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Not a riot for FMs

11 August 2011

The riots that started in London last weekend (6th August 2011) and have since spread to many other English cities, have consequences beyond replacing windows!

"The shocking scenes we have seen of looted shops and businesses burnt to the ground show that normal security measures are just not enough in these dangerous times,” said Mark Cosh, European director at property and people protection experts SitexOrbis. “All facilities managers running properties from council offices and public buildings to shops and offices should review their buildings’ security and look to take advice in areas under threat. We have already seen looters breaking through traditional wood boarding to re-enter premises which were deemed secure after an initial intrusion.”

SitexOrbis has had a busy 48 hours helping organisations to deal with the riots affecting London and other major cities including Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol. The firm is helping businesses to install temporary steel protection and robust steel doors on the front and rear of buildings until the threat of riot reduces. “This must be supported by increased staff awareness and security patrols, installing temporary cameras where power is now damaged to catch images of any perpetrators,” said Cosh.

He also called on organisations to consider improving the protection offered to their people. Those organisations employing people working alone in urban areas have a legal responsibility to ensure their safety under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007. Simple mobile-based technology such as a dedicated speed dial set up on a standard mobile phone linking through to an alarm response centre will provide an increased level of safety. “Organisations need to be aware that if one of their employees is caught up in the violence and they have done nothing to protect them, they could be at risk of a fine, or worse. Changing work patterns during the disturbances or using simple mobile based support can help to alleviate the risk,” he said.

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