comfort to clients (and we believe also the Senior Management of Contract Security Companies) that the service being provided on the ground is actually capable of meeting the threat of unauthorised entry by undesirable individuals.

The Silver Fox Audit Programme strikes at the very heart of the problem. In providing independent on-site audits, at any time of the day or night and without any prior warning, it eliminates the chance of the audit being stage managed. As soon as a Supervisor tells a duty security team that they may get a visit in the middle of the night, they raise the state of readiness of that team, but probably only for that night. The value of the independent team is that it could happen 365 days a year and the benefit is clear for all to see.

We really wish that the insurance industry would get more behind The Silver Fox concept by offering attractive discounts to contract companies which regularly involve such testing. More than that we would like to see the Security Industry Authority’s (SIA) Approved Contractor Scheme place a much more significant emphasis within its annual scoring system to benefit companies who regularly involve independent audits to help improve security on their client’s premises.

These are very troubled times in which we live, so any contractor who takes the initiative in trying to improve the quality of manned security services being provided to their clients deserves to be applauded. We repeat our congratulations for the initiative shown by Mr Smith—quite simply if the Police feel that it is a necessary precaution in today’s world, then surely you must feel the same.

For further details on The Silver Fox Project please contact Lynda Moore on 01844 260350 or e-mail [email protected]