ISJ Exclusive: Protecting key workers on the front line

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Stewart Plant, Director of Marketing at CLD Fencing Systems discusses the formation of a new national initiative to protect key front line services in the UK as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

What is the COVID-19 Rapid Response Physical Perimeter Security Team (RRPST)?

When the COVID-19 crisis started we were working on a number of projects with the military and NHS. It became apparent that with the establishment of temporary hospitals and the influx of patients, the physical security of the NHS and supplies was at stake. Speaking with our Approved Contractor Network (ACS) members, we were able to form together a task force to respond 24 hours a day to any front line service in the UK.

Is there really a need for one?

It has been really surprising the uptake in the first 24 hours alone. We have seen opportunist thieves attacking NHS supplies and stealing oxygen canisters. Other trusts have reported people trying to gain entry to hospitals to steal drugs, even disguising themselves as medical staff. The military and NHS are at full stretch so we have been able to help alleviate this by offering a single point of sourcing for supply and installation.

With numbers rising across the United Kingdom, how are you able to deal with this?

Back in 2019, we launched our new Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS). These companies are independent fencing contractors who have signed up to a code of practice that sees them providing the highest levels of service.

Located across the length and breadth of the UK, they have agreed to support the team by installing a range of temporary solutions.

But how will temporary solutions protect the front line services?

As the only company that is able to offer a temporary solution with the same protection as a permanent fence, we have made our entire stock of temporary fencing and gates available to the RRPST. This means that over 100km of fencing can be deployed at short notice.

The FenceSafe range includes the only LPS 1175 SR1 and Secured by Design temporary fence. Offering a minimum delay against attack of 60 seconds, the FenceSafe SR1 is a front line temporary fencing solution.

But, as well as this, we have accelerated our R&D processes and made available our new adaptive security system, MODSEC. MODSEC offers foundation free installation of a vehicle deterrent concrete block with a range of fencing options on the top of it. Truly unique, it can be deployed to provide a fully secure perimeter against the most determined criminal.

front line
Stewart Plant

Aside from front line services what else will the RRPST be doing?

Our priority is front line services but we have also seen a demand for vacant premises protection and securing of assets. Only this week a museum in Amsterdam had a Van Gogh stolen. Organisations are already reporting that criminals are attempting forced entry to gain access to the empty offices in London.

The teams are working 24/7 to assist in putting together packages to support the physical security across the whole of the UK.

How do you keep the teams safe?

When the crisis started, we moved all non-essential staff to working from home. Thankfully we had a robust crisis response plan in place to do this already. Our manufacturing site is reviewed constantly and all areas have been marked out to make sure that all staff are at least a minimum of 2m away from each other at all time.

The ACS have their own Site Operating Procedure’s (SOPs) to keep installers separated. This has been increased with the design of the FenceSafe system that allows single man installation as well.

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