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The Police Burglar Alarm Response…Varies According To The Type Of Alarm You Install.

Home Security Burglar Alarm Response.

If you already have, or are thinking about installing an alarm system in your home, you really need to know how the police response to alarm activations varies according to the type of alarm you install.

Police statistics show that in recent years over 92% of all alarm activations nationally were false alarm calls, caused by user error, faulty equipment or communication.

The Association of Chief Police Officers England, Wales & Northern Ireland (ACPO) and the Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland (ACPOS), released their policies on Police home security burglar alarm response to monitored security systems, on 1st January 2001 and 3rd June 2002 respectively.

The policies place great emphasis on the use of Confirmed Alarm Technology. ***

Systems installed prior to the 1st October 2001 within England, Wales & Northern Ireland retain the right to pass unconfirmed alarms, until such time as they may have police response withdrawn, after which they will require confirmed alarm technology.

All new intruder alarm systems are required to be installed with confirmed technology in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, whilst in Scotland it is only recommended to do so and is not mandatory.

The police have now adopted the ‘ACPO Unified Intruder Alarm Policy’, in order to redress the balance in favour of genuine alarm calls.

Two types of alarms are defined, together with the relevant police security alarm response UK:-

Type A – Remote Signalling Alarms includes intruder alarms terminating at Approved Central Monitoring Stations. They must be maintained and used in accordance with British Standard 4737, BS 7042 (high security systems) or BS 6799 Class VI (wire-free alarms).

These alarms will be registered with the police and identified by a unique reference number (URN) and can include personal attack alarms.

The police security alarm response to activation of the above alarms will be based on the assumption that an offence is taking place, but subject to attending competing urgent calls and available police resources.

Such a response will also be conditional upon the number of your previous false activations in any 12 month period, when the current activation may receive a lower priority police attendance, or total withdrawal of response, as follows:-

Police Security Alarm Response UK The thresholds at which police response levels change.:-

LEVEL 1 – Immediate Response

ACPO England,Wales & N/Ireland – 1-2 false calls

ACPO Scotland – 1-4 false calls

LEVEL 2 – Police attendance may be delayed due to other priorities-

ACPO England,Wales & N/Ireland – After 2 false calls

ACPO Scotland – After 4 false calls

LEVEL 3 – Police response withdrawn, Keyholder notified only.

ACPO England,Wales & N/Ireland- After 5 false calls

ACPO Scotland – After 7 false calls

Type B – Audible Only and Hybrid Alarms includes bells-only and automatic dialling alarms, as well as alarms from non-compliant companies and non-compliant central monitoring stations. Unique reference numbers will not be issued for these systems.

So to obtain police attendance when activated, Type B alarms will also require some proof that an criminal offence is in progress, e.g. a report from someone witnessing a break in.

The Alarm Confirmation Technology One of the options defined as follows, is required in order to initiate police response on all new systems in England, Wales & Northern Ireland. In Scotland it is only recommended to do so, however, ACT is required in Scotland when police response has been withdrawn:-

  • Sequential Confirmation – An activation from two or more independent sensors or detectors, can determine that there is a high probability a genuine or attempted intrusion has occurred.
  • Audio Confirmation – An activation confirmed by the Monitoring Centre operator who, after having listened in to the premises, has decided that there is a high probability that a genuine or attempted intrusion has occurred.
  • Visual Confirmation – An activation confirmed by the Monitoring Centre operator who, having interpreted a visual image transmitted from the protected premises, has decided that there is a high probability that a genuine or attempted intrusion has occurred.
  • Systems Without Confirmed Signaling – This is a single signal and may receive a police response, if its a system in Scotland that has not had police response withdrawn, or in England, Wales or Northern Ireland that has been installed prior to October 2001.
  • A System With Confirmed Signaling – A line cut signal followed by a second signal will initiate police response.

Systems Without Confirmed Alarm Technology – Systems in Scotland that have not had police response withdrawn, or that have been installed prior to October 2001 in England, Wales or Northern Ireland,, require only a single alarm signal to initiate police response.

Keyholding Current Police policies require that you can provide two keyholders who have been trained to operate your burglar alarm, are telephone subscribers, able to attend the premises at any time, have access to the whole of the premises and can attend within 20 minutes.

Withdrawal of police security alarm response can result from persistent failure of keyholders to attend within 20 minutes.

Tips On Preventing False Burglar Alarms.

Ensure that everyone using your alarm system has been properly trained in its use and keep the number of people who operate the system to a minimum.

Always follow the designated entry/exit procedure.

Ensure you have all keys, key fobs and alarm system codes available for use, when entering or leaving the premises.

Before leaving the premises check that all your doors and windows are actually secured.

Check that all your detection devices are unobstructed.

Where movement detectors are fitted, do not introduce new sources of heat, movement or sound in the protected area.

Always inform your alarm company immediately of any alterations to your premises, which may affect your system, including any damage to the alarm system, its detectors or wiring.

For re-setting the system after a false alarm, establish the cause of activation and call your alarm company immediately, to arrange for the system to be reset.

If you are considering having an alarm installed and need advice regarding police security alarm response, contact your local Crime Prevention Officer who will be happy to help.

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