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Illegal Raves, Rave, Pandemic, Coronavirus, Music, Security, Unoccupied land, Empty Buildings

Are illegal raves becoming an increasing problem?

When we think of raves, we think of warehouse and underground spaces filled with revellers enjoying live performances under strobe lights and smoke machines.

But since the coronavirus pandemic hit our shores and lockdown was announced at the beginning of March 2020, concerts, live music, parties, and licensed raves were all cancelled amid fears of the number of Coronavirus infections rising.

8 months on the Coronavirus pandemic is still going on and still sees live music and concert events cancelled until further notice.

However, since the start of the pandemic and the relaxation of lockdown rules within Wales & the UK in the summer, there have been an increasing number of illegal raves springing up – enticing revellers who are looking to escape the reality of the current pandemic.

These new illegal raves are very reminiscent of the outdoor parties and warehouse raves of the ’80s and 90’s before the UK passed it’s 1994 criminal justice & public order act, which banned unlicensed parties.  Although raves never went away and went further underground, in recent years they have had a resurgence. This came to head this year when experts predicted that the drop in the number of coronavirus cases and the relaxation of restrictions during the summer would see England and Wales experience a “summer of rave” not seen since 1989.

In an email statement to Dazed, Michael Kill, the CEO of the Night Time Industries Association said “People are frustrated, they have missed festival season, summer holidays abroad, nightlife, restaurants, pubs and social gatherings in general”

Unlike in the summer where you could turn up to a field in a t-shirt and shorts and survive until the early hours, Kill says “the winter weather has meant that many of these events are now taking place in warehouses and buildings left empty by businesses who have closed due to the pandemic”. This poses a number of problems, especially as COVID can be transmitted more easily within enclosed spaces.

Although organisers of these illegal raves have been hit with fines of up to £10,000, the number of illegal raves still continues to grow. Including a rave that was openly advertised and was set to take place at a Welsh Mansion in North Wales on Saturday 14th November 2020.

As mentioned before, empty spaces such as unoccupied land, warehouses and buildings will be picked as prime places to hold illegal raves and will result in potential damages and even theft.

So, if you have empty land, a warehouse or building that could be a potential target here are some tips to keep your property safe:

Fencing

If you have an empty lot or have a building/ warehouse that sits in its own grounds then it is worth investing in fencing. There are many types of fencing available, including some that have anti-climb attributes or those with sharpened points at the top. In most situations, fencing that poses a physical threat will often dissuade trespassers.

Security doors and windows

If you own an unoccupied building, investing in security doors and windows will ensure that no intruders can get in and cause potential damage.

Using heavy-duty security doors that are made out of steel offer a higher level of protection compared to boarding or standard doors and windows.

CCTV

CCTV remains as one of the best deterrents to trespassers as they don’t want to be seen. Investing in CCTV allows you or a security provider to monitor your site or building 24/7, quickly respond to any trespassers and use the footage as evidence for investigations and prosecutions.

Physical Security

Having physical security for your site or unoccupied building is often the best deterrent against trespassers looking to use your property for an illegal rave. Here at A&R Security Services, we can offer a range of physical security solutions including our Manned Guarding services and mobile patrols. Our manned guards can be stationed at main entrances to your site or building and can be used to monitor onsite CCTV for any intruders. To compliment our manned guard security, we can provide mobile patrols that can patrol your site at agreed intervals, ensuring that all areas of your site and building are secure and look out for any trespassers.

You can read more on how you protect unoccupied property in these two blogs here X X

If you have unoccupied land, warehouse or building that you would like to keep secure during the winter months, the get in touch with us on 01656 713950 or visit our website for further details.

beauty spots, staycation, staycationers, littering, bad behavior, illegal camping, security, gwynedd, snowdonia, snowdonia national park

Do our welsh beauty spots need security?

Wales, it’s a small country but it has its fair share of beauty spots. With the natural beauty spots such as the Pembrokeshire coast, Gower Peninsula, and Brecon Beacons National Park drawing tens of thousands of visitors each year.

However, in March of this year, many of them closed themselves off from the public following the Coronavirus pandemic and welsh government and national lockdown rules. Now Wales has relaxed lockdown rules, many of our coast’s, paths and nationals’ parks have once again re-opened and welcomed tourists back with open arms.

But welcoming tourists back with open arms hasn’t been smooth sailing for some especially for Snowdonia National park. Since the relaxation of the lockdown rules the National Park has experienced high levels of littering, bad behaviour and illegal camping and has resorted to them employing security to monitor activity and prevent the tension between tourists and locals rising further over the bank holiday weekend.

Illegal camping, Beauty spots, Security, Security Services

And this isn’t the only case of ‘Staycationers’ littering and illegally camping in beauty spots. Balmoral estate in Scotland and the Lake District have also been hit – with balmoral seeing increasing numbers of camping equipment and even human waste being left behind and the Lake District cleaning up mountains of litter.

To curb the number of tourists littering and illegally camping within the Snowdonia National Park, Gwynedd Council have employed a security firm to patrol areas within Snowdonia national park (Parc Padarn Country Park in Llanberis and beaches including Morfa Bychan and Abersoch). The security firm has been commissioned to conduct patrols out of normal operating hours, ensuring that visitors to the area, respect the rules in place.

But are our beauty spots soon to be patrolled by security guards?

Gwynedd Council has been the only local authority to announce that they are employing security over the bank holiday to ensure that tourist’s within the area remain responsible and no further damage is being caused. However, with other beauty spots such as the Queen’s Balmoral Estate and the Lake District coming under increasing ‘attack’ from irresponsible tourists, seeing security patrolling and enforcing rules could become the norm.

What do you think? Will we be seeing more security in our beauty spots?

For more information about our mobile patrol services and how we can keep your beauty spots safe from irresponsible tourists visit our website or give us a call on 01656 713950.

Retail worker, violent and abusive behavior, COVID-19, Coronavirus, Pandemic, Lockdown

COVID-19: Is violence against retail workers getting worse?

When we think about those working through the pandemic, many think about the NHS staff, police force, fire, and ambulance services. But there are one group of key workers who have been vital in keeping Wales and the rest of the UK going and that are retail workers.

However, since the start of the lockdown in March, there has been increasing reports of retail workers receiving violent and abusive behaviour from customers. In response to this increase in violent behaviour, one supermarket chain Co-op announced that they were going to supply frontline staff who worked at 250 stores with body cameras.

The issue surrounding retail workers becoming victims of violent and abusive behaviour is one that has been around for years. But has the recent COVID-19 pandemic caused this sort of behaviour to increase? And is there anything being done to help protect retail workers?

In a recent article from ITV Wales, it mentioned that violent and abusive behaviour more than doubled during the pandemic, with the USDAW (a union representing welsh shop workers) calling for a law to protect retail workers from such behaviour.

Many retail workers who worked at supermarkets and other retailers felt anxious returning to work in fear that they would either be spat at, coughed or sneezed in response to them asking for customers to socially distance – as well as being pushed and verbally abused when enforcing buying limits on in-demand goods or being unable to issue returns on goods.

The USDAW conducted a survey and found that 1 in 6 shop workers were being abused on every shift and well over half (62%) of 5,000 workers surveyed said they experienced verbal abuse since the start of the pandemic. Whilst a third had been threatened by a customer and 4% had been assaulted.

One retail worker who took part in the USDAW survey said “I had never cried in work until the first week of the lockdown. I received constant abuse from nearly every customer during one shift when the rules were changed so that we couldn’t accept returns. I finally broke when one woman refused to leave the store and insulted me and berated me for not doing the return.

“The following day a man was very aggressive towards me for the same reason and I could visibly see him twitching in a way that suggested he was about to become violent. My job has become emotionally draining and it is really starting to affect my mental health.”

When averaged across the entire retail sector of 3 million workers, it showed that 3,500 workers were assaulted every day over a 34day period.

So what action is being taken to ensure the safety of retail workers?

The government has set out plans to crack down on the violent and abusive behaviour the retailers face on a daily basis. This included working alongside the National Retail Crime Steering Group (NRCSG) on best-practise guide to help support shop workers report acts of violent and abusive behaviour, strengthening and making full use of existing laws, and improving data sharing between businesses and the police.

However, there is opposition out there who think that the government’s plans aren’t enough to protect retail staff effectively. The BRC and Association of stores have both criticised the home office for not seeking to introduce specific and harsher offences to those attacking shop workers. ACS’s CEO said, ‘Warm words and working groups aren’t enough; we need tougher penalties for attacks on shopworkers and more police resources to stamp out violence”.

If your retail staff have been a victim of abusive and violent behaviour before and during the pandemic, then speak to us about our effective retail security solutions. Our manned guards hold full SIA licenses and are fully trained to act accordingly to protect your retail staff from abusive and violent customers. To learn more about how we can help take a look at our website here or get in touch with us on 01656 713950.