An intruder alert at a Hampshire school triggered a major rethink…and a call to RG Security.
Private secondary school in Hampshire
Almost a century old, the school is situated in densely-wooded grounds on the fringes of the New Forest and provides a home-from-home to more than 200 students.
Since the nearest village a couple of miles off, pupils at the school have traditionally been afforded considerable freedom in exploring the local countryside, and a certain relaxed attitude has become an integral part of the school’s ethos. But the growth in overseas admissions which has taken place over the past decade has been accompanied by increasing concerns over security. These came to a head in 2020, when an intruder was detected in an outbuilding.
Fortunately, the perpetrator was quickly apprehended through the actions of a quick-thinking teaching assistant and the presence of a local squad car. But the police who carried out the follow-up visit discovered that the intruder had ‘staked out’ the school over a period of weeks.
Clearly, if further lockdowns were to be avoided, the school would need to reconsider its approach to security.
In November 2020, the Acting Head approached RG Security.
A local parent had recommended us in the course of an informal discussion, and our SIA Approval and full accreditation served to reinforce the positive account she had given - as did the fact that our initial consultation was completely free.
Those recommendations included:
Repair and renewal of the school’s existing brick-and-flint wall, reinforced by additional chainlink fencing with anti-climb paint at vulnerable sections.
Installation of metal bars in all ground-floor windows
Centrally-administered locks on all outbuildings and storage facilities.
Upgraded lighting with motion sensors.
An extensive cloud-enabled CCTV system with more than 30 cameras under the remote supervision of RG Security.
Access controls administered by the school reception, with mandatory ID checks, sign in / out for all visitors, and name badges for all the adults on site.
The school implemented every one of RG’s recommendations. The Acting Head subsequently commented that RG’s knowledge of Data Protection and GDPR issues had been critical in getting the CCTV system up and running quickly and with minimal negative impact.
The arrival of a ‘new regime’ at the school was signalled by arrival on-site of mobile patrols who walked off the perimeter at half-hourly intervals for several weeks – and the closure of a number of long-established ‘gaps in the fence’.
Once the new routines had been established, the patrols passed responsibility for security back to the school’s own team, although an alarm response team remained on-call.
Almost a year has passed since the end of the school’s lockdown, and RG Security remains closely engaged with the school.
We’ve maintained a 100% effectiveness record, with no more unauthorised visitors or thefts of school equipment. More to the point, staff are now much more confident about responding to security threats.
RG Security has impacted life at the school in a good way!