On 17th February, The News reported that traders in a Leigh Park shopping centre had finally won their battle to get CCTV cameras reinstalled by Havant Police. The shop owners campaigned to get the cameras back for more than a year and claim their removal from the precinct caused a spike in opportunistic shop lifting. Traders in Greywell Shopping Centre reported increased theft and vandalism, which came to a head in early February when two teenagers who were stealing from Farm Foods threatened a member of staff with screwdrivers. The benefits of CCTV extend much further than deterring shoplifting and vandalism though, with the safety and security of staff, the monitoring of health and safety protocols and the reduction in insurance policies all adding up to throw significant weight behind the positives for installing a state-of-the-art CCTV system.

A story from Southampton Echo on 6th February highlighted once again the importance of regular maintenance of alarm systems. Fire engines from Portchester, Eastleigh, St Mary’s and Southsea were called out by the fire alarm system in H&T Pawnbrokers in Eastleigh recording smoke set off by the intruder alarm system. The intruder alarm was triggered when a member of staff opened the shop, releasing thick fog into the premises, which then set off the smoke alarms. Regular maintenance of all commercial security systems is strongly advised, and the training of staff in how to operate systems also benefits both business owners and the emergency services.

Finally, fire crews in Portchester extinguished a blaze caused by a tumble dryer in a garage on 18th February. The fire service reiterated the importance of installing and regularly checking fire alarms within homes. However, this story, and many more like it, reflect on the need to monitor tumble dryers while in use, remove lint build up regularly, and ensure all vents are cleaned and unblocked. Which? has a handy list of tumble dryers implicated in fire safety concerns over the last few years, and advice on how to get yours modified if it is one of the Hotpoint, Creda, Indesit or Swan models that have been recalled.