Your church is a safe place that’s run and visited by well-intentioned and good-hearted people within your local community. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean your place of worship is safe from the damaging effect of crime.
In fact, churches are particularly vulnerable to vandalism, hate crime, break and enters and many other criminal activities. That’s why church security solutions have become extremely popular, and necessary, over the past few years.
So, what can your place of worship do to ensure it is protected from criminal activity? Sonitrol Western Canada has listed five tips here:
1 - Ask first responders for help
First responders, such as your local police department or firefighter professionals, are generally more than happy to offer advice as well as help you to create a security plan. They can even review your security plan to make sure it’s effective at stopping criminal activity.
Not only that, but communicating with your first responders will help you to create a strong relationship with your law enforcement department. This means police will be familiar with your church in the event of an emergency, and will lead to them responding to a crime at your facility much faster than they might have otherwise.
2 - Conduct an annual risk assessment
Criminals are constantly evolving in a bid to get away with the crimes they commit, and existing security systems can soon become outdated and ineffective. Each year it’s important to conduct a risk assessment of your place of worship.
By regularly reassessing your church, you will be able to find any new weaknesses in your property as well as any deficiencies in your security system.
3 - Fix any signs of neglect
There is a criminology theory, called ‘the broken windows theory’. This theory states that visible signs of crime, anti-social behaviour or civil disorder create an urban environment that encourages further crime and disorder.
That means any damage to your place of worship or the surrounding property can encourage further crimes to take place. By ensuring the upkeep and maintenance of your church, you will be deterring would-be criminals from targeting your facility.
4 - Run a background check on volunteers
Most people who want to volunteer at your church will be decent people with good intentions. While it may sound over the top, your church really should run a background check on every single person that volunteers for a security position.
Running these background checks on security volunteers is a way of ensuring that all of your members are fully protected from criminal activities. It will demonstrate that your church puts its member’s welfare and safety first.
5 - Install a verified alarm system
The vast majority of churches still use outdated and ineffective CCTV systems, if they even use a security solution at all. Unfortunately, traditional CCTV only serves to record a crime in progress. While this recording might help police to find a criminal after the crime has been committed, the damage to your business will have already been done.
A verified security solution, however, will send a live video or audio feed directly to a security expert in a central monitoring station. Once a criminal tries to gain access to your place of worship, this security expert will be able to verify the threat and send real-time updates directly to your local police department.
This verification means police respond to verified alarms in just 3.5 minutes - compared to traditional alarms in which response times are often longer than 45 minutes.
Want more tips that will help you protect your place of worship, or if you’d like more information about Sonitrol Western Canada’s unique verified alarm solution. Contact our team of experts today. We would love to help.