Members of The British Security Industry Association (BSIA), the industry voice for security products and services, have elected Simon Alderson to chair its newly created Vacant Property Protection Group. Simon is the Commercial Director for the vacant property specialists, VPS, one of the BSIA’s member companies.
“The creation of this group highlights the specialist security requirements for vacant property management.”Simon Alderson says. “2012 saw worrying trends for empty properties, with a ten-fold increase in retail shop closures, over 60,000 metal theft crimes against business premises, and record storms. Protecting and preparing premises appropriately can make the vital difference for the owners between re-letting or selling vacant properties, or seeing them remaining empty and falling into disrepair.” he explains, and concludes: “I am also very keen to assist the BSIA’s goal to benchmark professional security services and products at the highest level – its badge and its members are rightly seen as the quality mark for security, developing the British standard for this sector.”
The Vacant Property Protection Group has initially been working to create a Code of Practice for vacant property protection. The code of practice is for businesses that provide security measures and services introduced when a property is at an increased risk of criminal attack because of a change of circumstances in its occupancy. A typical vacant property, also known as a void or empty property, is a building that has been occupied but is temporarily not in use prior to a new owner or tenant moving in. Buildings that are temporarily unoccupied are more vulnerable to arson, burglary and vandalism. The code will cover the business arrangements and the need to have a clear agreement regarding responsibilities.
Mr Alderson, 37, has worked in this sector for over a decade, joining VPS in 2003 as a Business Development Manager. He has held a number of roles and Directorships, including General Manager, SmartPatrol Property Protection Ltd (VPS Group), and Innovations and Services Director. Prior to joining VPS, Simon worked for Plastic Omnium Urban Systems and Soten UK. His most recent article was a legal update on the impact for commercial landlords on the Scrap Metal Dealers Act, published in Facilities Management magazine, FM World, March 2013.
BSIA’s Chief Executive, James Kelly, adds: “The BSIA is committed to promoting best practice, supporting excellence and educating the marketplace in all matters concerning security products and services. It makes sense to create a Vacant Property Protection Group as this sector continues to expand, develop and become an important specialist branch of security.”
VPS are the largest vacant property specialists in Europe, securing more than 90,000 properties and employing over 2000 staff in 100 locations across the UK, the US, and mainland Europe. They specialise in securing, maintaining and managing vacant property across a wide range of customer and industry sectors, working with local authorities and the UK’s leading construction companies, property developers, estate managers and insolvency practitioners. This month their parent company, the VPS Group, announced their acquisition of the Dutch offices-to-homes specialist FMT.
VPS’ core building services cover the vacant, unoccupied and void property lifecycle from an initial risk assessment, to security, including guarding, monitoring, clearing, cleaning, maintenance and preparation. These services protect properties against unauthorised access and a variety of hazards such as arson, theft, squatting and unauthorised occupation.