Securing void properties and spaces

Guy Other, CEO at Orbis Protect, a leading player in the property security and lone worker markets, discusses how to keep void properties & sites secure.

Construction in the UK contributes billions every year to the UK economy. In 2017 total construction orders worth £163bn were generated and the sector employs 2.4m* people. This is an industry where high value machinery and materials are on‐site and insurance policies worth millions are taken out to protect against theft, breakages and vandalism. Security is rightly a priority for the success of a project in terms of the safety of construction spaces and protecting the value of empty properties.

We see this with many organisations across the UK we work with, by securing their assets we help clients learn more about the apparent risks posed at Construction, whilst giving them essential tools to minimise risk.

Ensuring safety

Active property and site management is vital and helps when working with insurance companies to protect your assets and be complaint. Larger sites can be kept secure with physical guarding or stand‐alone systems developed by accredited companies. Technology‐led solutions are by far the most cost effective and comprehensive way to safeguard a site/property, compared to the costs and limits of manned guarding.

Intruders will be deterred from trespassing with the installation of specialist CCTV towers. For example, physically imposing structures such as our Ultra CCTV Tower, a temporary CCTV solution or the Ultra Hybrid CCTV Tower, will make criminals think twice about trespassing. Coupled with this, cameras such as the Ultra Lite, a fixed deployment CCTV solution, will follow an intruder on‐site at night or during the day time. This provides a site manager and construction firm the confidence that their assets are protected and plays a significant role in reducing costs, such as vandalism, on vacant sites.

I’d advise working with an accredited security provider, look out for memberships with the British Security industry Association (BSIA), Achilles UVDB, a utility industry pre‐qualification system and CHAS, one of the founders of third‐party accreditation. Although all sites are different, there are some core things to bear in mind that will apply to all projects and that clients should consider from a security point of view.

Tips to protect your void property or site:

  • Update your insurer with any changes to the status of a site, a development, or a property, even if this is only partially vacant
  • Check the details of your insurance policy carefully and note any amendments to the cover
  • Assess the risks to your property/site and act on these to protect your investment
  • Arrange regular inspections so any changes to the property/site condition can be noted promptly
  • Let your commercial and residential neighbours know the site/property is void and ask them to be vigilant
  • Turn off all water, electricity, gas and waste services
  • Make sure the windows and letterboxes are secured on any properties
  • Use blinds and/or security screens to stop thieves looking inside
  • Regularly inspect the property as a matter of due diligence
  • Maintain the appearance of the property/site and keep gardens and grounds clear of waste, graffiti and building rubble
  • Add in security monitoring equipment such as alarms and CCTV towers on larger sites
  • Set up and maintain fencing and light timers to stop criminals entering the site/property
  • Install warning signage across a site

On‐site safety at Redcar

We partnered with South Tees Site Company on a security project at the former Teesside steelworks site throughout 2016. Based at the Redcar blast furnace we were employed to guard the 10‐kilometre site after it had been closed in October 2015, following a sale by SSI, a Thai steel firm.

The client had become concerned about on‐site safety following a series of break‐ins and wanted a cost‐effective solution, in comparison to the expense of man guarding.

The project centred around the roll‐out of a comprehensive on‐site alarm system throughout the entire non‐operational areas of the site. This acted to prevent theft and as an early warning health and safety alert system to stop unauthorised access to dangerous areas of the site.

By February 2017 we had installed 61 videofied alarm systems, which controlled over 500 camera devices, keeping the site safe, secure and health and safety compliant. This was a significantly more cost‐effective alternative to man guarding onsite and proved to be more effective and reliable than the security measures it replaced.

The nature and size of the site incurred some real challenges. For example, some buildings were over one kilometre long, making it necessary to secure 40‐metre‐high gantries in specific areas.

We worked with South Tees Site Company to protect the site and stop intruders successfully and within a year there had been no new reported incidents or intruders. The mixture of CCTV towers, alarm systems and impactful signage worked to warn off trespassers.

Construction industry: statistics and policy ‐ Chris Rhodes. Briefing paper, 27 December 2018, House of Commons Library

Orbis achieve Platinum status with Constructionline

“For businesses who want to take a further step towards Health & Safety excellence” – Constructionline

Following a comprehensive online audit from a professional external assessor, Orbis received a glowing report, demonstrating our commitment to safe working practices for our teams and ultimately for our clients.

“Orbis operates a good Health & Safety management system with evidence of good coordination and communication of Health & Safety throughout the organisation.” – Auditor

To support how serious Orbis take safety, we have multiple industry recognised accreditations, including:

  • ISO 45001
  • ISO 14001
  • ISO 19001

Established in 1981 as the innovator in steel security solutions in the South East of England, Orbis have grown throughout the UK. Over the years, the business expanded to included: temporary alarm systems, Property Management, Lone Worker Protection, Pest Control, Property & Site Inspection services and much more.

With a workforce over 400 throughout the UK, based in 20 offices with over 130 vehicles in operation, Orbis deliver rapid response security solutions to reduce risk and maintain insurance compliance.

Orbis Management Buyout Operation (MBO)

Successful completion of a management buyout operation (MBO) for Orbis Protect has been announced

Orbis Protect chief executive Guy Other led the MBO and was quoted as saying it signalled a “new phase of growth and product development” for the company.

“I believe NorthEdge will be ideal partners sharing and supporting our goal to become recognised as market leaders in all the key sectors we serve,” he said.

Head of Midlands at NorthEdge Capital. Rob Freer, said: 

“We are delighted to support Guy and the existing management team at Orbis Protect with this investment. Having developed a broad range of social housing and commercial services and an exciting offer in terms of its lone worker protection service, the company has become a leading player with the potential to grow further.

“There is particularly strong potential in the company’s commercial proposition with more product development to come, and we are confident that the team can continue the excellent progress made in recent years, to cement the business’ reputation as a true market leader.”

This new investment will help Orbis to drive growth, expand our services and introduce more product innovation across all sectors.


Browne Jacobson LLP


Online Mentions:


Browne Jacobson LLP

Have you noticed more wasps around? If not, you might very soon!

Wasp increase 2018 - Wasps covering cafe table in public place


According to the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) this season could be a “bumper” year, which means it is likely that properties and businesses could be inundated with wasps.

The BPCA also advised that once wasp populations used to rise and fall in a two-year pattern, however a change in the wasp’s activity is making predictions on their numbers more difficult to call.

Our expert pest control technician, John Colson added: “Don’t Blame it on the Weatherman”

“Common wisdom would blame the weather for the increase of Vespula Vulgaris (common wasp) but really we should be looking at the biology for the abundance of wasps and the change in behaviour on how the Wasps feeding habits change to start nest building and larval nursing of new Queens. This is where we start seeing the rise in the numbers of calls from the public as the feeding habits change from a sweet based diet such as fruit and your cold pint of beer to a protein based diet i.e. insects to start the expansion of the colony and nest building process, it is at this point that the number of wasp nests sites increase and the abundances of customer calls start coming in, so are you geared up?”


"The country should prepare for the worst and hope for the best" Alex Wade - Pelgar (leading manufacturer of pest control products)


Official BPCA Advice

  • Be aware of wasp activity
  • Remove wasp nests quickly
  • Use a professional pest management company
  • Check your pest controller’s credentials before buying services
  • Be careful: From September, wasps may become angrier and bolder


Do you need professional support with wasps

Orbis’ pest control teams are BPCA accredited, as well as vetted and DBS checked, enabling us to work in occupied and unoccupied buildings.


Send us a message below



More on our Pest Control services:



BPCA – “Wasps going on? The changing pattern of summer pest behaviour”



Farmers turn to high-tech rural security solutions


According to NFU Mutual who provide cover to over 70% of Farmers, reported Farmers are having to resort to extreme measures to protect their vehicles and livestock.

Crime in rural areas is at its highest point since 2013, and farmers are worried being ‘staked out’ and longer police response times.

David Airey, a farmer in Sutton-in-Craven in North Yorkshire, said crime rates were the worst he had seen in 52 years of farming.

He has lost almost £20,000 in three quad bikes, trailers, metal, a tonne of sugar beet, drills, chainsaws, milk kits and nearly 100 ewes in repeated thefts.

“It’s relentless,” he said. “It’s scary, you wake up every morning, expecting to go outside and find something disappeared.”


Top ten targeted items

  1. Tools
  2. ATV/Quad
  3. Garden Equipment
  4. 4x4s
  5. Machinery
  6. Livestock
  7. Trailers and Horseboxes
  8. Oil/Diesel
  9. Equine
  10. Tractors


Nationwide Crime Increase

NFU Mutual Crime Report shows the following regional increase in crime between 2015/2016:

  • North East increase 8.7%
  • South West increase 5.6%
  • East of England increase 3.7%


Improving Rural Security

Some Farmers have turned to “medieval” and modern tech to secure their land, by digging trenches and earth banks, raising fences to implementing CCTV and alarms.


Our Solutions

Solar Power Rapid Deployment Temporary CCTV Tower

Orbis’ rapid deployment CCTV Towers, security fencing and alarms help Farmers sleep easier, knowing that our round the clock monitoring service is keeping a watchful eye over valuable items.

By creating “safe zones” Orbis’ CCTV Towers can protect valuable items within a 1km peripheral range.


CCTV Tower Features and Benefits include:

  • HD Predator Camera with night vision technology
  • Imposing 8-meter tall visual deterrent
  • Connect the tower to a max of 64 wireless infrared sensors for seamless perimeter coverage
  • Up to 30-day, time and date stamped HD footage retrieval
  • Live camera access online
  • Audio warnings and sirens
  • Connected to our highly accredited monitoring station
  • Solar powered options for sites with no power


Live Feed Quality

CCTV Tower HD Camera Quality Site Security

CCTV Tower Site Image Zoomed up High Definition Site Security










Find out more about our security solutions



BBC: Rural crime rise prompts “medieval defences”

NFU: Rural crime costs up 20% despite ‘fortress farms’

NFU Mutual Main Rural Report

CIH Housing 2018

CIH Housing 2018 - Manchester Central - Europe's Largest Social Housing Event - Orbis


We are pleased to invite you to meet Orbis at this years Housing 2018 taking place on 26-28 June at Manchester Central. Our focus will be how property managers can reduce void property turnaround time, minimise risks, remain insurance compliant.

Come see us on stand G8 to discover how our leading vacant property protection and management services can save you both time and money, whilst providing peace of mind.

We know it can be a long day on your feet, so while you’re with us, you’ll have chance to put your feet up and relax with a drink.

Click on the image above to register your FREE pass to CIH Housing 2018




CCTV Tower Exhibitions

We’ve had a busy few weeks at events, here are some images to help sum them up:

UK Infrastructure Show




If you’re interested in finding out what events we have coming up, follow us on Twitter to be first to know!

Festival of Public Procurement | Procurex South

Orbis are happy to be exhibiting at Procurex England South 15/03/2018, held in central London it is the largest annual gathering of pan-sector public procurement professionals and market leading suppliers, who contribute to the annual UK spend of over £220 billion.

Here’s a look back at Procurex South last year…

Keep an eye on our social media for updates of the event this year.




Back to News

Sponsoring the UK’s Leading MOD Defence Event

The MOD is Britain’s largest Industry’s customer spending over £19 billion annually, with purchases randing from all kinds of facilities management services, military fighting vehicles, education and more.

Our Business Development Director Louis Fordham said:

“We are looking forward to gaining great industry insights from professionals in the defence sector at this event. We see this event as an excellent opportunity to showcase the capabilities of our market leading rapid deployment CCTV towers and vacant property protection solutions”.

The exhibition is being held at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on the 27 March 2018.

Book Now



Back to News

London’s rise in Pests left with Local Authorities

Pests have been in news recently with the headline “London councils receive 100 rat and mouse complaints every day” the article suggests that around 186,000 reports of rodents have been logged in the capital since 2012. The Mayor of London’s office stated that pest control and refuse collection is a matter for local authorities.

Pest problems not only present a hygiene issue and the possibility of legal penalties for Social, Private and Commercial Property Managers, they could also cause significant structural damage which can be costly and dangerous.

Orbis’ specialist Pest Control Teams offer nationwide provide same-day response and preventive services to ensure your properties remain safe, legal and pest-free.

Click the image above to go to the news story

Legal Responsibility

Penalties for the inadequate handling of a pest problem by those responsible for the building could include a £20,000 fine or up to six months in prison.

Did you know Pest Control Facts Services

Key Benefits of Orbis Pest Control Service Teams


Are you a member of the Efficiency East Midlands (EEM) Framework?

Orbis scored 100% quality when appointed to the EEM Framework for Vacant Property Cleaning and Clearance. This framework also includes the following ad hoc call-off services:

EEM Framework of Services and Location

Click here for more information on the EEM Framework

Benefits of Using the Framework



This Framework is fully compliant with UK Procurement Regulations and the EU Procurement Directive. We’ve undertaken the procurement work so you don’t have to.

Quick & Simple to use

There’s no need to run a full EU tender and EEM will manage the process on your behalf where required

Approved Contractors

All Contractors have already been assessed during the framework tender process for their experience, financial stability, Health & Safety, Equality & Diversity and working practices

Ongoing Support

Members will have ongoing support during the call off contract from both the EEM Procurement Team and Projects Officer. We can attend kick start meetings, review meetings and assist with the completion of the contract documentation.

Competitive Pricing

All pricing is fixed for the first agreed period of the Framework and where possible fixed from April to March each year to give certainty within each financial year period. EEM will manage and negotiate all price increases to ensure fair application across our Members


If you are not already a member of EEM but would like to request further details, please email or call 01623 729945

Or for more information on our Pest Control Services, visit our solution page here or contact us here