Wireless alarm system vs hard wired alarms… Which alarm system is best for you?

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Wireless Alarm System

If you are thinking of having a burglar alarm installed in your home then you will have been faced with the dilemma of whether to go with a wireless alarm system or a hard wired system. In this post we take a look at the pros and cons of each so that you can make an informed decision on your purchase.

What is a wireless alarm? As the name suggests they are intruder alarms that run from a battery and aren’t wired into the main electrics of your house. Hard wired systems on the other hand are connected to the main electricity supply.

Both types play the same role in crime prevention by detecting any movement in your home and sounding the alarm if they detect an intruder. Wireless alarms are much easier to install as they don’t require any specialist knowledge in electronics whereas hard wired alarms must be installed by a qualified electrician. The purchase price of hard wired alarms is usually lower but when you factor in the labour costs for the installation then wireless alarms become considerably cheaper.

There is also the problem of the wires themselves. They can be unsightly and unwanted, especially when you have the option of a completely wireless alternative. Nobody likes to see wires everywhere.

Wireless intruder alarms have a bad reputation for ‘false alarming’. This is no longer a problem as technology has advanced over the years the wireless systems are much more reliable than they used to be and it can’t really be held against them any longer. That being said, hard wired systems are incredibly reliable and always have been so they probably win this particular battle. 

What if you want to extend your alarm? Well if you have a hard wired system this can be a real problem. For example you want to place a motion detector in an outbuilding next to your house you would literally have to run cables underground to the outbuilding to connect it to the main panel. This is obviously a hassle. The opposite is true for wireless systems, just connect the new detector to the alarm system remotely, program the zone type and it’s good to go.

Hard wired alarms tend not to have a running cost as far as maintenance is concerned. The batteries in a wireless alarm system must be changed every couple of years or so.

To conclude, in a domestic property a wireless alarm system is a fantastic way to protect your home as they are reliable, aesthetically pleasing, easy to install and usually cheaper. However, in an industrial or commercial unit a hard wired system can be a better option as the aesthetics aren’t usually a consideration.    

If you are still undecided you could always go for a hybrid alarm which (you guessed it) are a combination of a hard wired unit with additional wireless zones.

 

Why not try our security service finder tool to receive up to three quotes from NSI accredited alarm fitters near you.

5 Steps of K9 Security Training

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Whether they’re on their own or with a trained handler, security dogs are a powerful deterrent. The thought of being stared down by a 7 stone alsatian is enough to make even the most hardened criminal think twice.

 

K9 security is becoming more popular in the UK, so we decided to take a look at how these impressive animals are trained, and it can be broken down into five steps.

 

Obedience

In a high pressure situation, it’s crucial that any guard dog listens and follows its handler’s instructions. Obedience comes from extensive training with a handler, using tried and tested techniques to build trust and a bond between the dog and his trainer. The trainer must motivate and challenge their security dog, ensuring that when a real life confrontation arises, the dog can follow instructions and defuse the situation.

 

Structure

Much like humans, dogs are creatures of habit and routine. Having a defined and structured training schedule is essential when training a dog for security. This means have set rules and tasks that progress over time, allowing the dog to develop.

 

Fun

Despite many misconceptions, most guard dogs are like any other dog in terms of temperament and mentality away from training and working conditions. Making sure that a dog is happy and enjoying his training is key, both for his/her future work and homelife. Overcoming a challenge and having a purpose is something that dogs love, and it motivates them to achieve more in their training.

 

Rewards

Hard work is it’s own reward they say. Well, that’s not true if you’re a guard dog in training. Rewards are a huge part of all dog training. Using food and toys to recognise that a trainee security dog has done well is key, and acts as a great driver of a dog’s desire to achieve more and more.

 

Socialisation

Although guard dogs have to look and sometimes act in an aggressive manner in their place of work, they also need to be trusted to behave like any other family pet away from work. This is why social training is hugely important for any trainee dog. It’s not a positive trait for a guard dog to be wary all the time, this could lead to problems further down the line. It must be remembered that control is the key, not aggression.

If you need a guard dog to protect your business, use our service finder tool to find suitable K9 security companies in your area.

Violent crime is up a huge 24% in England and Wales but can we believe the statistics?

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Violent Crime UK

A new report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed that violent crime has risen 24% in England and Wales. Can we really trust the official crime statistics and are the streets safe to walk on?

Crime rates have been falling steadily throughout the UK for a number of years now but every so often there are scary headlines suggesting the streets of England and Wales are crime-ridden hell holes.

Official crime statistics based on recorded crime can sometimes be dubious to say the least. As new Police policies and crime recording procedures come into effect it can have a huge impact on the ‘numbers’.

The new figures show a 9% rise in knife crime, a 7% rise in gun crime, a 14% increase in the number of reported rapes and other sexual offences and a 20% increase in the number of murders. The increase in murders will have been affected by the decision to include the deaths of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.

In recent years there has been a huge push from the Police top-brass to record all reports of a crime regardless of initial evidence at the time of reporting. This has put a stop to incidents being dealt with by Police in a less formal manner.

These improved crime recording practices will have pushed up all recorded crime across the board.  

However, this doesn’t mean that the sole reason for the upward trend in violent crime is down to Police procedure. Speaking to the Guardian, John Flatley of the ONS said, “The latest figures present a complex picture, with the crime survey for England and Wales estimating similar levels of violent crime to that seen in recent years, but the number of offences recorded by the police increasing”.

However, Flatley continued by stating that the figures do include “a small but genuine increase in some categories of violent crime”. As Police were recording gun crime and knife crime on almost every occasion these types of crime would remain largely unaffected by the Policy changes.

To conclude, it is safe to walk to your local shop for a pint of milk but there may be some worrying signs in relation to a substantial and genuine increase in both gun crime (5,244) and knife crime (29,306) across England and Wales.

If you are concerned about crime in your area please feel free to get in touch and we can offer advice on ways to improve your home security.

What You Need To Become A Security Guard

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Despite some common misconceptions, a career as a security guard can be very fulfilling. Trained guards can have the opportunity to work all across the world, and experience life within a wide range of important industries.

 

The opportunities for career development are also vast within the security service field, with many senior managers of large security companies having worked their way up from frontline security guarding roles.

 

But before you start your journey into the world of security guarding, there are a few things you need to do.

 

Ask yourself: Am I cut out for this?

The stereotype of a security guard is a lazy, brutish chap who sits around all day glancing at the CCTV monitors between naps. That may have been true once upon a time, but it certainly isn’t the case now. A security guard can find themselves in many challenging and difficult situations. Also, the hours can be long and the shifts antisocial. So you do need to consider the impact of a security guarding role on your life and decide whether or not it is right for you.

 

Get licensed

Not that long ago, anyone could apply to work in the front line security industry without the need to prove their suitability for the role. Nowadays, however, all front line security industry workers must have a licence from the Security Industry Authority (SIA). The SIA is a government backed organisation that regulates the security industry and issues licences for guarding, CCTV monitoring, close protection, door supervision and other front line roles. To obtain a security guarding licence from the SIA, you must first pass a CRB check, then pass a training course that covers various aspects of security guarding duties. You can use our Service Finder Tool to find approved SIA training providers in your area.

 

Get Vetted

If going through the SIA training and suitability procedures wasn’t enough, many security companies now have their own vetting process which you must pass before being offered your chosen role. Most of these vetting processes involve checking things like work eligibility, address history, work history and financial records. These checks may seem a little excessive, but considering the kinds of working environments you may find yourself in, they are necessary. So make sure you have all your records and relevant paperwork available and up to date before contacting potential employers and applying for security guarding jobs.

 

Consider getting other skills and training

The list of industries that require security guards is long and varied. This means that many guards are required to have skills and qualification over and above a licence from the SIA. The skills and qualifications most in demand from potential employers are first aid qualifications, health and safety qualifications and driving skills (full UK driving licence with minimal penalty points). So to give yourself the best chance of landing one of the best and highest paid roles within the security guarding sector, it may be worth obtaining more skills before applying.

Conman duped vulnerable victims into buying ‘useless’ burglar alarm systems

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Bristol Alarm Conman

A Bristolian business man has been sentenced to five years in prison for trading monitored burglar alarms that were completely useless.

Daniel Rivers, 34, of Weston-Super-Mare headed up a company called Approved Home Business Group Ltd and ‘preyed’ on vulnerable victims by having cold-callers visit them at home and providing them with false crime statistics. Rivers’ company had been using high-pressure sales tactics to con people into buying the faulty home intruder alarms.

The defendant had even used logos of security industry accreditation bodies on his advertising materials without actually being approved by those organisations.

Rivers made £230,000.00 in just under a year by using these dishonest business tactics.

The jury at Bristol Crown Court found him guilty of 12 charges. Sentencing Judge Michael Longman disqualified Rivers from being a company director for eight years.

Alan Fuller, prosecuting, told Bristol Crown Court that Rivers was the sole director of the company and therefore the responsibility lay with him. Mr Fuller said: “The company’s sales team would either cold call by telephone or knocking on the door. Having done that they would offer a free monitored alarm.

“But the monitored alarms were not free – and that was just the start of the dishonest practices. Those that agreed were more often than not subjected to lengthy, highly pressurized sales tactics.

“Salesmen made exaggerated claims about the nature and speed of the response and many customers thought security or even the police would be at their homes within minutes after the alarms were activated.”

Rivers’ customers were contracted to pay between £2000 and £4500 for their alarm monitoring services which, at first, were being outsourced at a cost of £30 a year. But soon after the customers’ alarms were not being monitored at all. Several alarm activations did not trigger a response.

When the disgruntled customers tried to contact AHBG Ltd, they discovered that the Weston company had moved premises, leaving absolutely no contact details.

Mr Fuller said some customers were not informed that they were paying 23p every time they set their house alarm, and also when it was deactivated on their return.

The court heard that after AHBG Ltd ceased trading, Rivers formed another company, Homeguard UK, providing driveway and roof cleaning services, where his dishonest business practices continued.

Jean Scantlebury was quoted £2,899 for her alarm in July 2013 and a salesman came round a short time later.

She paid the company a £1,600 deposit and agreed to pay the rest in installments She told the jury she was under the impression that the alarm would be monitored and the Police would be alerted if the alarm was activated. After a power cut in May 2014, she needed to reset the alarm but was unable to contact Rivers’ security firm.

An experienced security alarm fitter came round to look at it and discovered that the alarm was not connected to anyone or being monitored at all.

Stories like this highlight the need to do some real due diligence prior to hiring a company to conduct any security work in your home or business. Find Security Services only provide quotes from genuine, accredited security service providers in your area.  

8 ways to make your home completely burglar proof

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Make Your Home Completely Burglar Proof

It’s something we’ve all dreaded at one time or another. Waking up in a morning to realise that your home has been broken into. It’s not just the financial cost of the stolen items that has to be considered but also the emotional strain this can place on a person and the invasion of privacy and feeling of insecurity in your own home. To stop this from ever happening to you we have compiled a list of 8 things that you can do to make your home completely ‘burglar proof’.

 

1. Intruder Alarm System

Probably the most obvious choice is to have a burglar alarm installed. These devices can act as a deterrent to the would-be burglar on sight. If noticing the alarm doesn’t scare them off then the sound of it surely will. Some companies also offer a monitoring and response service where they will alert the local law enforcement to your property.

 

2. CCTV Systems

This can also act as a deterrent; as we all know the prevention is better than the cure. CCTV or Closed Circuit Television can also be a vital tool in collating evidence against intruders to form a successful prosecution later down the line. Advances in technology have made HD Surveillance Cameras readily available at a reasonable price. If you don’t want to spend too much money then you could opt for dummy cameras to try and scare them off. Which.com have given some advice on which type of CCTV system they think is best.

 

3. Dog

The old classic. Dogs are a tried and tested protector of their territory. A large dog with an even larger bark will put off even the most hardened criminal from breaking in to your house. No burglar wants to have to put up with a dog and even a ‘beware of the dog’ sign can be enough to deter them from entering. 

 

4. Security Gate

Deterring burglary at your home is all about making it as hard as possible for the offender to gain entry to the point that it just isn’t worth it for them. Security gates are a great way of keeping unwanted people out of your driveway and can make it difficult to make a quick escape if your alarm disturbs them (or even better, your dog). The price range can vary greatly depending on the type of gate you choose. Here’s a great guide to buying electronic security gates for your home by AGD Systems.

 

5. Security Windows

Windows are often used as a point of entry for intruders and can be hard to make secure. Window alarms are a great way of alerting the homeowner to a break in. Reinforced glass in windows can also be a good option as it is incredibly difficult to break. This means the burglar has to make a lot of noise to break through it which increases the likelihood of them being disturbed and ultimately leaving empty handed.

 

6. Security Doors

There are all sorts of different security doors and locks on the market such as ‘fear-free’ doors which have locks all the way around the edge of the door. There are also different locks that can be purchased that prevent the lock being snapped off such as the anti-snap lock cylinder. The Master Locksmiths Association have some advice on preventing these types of burglaries. Always look for the MLA logo when choosing a locksmith.

7. Speaking to your neighbours

If you are going away on holiday it is always wise to speak to a trusted neighbour and ask them to keep an eye on your property. One big pitfall that people often fall foul of is posting on social media that you are going away on holiday. News travels fast and it can be all too easy for this information to fall into the wrong hands.

8. Be careful who you let in

This one is often over-looked but can be one of the most important pieces of information when talking about burglary prevention. Not all burglars wear a mask and a stripey top. A very common form of burglaries in the UK are distraction type offences. Offenders will pose as tradesmen, door to door sales people or anything else they can think of. While they are ‘distracting’ you an accomplice will sneak in the back door and remove the goods. This can happen to anybody and requires an acute awareness of what is going on around you. Always be skeptical of cold callers at your door and ALWAYS ask for identification. 

 

Written for Find Security Services

5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Alarm Response

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5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Alarm Response Security

Being woken up in the middle of the night and told that there is an issue with your business alarm system is not a nice thing, especially if you have to go down to your office, factory, warehouse etc and deal with the issue yourself.

 

This is why alarm response is a very popular security service. How it works is very simple: If your alarm activates, goes into fault or looses signal to the monitoring station, a response officer will be dispatched to check your premises and resolve any security issues he/she may find.

 

There are many benefits to a service like this, so here are 5 reasons why your business needs alarm response.

 

1: Peace of mind

Security is all about peace of mind, knowing that your business, home, family, vehicle etc is being looked after when you’re not there is what the industry is built upon. Using an alarm response service means that you can go to bed knowing that whatever happens during the night, a trained security officer is going to be able to attend your premises to make sure that it remains secure in your absence.

 

2: Fixing faults

Modern alarm systems are usually very reliable, but occasionally faults and signal loss do happen. If they happens during the night, you can rely on an alarm response service to call out engineers and liaise with your monitoring station to ensure that all technical issues are resolved.

 

3: Repairing damage

Damage to doors, windows, alarm equipment and CCTV equipment are all very common when a premises has been broken into. Alarm response companies have lists of approved contractors and can swiftly arrange repairs for any damage.

 

4: Allowing access to the police

A “confirmed” alarm activation is when two or more motion detectors or door contacts have been triggered within a short period of time. This indicates movement within the premises. Confirmed activations are far less likely to be false alarms, and monitoring stations often inform the police so that they can respond quickly to catch intruders. Having an alarm response service means that you can have a keyholder on site to allow access to the police and other emergency services.

 

5: It’s cost-effective

The cost and pricing structure of alarm response services differs from one company to the next. However, most offer both all inclusive and pay per callout options. This means that you can have security for your premises throughout the night without the costs of employing a full time guard. Also, alarm response services can be less expensive than having monitored CCTV or mobile patrols.

Use our service finder tool now to get quotes from some of the best alarm response service providers in the UK.

The Best Ways to Protect a Vacant Property

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The Best Ways To Protect a Vacant Property

In an ideal world landlords would have all of their properties occupied all of the time. Unfortunately, this can’t always be the case and when a property does become vacant, landlords are left with a lot to think about. How to get a new tenant as soon as possible is obviously top of the list, but the security of the premises should also be a high priority.

Thieves and vandals prey on vacant properties. They understand that valuables are often left behind, that pipes, wiring and furnishings are usually left in place and that the chances of them being disturbed are minimal.

Find Security Services has come up with a list of options for landlords to consider when wanting to protect a vacant property:

Security Guard:

This is the oldest and probably the best way of protecting large vacant properties. Having one or multiple guards patrolling and monitoring a premises is a big deterrent to thieves and trespassers.

 

Mobile Patrols:

Mobile patrols are an excellent way of protecting any property. Having someone check the premises externally and/or internally on a regular basis will highlight any changes or unusual activity and is more cost effective than having a full time guard.

Installing a Temporary Alarm System:

Unlike regular alarm systems, temporary alarm systems run on batteries and are quick to install and remove. Temporary alarm systems can still be monitored and are great for residential properties that may not have a system already installed.

 

Bollards:

Vacant business premises with large entry points intended for lorries and vans attract travellers. Criminals are also attracted to this type of premises because they can use a vehicle. Using bollards and other physical structures to block entry points is cost effective and a strong deterrent.

 

Shutters and Grills:

Covering windows and doors with shutters or grills will not make a premises look more attractive, but it will protect a building’s vulnerable access points.

 

Vacant Property Inspections:

Many security companies now offer vacant property inspections. Landlords can specify which areas need particular attention and receive regular reports.

 

Employing a Vacant Property Management Company:

If a landlord has multiple vacant properties and requires a variety of services, then employing a vacant property management company could be the best option. Vacant property management companies specialise in building security, but can also offer other property services.

 

Find Security Services covers all aspects of the security industry, and you can find all the services listed above by using our service finder tool.

Does Size Really Matter? What are the differences between the large and small security service providers and which is best for you?

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Small Security Guard

It’s hard to think of an industry which doesn’t have large, international companies and small, localised competitors. Whether it’s a family run convenience store down the street from a large supermarket, or a Ford dealership opposite a guy selling cars out of his driveway.

You don’t need to look hard to notice the differences between large multinationals and small businesses. Whilst one has a whole accountancy department, the other does the books around the dinner table in the evening. One puts an advert in the local paper, whereas the other has television commercials screened all over the world. One buys stock by the million, the other by the dozen.

But which provides the best service, price, product or quality? Well, that’s an argument as old as industry itself.

The security industry has a handful of very large players, some of which are household names and inevitably come out on top in Google searches. But there are many more smaller companies out there offering high quality services. So instead of asking which is the best, what you should really be asking is: Which is right for me?

Find Security Services has compiled a list of key performance areas when looking to take on a service provider, and some of the potential benefits of small and large companies:

 

Coverage:

This is obviously an area which favours the large service providers. If your business is national, or indeed international, and working with a single security company is important to you, whether it be for your alarm systems, guarding, physical security or anything else, then a large security service provider will be better suited to your needs. Small and medium providers are more likely to concentrate on smaller areas, usually the city or county in which they’re based. Find Security Services lists providers who cover both locally and nationally, so you’ll always be able to find your ideal security partner.

Price:

The amount you can expect to pay for a security service from a small provider compared to that of a larger counterpart can often depend on the kind of service you require. For example, if your home or business is in a built up city area, then a smaller provider who operates solely in that area may provide mobile patrols cheaper than a larger company who covers a wider area, but if the same home or business wanted physical security, such as a security fence, security gate or fire doors, then a larger provider may be able to offer a lower price if they buy their materials in bulk. Getting multiple quotes using our service finder tool can help you find the best prices and save you money.

Communication:

We’ve all had bad experiences when trying to contact large organisations. Listening to endless recorded messages, navigating menu after menu by pressing a series of numbers, being put through to the wrong person before getting put back on hold again. It can be frustrating. But most of us have had positive experiences with big organisations too, when we’ve called or emailed expecting the recorded messages and automated responses but instead had our issues resolved quickly with minimal fuss. Large security companies are like any other large organisation, they have multiple departments and a complex infrastructure, but many have dedicated contract and area managers who can be contacted at any time, and central control centres that are on hand 24/7. Small and medium providers often don’t have this infrastructure, but their processes and procedures can be more streamlined, and their service more personal.

Trust:

When putting the security of your home or business into the hands of someone else, you need to know that person and the company they work for are honest and trustworthy. It may seem safer to opt for a large security company that has strong brand recognition, but the majority of the security industry is heavily regulated now, and even the smallest of companies has to be vetted and accredited by the industry regulator. It’s true that some sectors of the security industry are not as heavily regulated, but be assured that all the contractors listed by Find Security Services have been through our own rigorous vetting procedure, which includes mandatory accreditation by recognised accreditation and regulatory bodies where applicable.

Reliability:

Having security is about having peace of mind, and having an old alarm system that doesn’t set half of the time or a security guard who calls in sick every time his football team are at home won’t provide that. Fortunately, advances in technology and regulation have made the security industry far more reliable in recent years, and now even the most advanced security systems are available to both multinational and self employed installers, and government backed regulatory bodies such as the SIA have put an end to the unscrupulous practices employed by some security companies (large and small) decades ago. Find Security Services will not list companies that are unregulated or found to be providing a substandard or unreliable service.

So what will it be? Large or small? Local or international? Only you can decide what’s right for your home or business, and using our service finder tool is the best way to start. Simply input the services you require and where you are located. We’ll then contact the most suitable companies on your behalf, and some of the best security service providers in the country will be in touch.

 

Written for Find Security Services

Maritime security: The weapons used in the ongoing fight against pirates

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Large Cargo Ship

Picture the scene; you are the Captain of the Israeli-based cargo ship, MV Africa Star. Nine pirates approach the ship in an attempt to board the vessel to steal the cargo. The only defence you have are coils of barbed wire hung from the edge of the ship. This was the reality for that particular ship in April 2009. Fortunately the barbed wire held off the pirates long enough until a British Patrol Aircraft attended the area.

Maritime security and the fight against pirates has come a long way since then. Below we have listed some of the weapons and tactics used today by the security companies who guard large vessels from pirates:

Armed Guards

Armed guards are the obvious choice to prevent piracy attacks. Oftentimes pirates are armed so the proverbial fire must be fought with fire. They can offer a genuine deterrent to anybody considering approaching a ship and stealing it’s cargo and they can offer significant protection to the crew in the event of an emergency.

Anti-Piracy Laser Device

These devices, developed by BAE Systems, transmit a beam that provides a visual warning to pirates at distances of over 2 km, while at lesser distances it can sufficiently disorientate attackers so that they are unable to target their weapons effectively, similar to the Dazer Laser. The laser has been shown to leave no long lasting effects but can be very effective in deterring pirates as a non-lethal option.

Electric Secure Fence

These fences protect the perimeter of the ship with a barbed wire fence that is electronically charged to prevent pirates climbing over the edge. These are effective to a point but can be bypassed by using non-conductive material to cover the fences. APS Perimeter Security have developed an electric net-style fence that attaches to the foot-well or rail of the deck at an angle of 45 degrees and extend outwards for approx 50cm which makes climbing aboard from below without touching the net impossible.

Anti-pirate Launcher

BCB International are a UK based manufacturer of the Buccaneer Ship-Borne Shore Launcher (SBSL). This device can fire a solid object at relatively high speeds over 300m. This is another non-lethal option for maritime security personnel who can use it as a way of combating pirates without having to use traditional firearms or other lethal force. The SBSL can also be used to fire life rafts into the water in the event of a ‘man overboard’ scenario. 

Stun Grenades

Stun or flash grenades are a tried and tested way to prevent pirate attacks. They are a hand held device that when deployed creates a loud bang and a bright white flash that stuns anybody who happens to be nearby. This is a great tactic to deter potential pirates as shows the intention of using force if they don’t desist. It is also a good way of distracting pirates to create time to use other tactics.

Active Denial System (ADS)

The ADS, otherwise known as the ‘Pain Ray’ is a high-tech device that transmits a beam of electromagnetic energy towards approaching pirates. If the beam makes contact with human skin it causes an excruciating burning sensation under the skin causing them either to turn around and desist or to jump overboard. Even though the Pain Ray causes the skin to heat it does not cause lasting damage so is a good non-lethal option.

Snipers

Long range rifles are a good way of using lethal force if the situation requires such extreme action. An example of when this has been used could be when a hostage has been taken from a ship and there is a threat to that person’s life. A sniper could be used to take out the hostage taker with precision whilst protecting the life of the hostage. Snipers are trained to an incredibly high standard so the movement of the ship shouldn’t be a problem. A well trained sniper can hit a moving target from a moving vessel from a considerable distance.

Do you need the services of a maritime security company? Why not try our security services finder tool to receive up to three quotes from accredited UK security companies.