Keeping Universities Safe

With a large population of students, staff and visitors, combined with wide spread campuses, university sites are vulnerable to a unique set of risks. These educational institutions often have multiple access points and may have facilities spread across a large campus or even located in different parts of a city. To minimise the risks of anti-social behaviour such as theft and vandalism, universities should ensure their security measures are robust, thorough and consistent.

 

High Levels of Foot Traffic

Corridors, entrances and common areas are prone to high levels of pedestrian traffic and, as a result, are at increased risk of intrusion and opportunistic theft. A careful combination of perimeter fencing, access control and surveillance systems can help to deter, deny and defend against unwanted access to the site and the associated risks. In outdoor areas where controlling movement is more challenging, clearly signposted and well-placed security measures such as CCTV, as well as considered access control plays, a significant role in safeguarding against crime.

 

Access Control

With such high footfall, consideration needs to be given to how staff, students and visitors will access campus grounds and buildings. Manual gates are more cost efficient upfront and lower maintenance than automated gates, which is useful in the long run. They do, however, need to be closely monitored and can require other, more expensive measures to be used in tandem to minimise security risks.

While more expensive and higher maintenance, automated gates provide more security. Codes, keys and passes help control who accesses various sites and when, as well as provide a way of tracking movement. This is a more viable option for facilities with a larger student populations. Where it is not practical or appropriate for every situation, a well-planned combination of manual and automated gates may be best.

 

Pedestrian Safety

Even though universities are considered private properties, if their roads are used by the public then these are governed by the Road Traffic Act, which sets a high standard for safety. Universities can take further measures to ensure pedestrian safety by putting additional precautions, for example, pedestrian guardrail alongside pathways and main roads, to reduce the risk of pedestrian and vehicular accidents.

Pedestrian access points should be clearly signposted and be a reasonable distance from university roads and authorised parking areas. Clear pavements in car parks are essential for providing drivers safe access routes between their vehicle and campus grounds.

 

Open Plan

A growing tendency towards open plan designs simultaneously makes university campuses appear more welcoming and increases security risks, whether through less fencing, gates or other perimeter security measures. A robust, multi-faceted security plan, designed around the 5 Ds of perimeter security, can minimise these risks, including Secured by Design and LPCB LPS 1175-rated fencing and gates, which, in tandem with CCTV and other monitoring systems can deter, deny and delay unwanted visitors, without being overly austere or appearing fortified.

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