The Association of Convenience Stores recently published its Annual Crime Survey and some of the top trends highlighted were verbal abuse, robbery and ATM attacks. 72% of stores across the country experienced verbal abuse to staff, with just under 40% of incidents turning into physical abuse. As an organisation, the Post Office ensures that the safety of its post masters and customers is the number one priority.
Kings Secure Technologies were awarded contracts with Post Office in 2011 for an intelligence led service, called Grapevine, whereby security and protection to 11,500 Post Office stores is provided. CSL Router was chosen by Kings as the connectivity platform used across many Post Offices throughout the UK, with the primary aim of improving the level of security and consequently reducing the risk of loss at these Post Office sites. CSL Router is currently utilised by 200 sites with plans to install the device in another 1200 sites over the next 18 months.
One of the challenges that Kings faced was the availability of broadband lines. Each Post Office has its own internet connection; however, they are utilised for payment terminals as well as other functions and do not have the bandwidth to accommodate CCTV images as well. To solve this, Kings introduced CSL Router to provide a dedicated, encrypted, 4G connection to send the CCTV images from the Post Office to Grapevine. This enabled the successful installation of Axis IP, pinhole and external cameras. Axis IP cameras, connected to CSL Router, have been identified as providing significant protection to post masters. When activated, a button which sits behind the counter of a Post Office sends live images directly to Grapevine. This reassures postmasters that help is available 24/7, should an incident occur.
Post Office noted a significant drop in incidents since the Axis IP cameras and CSL Routers have been installed with a 36% reduction in injuries to postmasters and their customers over the last three years.
“As an organisation, we are always on the lookout for new technologies to make it safer for post masters and customers,” said Mark Dinsdale, Physical Security Manager, Post Office.