How to Keep Your Commercial Property Protected From Fly Tippers and Squatters

Rubbish dumping, vandalism or illegal occupation of commercial premises can be costly and time consuming to resolve, but there are a number of steps you can follow in order to prevent these issues in the first place.

Rubbish dumping, vandalism or illegal occupation of commercial premises can be costly and time consuming to resolve, but there are a number of steps you can follow in order to prevent these issues in the first place.

Commercial security to prevent fly tippers and squatters

In 2020/21 there were 485,000 incidents of fly tipping, an increase of 16% from 2019/20. And research from property management company Live-In Guardians reveals that, since anti-squatting laws made it a criminal offence for squatters to occupy residential buildings, empty commercial buildings have become more of a target for squatters, costing owners thousands of pounds in damage and legal fees.

Fly tippers are unconcerned with where they dump their rubbish, and do not stop to think of the expense and potential enforcement action incurred by the owner of the property on which they dump it.

Squatters also take advantage of easily-accessible premises in order to live there rent free, often causing damage and making it impossible for building owners to occupy, rent or sell their properties.

Here are some tips to help you deter both fly tippers and squatters.

Conduct a full security review

Conduct a detailed security review of all your occupied and unoccupied property and land. Be sure to include machinery and vehicles in that review.

It is advisable to call in the assistance of an all-round security expert who will be able to help you identify vulnerabilities that you may not consider yourself. Brief the expert on your goals, which are to deter anyone wishing to dump rubbish on your property, or damage or occupy it.

Secure your boundaries

The vulnerability of a property will depend on various factors including its location, local crime levels and the type of boundary that exists. If the site is within close proximity to the boundary, it will be an easier target due to there being less protection.

Your boundaries are your first line of defence when it comes to preventing illegal access to your premises. Having identified any vulnerabilities during your security review, it’s time to secure them.

Bear in mind that fly tippers will be looking for access points through which they can drive a vehicle, so make sure all routes in are well secured. High security gates with access control are often the best option.

A vehicle height restrictor can prevent large vehicles from entering the property. If the site is shut down for the long term, it is a good idea to prevent vehicular access to the entrance or boundary by securing it with heavy duty concrete blocks or bollards.

Security fencing is also often recommended, but it needs to be high and robust enough to prevent anyone with illegal occupation intentions climbing over it. The Metropolitan Police recommend a minimum height of 2.1 metres, but suggest contacting the local planning office for details of what height they consider safe, or the height that can be erected without having to apply for planning permission.

You can find more detailed advice on perimeter security in our dedicated perimeter security guide.

Secure windows and doors

It is vital that all doors and windows, and any other entry points such as skylights or service hatches, are adequately secured.

Specialist security doors provide a strong defence, but ensuring doors and windows are fitted with high security, insurance compliant locks is vital. Using an accredited locksmith, such as a member of the Master Locksmiths Association, is a must.

Shutters and grilles may be beneficial in some situations, such as when a large, glazed frontage needs to be protected.

If your building is unoccupied, consider securing your windows and doors with steel covers and anti-tamper fixings.

Keep watch

If your budget doesn’t stretch to a security guard, make use of a CCTV and intruder alarm system.

It is important to make sure your CCTV and alarm system is an accredited one, properly installed and positioned in a such a way that it will cover the site, and any fly tipping or illegal entry offences. It should not be in a position where it can be easily vandalised or removed.

Two industry bodies are responsible for the accreditation of reputable CCTV companies. These are the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) and the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).

Finally, make sure your property is well lit. Security lighting acts as a major deterrent, but it will need to be fitted in such a location that it won’t be prone to vandalism.

Give them a sign

If you have installed CCTV, then you’ll be required by law to make it clear that it’s in operation using signage.

It’s also a good deterrent for would-be fly tippers or squatters, as is signage drawing attention to the fact that the premises are alarmed.

For expert assistance in keeping your commercial property safe from fly tippers and squatters, talk to Barry Bros Security

For more than seven decades, Barry Bros Security has been assisting businesses in protecting their premises against specific threats, including fly tipping and squatters.

As a Master Locksmiths Association and National Insurance Inspectorate accredited company, businesses are able to rely on our expertise and insurance compliant services.

For expert, tailored advice on all aspects of securing your commercial premises, you are welcome to get in touch, or visit our London security showroom to browse our full range of security products and benefit from personalised guidance.

How Can We Help?

Regardless of the type of premises you are looking to protect, Barry Bros Security has the solution. Contact us today for expert advice and the benefit of decades of experience in the security industry.