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DESIGNING OUT CRIME

Post Office cuts crime by one third

The Post Office has reduced crime against its staff and counters by more than one third in the last three years.

An integrated security system that includes new IP cameras and two-way audio technology has seen the rate of injuries as a result of attacks on Post Office staff decline by 36% in just three years.

This follows the deployment of a sophisticated monitoring and intelligent threat detection platform developed by Morphean, a Video Surveillance-as-a-Service (VSaaS) provider, which has kept staff safe and also protected ATMs from attack.

The Post Office is responsible for the safety and well-being of 14,500 workers in 11,600 branches. Post Offices are often located in rural areas which means that branches can be prime targets for thieves.

Opportunistic attacks on staff and equipment, and the use of expanding gas to break open ATM machines, is not uncommon.

In rural communities, attacks on equipment can leave branches out of operation for long periods. In the last year alone, there were 13,437 violent attacks on convenience store workers, 27% of which involved a weapon and 39% led to injury. That’s according to the Association of Convenience Stores’ annual Crime Report.

The Post Office’s security team wanted to build on its existing threat intelligence and response system, Grapevine, with a network of IP cameras and two-way audio into branches.

In addition to the cameras, the networked speakers enable Security Control Centre staff to speak directly to customers and suspected criminals, alerting them to the fact they’re under surveillance. Further integrations are under way to bring security automation to other branches, including providing the ability for remote agents to lock on-site safes in the event of an attack episode taking place.

 “The safety of our staff is our foremost priority,” asserted Mark Dinsdale, physical security manager for the Post Office. “We’ll never completely eliminate crime in our branches, but we’re also not powerless against it and we’re able to make significant differences to the safety of our people, as demonstrated by the new technology that we’re deploying. Post Office staff, and particularly those in remote areas without access to a nearby police station, value the easy access to help and now report feeling much safer at work.”

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