Vacant Property Security

An image of a vacant building site where property is being built.

What is a vacant property?

In summary, a vacant property can be described as any property that isn’t occupied for any period of time but this can comprise of anything from an unoccupied residential property to a large disused commercial site made up of multiple units. Naturally, given that the properties are empty, this makes them a particular target for an array criminal activity.

Regardless of the size of the property it’s in the landlord interest to evaluate the increased risks involved while their property remains empty or disused. If the property has no security measures in place, this may assist and lead to a host of criminal activities such as: theft, vandalism, arson and squatting, all of which will incur growing and endless expense to the owner/property manager.

Although the costs involved in securing your vacant property may seem like an unnecessary expense initially, these cannot and should not outweigh the importance of doing so to prevent crime from occurring in the first instance. Statistics of crimes carried out to vacant properties in England and Wales show the extent of the problem:

• Vandalism-  £500m per annum
• Metal Theft- £770m per annum
• Squatters – 100,000 reported incidents
• Fly-tipping – 1300 reported incidents

How Can You Secure a Property?

As with all crime, the most effective way to stop the crime is to prevent it from happening in the first instance: Preventive measures such as fencing, boarding, bollards and security signage will all act as a deterrent as they make the property less of an easy target to the criminal and will work well to deter petty crimes.

Alarms and CCTV can offer additional security that should someone enter the perimeter of the property, they will instantly be challenged by either an alarm siren or from a control room operative monitoring the CCTV systems. Should the crime persist a designated key holder or the authorities can be notified to attend the scene. In addition, CCTV footage can then be used as evidence at a later date.

Physical Security is arguably the most effective form of crime prevention. Having a physical presence not only deters criminals to start with, but also means a presence is on hand to challenge and act upon any pending criminal activity as it happens. There are a number of ways you can include physical security on your sites:

• Manned Guarding

24 hour guarding to ensure that there is always manned cover at the site. Whilst this is more commonly used for larger sites, it is effective in all scenarios to have a physical presence on-site at all times.

• Mobile Patrols/inspections

Not all sites require 24 hour manned guarding, and in such instances, mobile patrols can offer a strong physical presence by carrying out daily, weekly or monthly property inspections at your request. The operative will perform regular checks of both the perimeter and inside the property and report any signs of criminal activity.

• Alarm Response and Key Holding

Knowing you will have an immediate response to your premises once the alarm has been sounded can provide you with great peace of mind.

Here at Umbrella Security Services, we can offer you a bespoke security solution tailored to your specific needs at a cost that suits your budget. We have full SIA Approved Contractor status and all our operatives are fully insured and screened to British standards BS7858, 7960, 7499 and possess vital conflict resolution and customer care security experience. If you would like any further information or a non-obligatory quote on securing your property and/or site. Please contact Phil Woodhouse on 07467 828 466 or

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