Don't Get Tricked

H&M Rewarding Vigilance

Over the past few months there has been a significant increase across London in criminals targeting construction sites using deception techniques to trick their way past security and site workers.

Those involved will often be dressed in full PPE uniform and may drive vehicles with company logos on the side, and even produce paperwork giving the impression that they have permission to remove plant or materials from the site. Whilst relying on being able to trick their way onto site in the first instance these criminals normally operate in small groups and they are not afraid to use force if challenged.

In the last few weeks there have been two excellent examples of H&M Security Officers preventing criminals getting onto our clients sites.

The first was on a Costain London Power Tunnels project at National Grid Site at St Pancras. On Saturday 13th September at about 5.30am security officer Masood Ravi was working alone on the site when two white males with an Irish accent approached the gate. They were dressed in orange high visibility clothing and said they were National Grid workers. When asked to show identification the men became aggressive and threatened to return and assault the officer when he finished work.

Fortunately Masood had not opened the gate, and thinking quickly he started to take photographs of the men with his mobile camera. On seeing the security officer taking pictures both men ran back to their vehicle and drove off at speed. Police were called and whilst there was no trace of the suspects Masood was able to pass on to the police the pictures he had taken.

The second incident took place on Saturday 12th October 2014 at a Hochtief construction site in the Upper Holloway Road. Two males approached the site at about 1.10am saying that they were staff and had come to collect a generator. The security officer Yacouba Yahaya told them that he had been given instructions not to allow anyone onto the site, at which point the males became aggressive and one of them forced his way onto the site through a fire door at the rear of the compound.

Once inside the thief went straight to a generator parked in the compound and started to pull it out. Yacouba took hold of the male to stop him, but by this time the second suspect had come into the site and was threatening to attack the him. Yacouba released the first male and stepped away from the males and started to call the police, the two men threatened Yacouba but by this time he was speaking with the police on the phone and both men ran off.

Working on your own and challenging determined criminals takes confidence and courage. We believe that these examples are deserving of recognition and H&M Directors have awarded each officer a cheque for £100 to thank them for their good work.

We also think that these incidents help raise the awareness of all staff in the risks posed by criminals who practice deception thefts, and hope that it may be useful to you and your staff. We do not recommend that your staff or members of the public attempt to detain persons, security staff are given training and guidance on this before they are issued a licence, if you are suspicious contact your security or call the police.