Few words are used in the news lately more often than ‘security’. Whether it’s a trained nightwatchman guarding a business or an elite force putting their lives on the line to protect a city full of vulnerable people, sophisticated security solutions form a great part of the 21st Century zeitgeist.
But what about those in between? Who has taken upon themselves the responsibility to protect the protectors? Those in the business are constantly developing technologies and strategies to assist security officials at every level – from the humble bollard and turnstile to the more advanced perimeter solutions and surveillance systems – by aiming to prevent a potentially dangerous situation before it happens, and it’s proving to be a big (and vital) profession.
To understand just how important such aims and developments are to the economy, and to public security, Government Europa spoke to Paul McCoy, CEO of UK-based specialists McCoy Perimeter Solutions (MPS), for his thoughts on how a more sophisticated intruder warrants a sophisticated security solution.
What services does MPS provide?
MPS specialises in perimeter security systems throughout the UK. We work alongside many specialised experts – such as police officers, prison wardens and armed forces veterans – within the security industry to provide all aspects of intruder detection to suit individual requirements. We are dedicated to providing the best and most sophisticated security solutions to deter intruders and identify any vulnerable areas, utilising all of this diverse expertise.
The supply and instalment of tailor-made perimeter systems that suit each client’s requirements is a particular specialisation for MPS. These include:
- Road blockers;
- Electric fencing;
- CCTV; and
- Access control.
We pride ourselves on providing the best and most cost-efficient systems for our customers. Our main area of expertise, which is electric fencing, offers several options of system provider, including NEMTEK, which has proven to be both innovative and of great quality throughout the world.
In what ways has a classic system such as the electric fence evolved to deter sophisticated would-be intruders?
Electric fences (that is, a specialised, non-lethal electric security system) are part of a powerful perimeter intruder detection system (PIDS) which can be connected to any existing perimeter fence, or used as a stand-alone deterrent. The obvious physical presence of an electric fence, with its bright yellow warning signs, is visually off-putting to any potential intruder and represents a potent front-line deterrent with a non-lethal, controlled, high-voltage electric shock.
It works by using a specially manufactured controller, which continuously monitors the perimeter and sounds an alarm when pre-programmed conditions (such as a physical breach, for example) are met.
The high-voltage pulse is less than one thousandth of a second in duration, which is part of the reason why electric fence controllers have an impeccable safety record, and why this technology is often referred to as a ‘non-lethal’ security option. All controllers are manufactured to exceed European standards, as well as those of other countries around the world.
Some key features of the more developed electric fence system include:
- A visual and physical intruder deterrent;
- Shock, voltage and alarm monitoring;
- ‘Cut-and-climb’ monitoring;
- An interface with standard security equipment;
- Easy operation and maintenance;
- Safety and cost-efficiency; and
- Integration into other barrier systems
Who benefits from electrified perimeter solutions?
Electrified security systems have been installed throughout the world for many years. Originally designed to keep livestock from straying, manufacturers saw the potential to provide effective perimeter solutions and site security elsewhere. Indeed, electrified systems are part of a raft of sophisticated security solutions which are suitable for a broad spectrum of applications, including:
- Military forces bases and Ministry of Defence sites throughout the world;
- Airports and border controls;
- Correctional facilities;
- Warehousing and logistics;
- Home security and private compounds;
- Supermarkets; and
- Essential services such as gas, water and power plants.
These are just some features, but there are many more to suit all requirements.
Is the private/domestic sector experiencing higher demand for advanced perimeter solutions?
Demand for aesthetically appealing automated gate designs in private, domestic properties has always been high, as people like their homes to look nice, as well as safe. However, there are many different reasons MPS’ clients get in touch, and with more than 20 years’ experience in the security business, we have manufactured and installed many perimeter solutions and security systems for domestic and commercial properties across the UK.
We have worked with many professionals across the industry, so we have a wide range of contacts for every requirement, including domestic and home security experts who rely on us to provide and install solutions they can depend on. A friendly and honest service is central to what we do – whether it’s in the home or at work.
McCoy Perimeter Solutions provides service coverage 365 days of the year and we have a team of highly trained professionals who can provide expert security fence installations, for every specification and requirement.
In what other ways does an electrified perimeter benefit the user and how can situations such as false alarms be reduced, or altogether avoided?
In many cases, there are few manufacturers of systems who provide long product warranties for their equipment, as these systems have a very long operational life if maintained correctly. We undertake servicing, repairs, call-outs and installations on all types of security fences, providing affordable services with no hidden costs, as well as financing. We strongly recommend that the best form of perimeter security is to protect by use of an electric fence system, and the best way to install would be from the design stage.
However, as many businesses with perimeter boundaries installed already exist, many electric fence systems must be retro-fitted on to these existing borders. Although they have historically been – and in many cases, still are – great perimeter detection systems, none are more efficient and effective as both a physical and visual deterrent than an electric fence.
To enable a total point-to-point detection system and secure attempted intrusion identification abilities, there are very few manufacturers available. These abilities form part of a system that bolts on to and works in line with the electric fence – and is not affected by the system’s voltages, unlike other systems on the market, which results in fewer false alarms.
As an installer of such sophisticated security solutions, we would prefer no false alarms at all; any detected alarms must be caused by an action such as a genuine intrusion rather than by a system failure or incompetent installation. Only certified and time-served lead installers should be employed, regardless of which manufactured system has been used. Failure to enlist the services of professional installers like MPS has resulted in many cases of severe damage to the electric fence industry.
Once installed and maintained correctly, the electric fence is an unstoppable form of perimeter defence. It is easily controlled and monitored, allowing the user to focus on their own work duties, as the system does not require any attention until there is an alarm condition. This would also trigger other, connected equipment, such as a camera or a network of cameras, to provide a visual of the affected area.
Finally, how are these systems contributing to preventing the very real and present threat of terrorism, and how will they continue to do so in the future?
These systems are both a physical and visual deterrent and, unlike most alarm systems (e.g. CCTV systems) which require a certain number of triggers before a threat is determined, they have a very fast response time – notifying the security official when an attack is in progress, rather than after an attack has happened.
They are also of benefit to the user, who would have previously needed to continually monitor earlier systems. On the other hand, an electric fence system, once installed and correctly maintained, has zero false alarms. It can be left to run in the background with absolutely no monitoring required and takes approximately three to four seconds (depending on the system used) to alert the security official.
Furthermore, not only can it be used as a stand-alone system, it can connect with any other monitoring system used today, as these technologies have relays that can be programmed to any scenario.
Electric fence systems have been proven around the world to reduce potential attacks due to their unique designs and are more cost-effective in the long run, as each unit has the equivalent power usage of a standard light bulb. In short, an electric fence system has many functions for any usage and can be adapted and installed anywhere.