63 Alscot Road SE1 building site security

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Wednesday 4 April 2012 12.02pm
Had to wait until I'd calmed down a bit before I posted about this!

Last night, at 1.50am, the alarm (high-pitched, electronic and incredibly loud) on the building site @63 Alscot went off, and then didn't stop for the rest of the night. The site is slap-bang in the middle of a high density residential area, including Alscot Road itself, Henley Drive, Cadbury Way, Goodwin Close, Dunlop Place, Vauban Street/Estate etc. I doubt many residents whose bedrooms back onto the site got much sleep (personally, I only managed to get back to sleep for a couple of hours at 4.30am-ish, but only because I went to sleep on the couch in the living room - you could still hear the alarm, but it wasn't quite so piercing).

One of my neighbours phoned in a complaint to the "Hill Partnerships "resident & community liaison team". In response, the Hill Partnerships rep suggested that the disturbance can't have been as bad as all that, because my neighbour's complaint was the only one received, and asked that we keep an eye on the site and phone the police if it happens again "because the site did experience a break-in last night" (said in a tone of voice that suggested we were supposed to be more upset about this than our completely disturbed night). The site DOES NOT have a night watchperson or any mobile security monitoring, and the alarms ARE NOT connected to a police station or security control room.

So, essentially, Hill Partnerships would like me and my neighbours to provide the security for its site for free. Or for the taxpayer to provide it, via 999 call-outs, because it won't pay to be linked to a control room.

This seems to me to be a totally outrageous suggestion, but perhaps a lack of sleep is clouding my judgement??! A serious question for any of the local councillors reading: why isn't the requirement to provide effective AND DEVELOPER-FUNDED building site security made a condition of any building consent?
Wednesday 4 April 2012 2.59pm
It's not just you that finds it unacceptable although having said that it should be a one off type of occurrence. Not sure that all break ins can be prevented. Sounds like the issue is the manner of the rep and worth complaining about to higher people i.e. whoever employs them. Surely they should be thanking you for being that one person who rang up and responded to the alarm (since that's what an alarm is designed to do).

Also if/when an alarm doesn't seem to be going off, call the council's noise team.
Wednesday 4 April 2012 5.24pm
I agree, I don't think all break-ins can be prevented. But having an employee 'on the ground' (or fairly nearby) to reset the alarm would have prevented a 20-minute annoyance turning into a 6-hour nightmare. I can't adequately convey just how maddening the noise was - according to the Hill Partnerships rep, it's intentionally that obnoxious to act as a deterrent. Well, it wasn't a deterrent to theft but it was certainly a deterrent to me getting a proper night's sleep!

If we had called the police and/or the Noise Team, would they have been able to get in touch with the site key-holder any faster than what actually happened this morning, which was we just had to wait until the site manager turned up for work as usual?

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