Safety and security in blocks of apartments
Living as a community
A big topic in the media at the moment is around security and safety in the places we live. There has never been a better time in life for you and your neighbours to come together to build a community to further improve the safety of the places that you live. We are not asking you to become friends with everyone in your block but just to be more aware and vigilant in relation to reporting and challenging (when you feel it is safe to do so) suspicious behaviour.
W&A have a very good working relationship with the Police forces in the areas we manage blocks in. It is important to note if you have first-hand experience of any crime or witness it directly; that you report this to the police as the first port of call. As primary evidence carries a lot more weight in a court of law than secondary.
As Block managers we can try and make sure front doors automatically lock and gates are working but there are number of community improvements you can make as a resident in a block or complex to make the place you live much more safer:
1) The British way is to be polite and open doors or hold them for people behind you. Please try and stop this. Treat the communal door like it is your front door. Would you hold your door open for a stranger? So please don’t do it at a communal front door. It is ok to ask someone to prove who they are or use their own fob to gain access. If you do see someone suspicious don’t let them in and report them to the police on 101.
2) Please report any suspect parcels or packages left in communal areas to the on-site caretaker or W&A during working hours. Although, If you do feel like an item left on the premises is very suspicious or it is out of office hours, please don’t report it to W&A. Call the police. Do not ever investigate the package or parcel yourself.
3) If there is suspicious behaviour in and around the apartment block whether from residents or people coming onto the site for no reason, please report this to the police, anonymously if you like. Different types of crime usually go hand in hand, for example, in our experience if you have a drug dealer set up camp on a complex you usually see an increase in robberies. Just because you live in a block of apartments it doesn’t mean you can’t build a community.
4) Without reporting crime the police cannot work with ourselves and the council to stop it.
5) Report repairs and security issues to W&A. We want you to report when locks have failed or you are having problems with un-welcome strangers/undesirable visiting the sites to us.
Problems such as replacement locks are easy to repair but sometimes the issues are more difficult to resolve, such as social issues where we have to work with the local council and Police to try and resolve. It may appear sometimes that improvements are not being made or take time but without you reporting these issues (Especially the issues with security that occur outside our office hours) we do not have the evidence and information to work with the Council, Police and security companies to make improvements. These can be issues such as homelessness.
In the past we have addressed issues with homeless people by working with local support groups to find them long term residencies rather than them living on the streets or breaking into our complexes to find somewhere to sleep or stay out of the cold at night.