As a result of ongoing security incidents and increased vandalism at the School concerns were raised about the adequacy of security measures currently employed to manage these risks and in response to these concerns Consultants were commissioned to conduct a review of the physical security at the School.
The purpose of the review was to identify specific security weaknesses in the physical and aligned operational security and where appropriate recommend solutions (including budget estimates) for consideration to minimise or manage these risks.
A summary of the scope of the review is:
Review physical protection for site and access restrictions
Review data on the existing electronic protection installations
Complete site survey reviewing the existing systems in place measuring appropriateness
Review of response measures
Provide recommendations with budget estimates
The security concerns identified during the review which are covered in more detail in our report include:
the lack of perimeter security allowing free access to pupil active areas
lack of natural surveillance from local residential properties and roadways
the problems caused due to being located alongside a sports field which suffers problems similar to those being experienced by the School
the School being used as a thoroughfare in the area linking residential areas to public use amenities
lack of natural surveillance of the entry area to the School from the Administration block
difficulty in managing visitors to the School due to the physical layout of entries and buildings themselves
the lack of integration between electronic systems
the level of coverage provided by the existing intruder alarm and lack of integration site wide
the level of coverage provided fire alarm systems
the weaknesses in evacuation and warning systems
the need for better data transmission between the systems in place and the response companies with regard to geographic site intelligence reflecting the multiple entries and exits from the grounds to roadways etc.
A number of specific recommendations have been made throughout this report to assist in mitigating the risks.
The following was carried out to complete this review:
Meetings with the School personnel
Review previous projects documentation
Review of available electronic systems documentation
Site visit out of hours and in darkness to review lighting and area activity
Review of School provided vandalism data
Historic information on school projects
Below please find details on projects completed at the School following a review of our files, included in this is some background detail that will assist in reading other sections of this report.
1999 – We reviewed the electronic security system following ongoing problems caused by interference from overhead power lines into the security system radio frequency transmitters, security system cabling problems and suspect detection devices.
The outcome of the report was funding being provided by the Ministry to complete some maintenance work and cable replacement which resulted in reliability improvements. The radio frequency transmission equipment was decommissioned and system interconnectivity achieved by cabling.
1999 – A single classroom was removed from site, a classroom was relocated and the Library complex built. The existing security and smoke detection systems were altered and extended to accommodate these building works with no difficulties experienced although the systems were at capacity.
2000 – The Hall was built and a security control system was installed in the building to eventually manage the entire site. The Hall due to its occupancy numbers was required to have a compliant integrated fire detection and evacuation system.
Since year 2000 we understand only minor maintenance works on the security and fire detection systems have been completed
The School has for an ongoing time experienced a high level of vandalism, break-ins and arson attacks which is detailed for the past 12 months in the attachment 1 record of incidents which the School has provided.
A summary of the provided vandalism data is below:
No all vandalism is captured on claims to the Ministry as the School often completes repairs themselves so there is a significant hidden cost to the School.
While there are incidents of vandalism throughout the year the number of incidents is higher in the summer months
There are often multiple occurrences of vandalism of differing types over a weekend for example
There were 4 incidents of damage due to fire or risk of damage in the 12 month period
The type of vandalism being experienced covers a wide range but main problems relate to:
Whilst the majority of vandalism was to building exteriors that would go undetected by any currently employed detection system there were multiple instances of break-ins.
Additional to the ongoing vandalism problems (the majority of which are outside School occupied hours) there has been an increasing level of personal risk to staff and pupils both during teaching times and after hours.
We do not foresee a downturn in vandalism given the ongoing and consistent nature of problems unless some measures are employed to combat these.
Geographic and site considerations
The School is located on Road and the following location and site layout information needs considering when designing in treatments for the problems being experienced:
There are residences to 2 boundaries of which only a small number have any natural surveillance of the grounds and buildings resulting in large areas of the School being hidden from view.
Residences across the rear street leading to the sports ground have limited capability to observe incidents
Playing fields and a sports ground are at the rear of the School having no access restrictions and have evidence of ongoing vandalism
A creek on the boundary that has stolen spouting etc in it.
The area by the Pylons and sports field at the rear of the School have evidence of ongoing alcohol consumption being carried out
A Preschool and a local Intermediate School are located on Road adjoining the School with the Intermediate having experienced similar problems over the years resulting in fencing being installed in part and other electronic systems.
A walkway between the Preschool and School which is frequently used and on our 2 separate night visits youths were using this to access Road shops from the Sports ground area
The School has trees on the sports field boundary area that offer good shade for pupils but are located far from the School buildings
The Administration building has no view of the School entry or carpark and the Hall can be (and is) accessed by visitors (wanted or unwanted) without being able to be observed.
Location, buildings and environment
The buildings are a mix of permanent timber construction of significant size and also a collection of relocatable types.
There is also planned a number of building projects which do influence any recommendations made and these consist of:
Access to the site is unrestricted and additionally access to the roof areas can be relatively easily achieved. There are currently no physical or electronic deterrents in place to prevent access to the site or buildings.
The grounds and landscaping is well maintained and controlled but by its sheer design nature does provide places for people to conceal themselves for extended periods of time.
The teacher carparking is located in at the front of the School and again has no useful natural surveillance and not only presents a risk to vehicles but also staff leaving in darkness.
Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) can be considered and has been used internationally for many years. CPTED is based on the philosophy that good design can reduce crime and vandalism significantly. Initial components of design to consider in achieving a reduction in crime are:
Line of sight providing optimum natural surveillance should be created and maintained
Landscaping design should not obstruct natural surveillance or add to risk of fire spread. Dense vegetation should not be alongside walkways
Routes should be straight and provide a clear vision path
Concealed places should be kept to a minimum where pockets of fire could be lit or people conceal themselves
Lighting design should be planned in conjunction with landscape design to prevent shadows and compromise the lighting performance
Where fencing cannot be funded boundaries and territorial control can be defined by soft landscaping or changes in surface to identify routes
Use of thorn based plants can prevent climbing
An environment that is carefully designed and maintained creates the image of a property that is well managed and cared for.
Target hardening through good design for the building and environment
That security is considered for the Administration block project with regard to building design and siting (refer CPTED above)
Priority: When project is at design stage
That the landscaping control is continued with.
Cost: None as currently in place
Consideration is given to reducing the screening of areas with control of vegetation to improve area visibility and reduce risk of fire. However this recommendation will be less important if the later recommendation to improve site security fencing is implemented.
The existing fencing of the boundary is the only to the adjoining residential sections so there is no management of access.
Following review of the ongoing problems experienced over the past years it is evident that preventing easy access to the site is the most practical treatment in reducing vandalism, break-ins and managing visitor access better by consolidating possible entry points. Implementing this will reduce budget requirements for other measures also
Additional to offering a level of security the installation of the fencing does allow the use of outdoor detection to be employed on the site thus providing earlier warning to the monitoring station of activity.
The installation of fencing will allow much improved visitor management. There are some aspects to consider with respect to the fence and these are:
The fence needs to consider vehicle access
Fire service entry cannot be restricted
Access needs for future classroom installation or removal
If the Road boundary is fenced at the roadside then the carpark can also be better managed during the day resulting in improved pupil safety at the start and end of the day.
If the fencing was not installed on the Road boundary but rather within the carpark then there is the possibility of vandalism in the carpark but this can be weighted against ease of carpark entry for teachers and visitors to what at times is a busy Road.
The use of the Hall out of hours can create problems and result in the site being insecure and essentially the choices are:
Install a 2nd fence within the grounds to restrict site access when the hall is used.
Do not rent out the Hall
That, a perimeter fence/gates is considered for installation to better manage unauthorised pedestrian and vehicle access to the site during School hours and also completely outside of School hours, this also allows outdoor detection to be considered in the future if required.
Cost: Budget $110000
Doors and windows
The school has experienced broken windows and doors for either means of entry or as general vandalism. The windows are currently traditional frames and glass as used in all Schools and to consider replacement would have unrealistic budget implications and is not a viable option when considered against the amount of incidents.
All external doors and windows are vulnerable to unlawful intrusion and are increased due to the fact that no perimeter barriers exist to prevent unauthorised access to the building’s external boundaries. Windows offer minimum security and must be supported by other electronic and physical protection methods.
That on building projects locking and window type are considered for prevention of entry and reduced maintenance costs.
We reviewed the lighting performance and operation outside of School hours and the School has a mix of permanently lit bulkhead type lights and a number of sensor activated units. In our visit the lights operated as intended but given the level of vandalism have not been effective in reducing incidents significantly.
Protective lighting serves as an essential element of an integrated physical security program in deterring and detecting unlawful activity, improving the performance of any future CCTV systems, providing a safer environment for staff accessing the site in darkness and assisting security guards in their duties.
The current level of lighting provided we feel is adequate at selected locations and the attached site drawing shows the current provision.
For parts of the site which has no natural surveillance then the lighting deterrent factor is difficult to measure and it is likely the lighting will not be effective in preventing or deterring the type of problems being experienced.
That lighting is considered in any planned building projects incorporating energy efficiency, resistance to vandalism and is a type to suit CCTV enhancements.
Priority: As projects evolve
That, a visual maintenance program is put in place for the lighting and repairs completed as soon as reported.
Priority: High Admin task only
Cost: Opex costs of approximately $600 per year for maintenance not including vandalised units.
Electronic security systems
The School has 2 control systems these being:
A Concept 3000 in the Hall managing that area only
A Concept 2000 that covers the rest of the School
The Concept 2000 system installed some 15 years ago manages the intruder alarm and some smoke detection throughout the School and is nearing the end of its life.
The product is supported in Auckland by a dealer network and a spare parts/service centre via an NZ distributor.
The choice to utilise the Concept 3000 control systems for the Hall at the time of installation was a wise choice, not only for the support reasons detailed above but the ease of operation for users, expansion capability, integration of security and as a logical upgrade path for the entire site.
The Controller has an in-built communicator to allow intelligent monitoring of the system to the monitoring station via the telephone network.
The Concept 3000 control system will continue to be supported for some time to come.
Monitoring of the control systems
The intruder alarm system is monitored utilising the telephone network with no backup transmission provided so in the event of a failure in the primary transmission medium no alarm signals will be received. This is normal for a School but is raised to show the importance on the existence and integrity of the telephone network.
Regardless of the technology and systems employed on site unless the monitoring function is configured correctly, well documented, truly reflective of site activity and intelligent then appropriate responses to system activity will never meet the Schools needs.
The interface between systems on site, the monitoring service and the response company are of critical importance and these need detailed review for appropriateness. The information held at the monitoring station and with the response company needs to be up to date and checked for accuracy on a regular basis.
The monitoring station does not have any graphical display of the site or buildings to assist in the location of alarms, so is dependant on the text-only display giving building and room details, along with the operator’s familiarity with the system descriptors and detailed site knowledge. For this reason we find the more explanatory the text message provided, the easier it is for a system operator. For example, the message sequence logic would be:
Given the level of system activity, the planned responses to the various types of system activity need to be clear and well planned. The types of activity that the system operator needs to monitor include:
Intruder alarm activation
Intruder alarm restore
Smoke alarm activation
Some alarm restore
System area set
System area unset
Mains fail alarm
Battery low alarm
System off line
Invalid Pin on entry
Fire alarm activation
The monitoring company can detect multiple activations from multiple devices which will allow an intelligent response to be planned.
The activity of interest is exception type reporting, that is determined by the type of event and the time of event. Consolidation of the exception-type of activity will enable the control centre operator to respond more appropriately to a warning. To achieve this the opening/ closing time allocations etc can be worked through with the School.
Examples of the type of exception report that would occur are:
The above is purely an example of some of the types of activity and has not been related to time schedules etc.
Currently the system has descriptors that are not very informative or clear on location of devices etc.
That a review of ALL system programming is completed, to ensure that the loaded descriptors are accurate at the monitoring station. This would be best completed at the time of a routine service and pre-planned
Cost: Low – administration task
That responses are discussed with the client in detail and documented foreach type of system activity report with the monitoring station being updated following this.
That building drawings are provided at the monitoring station to assist in the communications with the response company
Cost: Low administration only
That time zones for area unsets are checked/verified and are clearly monitored, reduce reporting needs.’
Cost: Low administration only
That the monitoring station data base is reviewed (as should be the control system on site) for loaded users etc
Cost: Low administration only
Intruder alarm system
Our review of the intruder alarm system has determined that the system utilised were good quality detection devices (at the time) resulting in reliable coverage in the areas they are installed in. However, the existing system does not provide comprehensive coverage/protection of all of the strategic areas within rooms with fundamental weaknesses in a number of areas specifically offices, lobbies etc.
The detection of intruders is reliant on the Passive Infra Red (PIR) detectors which do not have anti mask capability meaning generally entry has been achieved by an intruder before an alarm is generated. There is currently no outdoor detection and this could not be considered until the site is sealed by fencing.
The installation consists of device types that have been selected to provide a very low to zero false alarm rate whilst still providing reasonably reliable detection capability. The devices require a clear line of sight to ensure coverage is achieved and siting, lens adjustment and detector set up are of high importance to ensure reliable operation from a detection capability and low false alarm rate. The detectors need to be checked on a regular basis to ensure the device is providing the required coverage and not reduced due to electronic failure, being obstructed by shelving etc or contaminated lenses.
The detectors installed have the following features:
LED enable – This allows the field of coverage to be determined visually via an LED illuminating when a detector trips regardless of the system being set or unset. There are 2 schools of thought regarding the Led being enabled these being: 1/ that a would be intruder would be able to ascertain the exact field of coverage prior to a break in. 2/ that if enabled the system manager can review device operation easily.
As knowledge on PIR devices is common place I feel the LED being enabled is appropriate and would allow system manager health checking of devices on a scheduled basis.
Tamper – This monitors the detector cover if removed regardless if the system is set or unset. This is available on the detectors installed and configured for 24 hour alarm.
Set up – This allows the device sensitivity to be programmed to accommodate the environmental conditions, detector height and required coverage requirements. This is a technician choice on installation but would recommend that if the environmental conditions allow that the higher sensitivity settings being employed in all locations.
The individual users have their own PIN code to access the system and the building security is as secure as the individuals PIN code. A constant review of PIN codes and their security needs to be carried out. The system has the ability to monitor entry under duress which will unset the system as normal but also transmit a silent alarm to the monitoring station.
System user errors are usually caused by operators who use the system infrequently, this could be overcome by a personalized brief system operation card giving details on how to set/ unset the area they access.
The School has a quantity of user keypads to operate the system mainly for convenience in the area of coverage and this has been developed to meet user preference. This can be reviewed on an area by area basis with system operators.
On our survey of all buildings and review of system documentation we discovered a number of coverage aspects to be addressed with a brief summary of some of the types listed below:
PIRs coverage pattern blocked and not providing optimum coverage
PIRs LEDs enabled and disabled so no common trend.
Some area have no coverage at all (refer drawings)
The aim of the system should be to provide reliable detection with zero nuisance false alarm or system activity achieved.
The system descriptors are not ideal in many instances and can be improved upon to give a better understanding of the areas of activations etc and should be reviewed for accuracy with the School especially considering the building projects commencing
Sirens are a proven deterrent to unlawful activity and also a useful indicator for staff, security guards etc. There are areas with no audible deterrent (refer drawing) and in some other locations (like the Admin area) the sirens need relocating away from keypads. It should be noted that an internal siren should never be installed in the vicinity of a keypad, in a confined occupied space, medical treatment/ rest area or similar.
That the School upgrades the Concept 2000 incorporating into the Hall 3000 system. This action will reduce maintenance costs
That if the control system is upgraded then coverage of presently unprotected areas is provided and old devices replaced.
That a walk test is carried out on the system and a full system functionality test is completed outside of occupied hours. Of particular interest are the exact coverage provided by sensors and audible warning.
That the terminology used in the system is reviewed in detail with the client and the monitoring station data updated to reflect the changes
That all user data is reviewed for appropriateness with the client
Confirm that no siren is in conflict with OHS act and relocate units away from keypads
That suitable training etc is carried out to ensure no nuisance alarms or system activity is generated
Cost: Nil administration only
There is currently no CCTV system installed in the School and this can be considered as an easily implemented deterrent and management tool.
However to be effective the systems need to provide a high level of awareness, be well designed and robust in construction providing usable images on a 24 hour basis. The use of CCTV will not on its own reduce the level of vandalism completely but if managed correctly should be relatively effective. The system could be installed in a staged manner to measure effectiveness or as budget becomes available. We would recommend that funding is better used on the fencing rather than CCTV but if the fencing cannot proceed then CCTV could be deployed to help manage visitors during the day.
That consideration is given to installing a CCTV system in a staged manner (if the fence is not proceeded with) and allow remote access from the monitoring station to allow better management of alarm responses. The initial installation can cover main entry routes to the School, buildings of risk etc.
Cost: Entry $9000 and Full site install $30000
Fire alarm system
The Fire alarm systems installed in the School Hall buildings was provided to meet the building code requirements and achieve compliance. This system is separate to the rest of the Schools evacuation and fire detection but is monitored via the Security system.
It is a requirement that the Hall system is serviced on a regular basis and an annual survey completed to ensure the system is still suitable for its purpose. These contracts are in place and any issues with regard to compliance due to lack of coverage, defects in the systems or interface between systems should have been raised. With this in mind the School and the Ministry has met their obligations for the Hall with regard to fire evacuation systems.
It is usual for fire systems to be engineered from a compliance perspective and not considering specific risk factors due to location, loss of resource and the nature of the business operations being protected.
The Hall system consists of a heat detection system not smoke and whilst meeting building compliance needs significant smoke damage could occur before any alarm is generated.
The rest of the School has smoke detection connected to the security system for the purpose of property protection only.
The attached drawings show the coverage provided by the fire systems.
Install smoke detection in Hall to provide early warning of fire
Update documentation (this is detailed in a later section of this report).
Cost: Low administration only
That good housekeeping methods are adopted throughout all areas to reduce the risk of fire.
The current systems installed is not as well documented by the service providers as they could be and should be updated as the systems are extended or changes occur or this creates a maintenance problem.
The Systems installed are very field programmable with a high level of building specific programming in place that can be time consuming to recreate so complete accurate records are critical and these should be retained on site by the system manager and with the service provider.
Additionally a log book to record all service works and system data of interest should be held on site and kept up to date.
That a full copy of the following is held with the layout in paper and electronic format for each individual system:
Copy of all user information
Copy of each programming information
Zone listings for each controller and DGP
Block diagrams of the system installations
Diagrams of interfaces to any other services and in particular the fire alarm systems
Circuit diagrams for the installation, particularly the access control system
Master/ Tech code details
Full technical details of all products installed including version, batch and serial numbers.
Copies of any commissioning reports
Details of 3rd party support agencies for all products
Recommended maintenance schedules
Cost: Low administration only
As with all electronic systems electronic security systems (fire, intruder detection and CCTV in this instance) require planned regular preventative maintenance to ensure the systems remain in good operating condition with latest version of operating software etc. This would include identifying any new system needs and a full back up of system programmes.
Currently we understand there is no formal contract in place for maintenance and this is carried out on a reactive basis.
That a preventative maintenance programme be put in place for all the electronic security systems and completing repairs as required with agreed rates. This will ensure any system problems are identified
Cost: Low administration only to set up then ongoing operational cost annually of approximately $1500 (depending if upgrade works take place)
That a weekly survey of devices visually is completed to ensure that detectors are operational or not effected by any failure, alterations or fittings.
Cost: Low administration only
That system log book is kept to record all system maintenance including faults.
Cost: Low administration only
6. Operational security
The responsibility for bedding down and setting/ unsetting the systems generally lies with the area users and at the end of the day and the Property Manager.
Consider documenting bedding down procedure’s for the various areas particular regard to after hours use with teachers becoming more responsible for the area with respect to risk reduction and locking.
Cost: Nil administration only
Patrols, guards, alarm response
Currently there is a contract in place for routine patrols and occasional static guards at times of high risk.
The time of responses to incidents or alarm activations is difficult to determine and cannot be relied upon as being delivered in an effective time frame which supports the enhancement of improved electronic systems so a better planned response can be made. The contract delivery was not tested as part of this review.
Ensure Patrol company has adequate site data to effectively respond to incidents’
Document the response when there is an escalation in alarm activity
Cost: Nil administration only
Security signage will define company territory, inform visitors, warn the general public and assist in providing an improved awareness of systems in place and deter casual intruders.
There currently is minimal security signage displayed at the School.
That, security signage is improved to all areas.
Cost: Low administration only
Visitor control system
Visitors are currently managed through reception but given the many entries to the School and the Admin office location this is difficult to control. The use of a ‘visitor control’ (identification) system is at reception and assists in managing visitors to the School during pupil hours. This provides a method of recording the details of visitors/contractors/suppliers etc. This process obviously assists in any evacuation needs also.
That to effectively control and identify visitors etc, a visitor control system i.e. visitor recording/badge system could be implemented to identify better the areas access is allowed for and the time/ date of this. Visitor badge with the School logo or similar identifiable logo should be implemented
Cost: Low administration only
Security awareness and training
During our survey work we noted the staff awareness of security was high.
While the various existing (and recommended) physical and operational security measures assist in reducing the level of risk for staff, no amount of security can eliminate the risks altogether. Staff must be trained therefore, to prevent and deal with incidents that can and do occur. Furthermore, the effectiveness of many physical and operational systems depends on staff adherence to certain procedures, which cannot be expected if they are not aware of those procedures.
We have not conducted a safety training needs analysis as part of this review. In addition, for security to be managed effectively, it is imperative that staff be aware of the importance of security and that they are committed to it.
That consideration is given to ALL staff receive training on safety and security including Security policies, procedures and guidelines
Cost: Minor Ongoing
Local community awareness and involvement
Whilst the School does not enjoy natural surveillance from adjoining properties neighbors can be a very useful tool in advising of problems or trends in the School area.
Currently if a resident did notice something taking place they would most likely not ring the Police as the behavior may not be at a level to require Police attendance and if it did they probably feel getting a Police response is unlikely. They also would be uncertain of who they could ring to report an incident so would most likely ignore the situation.
A reporting system can be implemented that give residents the knowledge and ability to report incidents as they occur and thus preventing any escalation. Newsletters and fridge magnets advising of a contact number to call to report incidents sent to the local residents can be considered. The number would most likely be the number of the patrol company. Additionally an email service can be included for reporting of incidents that do not require attending to at the time.
Cost: Ongoing Administration
Below in order of priority are a summary of recommendations:
Install perimeter fence
Tender maintenance contracts for security systems and include in first service all data checks and minor improvements
Implement signage, staff training, health checking, bed down improvements etc.
Upgrade security system to provide a single operating system site wide