Orbis gains ISO27001 accreditation for Lone Worker Protection

ISO27001 provides our customers with peace of mind that our lone worker solutions have been stringently audited and passed all the data security checks.

ISO27001 is recognised around the world and proves that Orbis has demonstrated compliant information security controls throughout the company.

Shaun Wilcock, Director of Monitoring Services of Orbis:

“The business benefits from ISO 27001 certification are considerable. Not only do the standards help ensure that a business’ security risks are managed effectively, but the adherence to the recognised standards sends a valuable and important message to customers and business partners: this business does things the correct way and we take the protection of data seriously”

Orbis has been protecting lone workers since 2001 and today we protect more than 25,000 employees each year. Our solutions continue to innovate, to provide the highest level of security and peace of mind for at-risk employees nationwide. Backed up by our wholly owned BS5979 Cat II alarm response centre and BS8484 lone worker accreditations, Orbis offers a full solution from incident, response to escalation.

As the way we work is constantly changing, Orbis’ devices are constantly evolving to meet the daily needs of our customers and their employees, we work closely with police and our clients to make sure that all their safety needs are met around the clock.

For more information about our solutions, get in touch today and one of our experts will be happy to help.

Secure your vacant property or risk losing it: the threat of adverse possession

In the UK, while residential squatting was made illegal in 2012, ‘adverse possession’ is still a serious threat for property owners with long-term vacant dwellings. Premises managers need to carefully consider their vacant property solutions or risk the consequences.

Under UK law, if a trespasser can prove to have adverse possession of a property for more than ten years, they can apply to the Registrar to become the new registered owner. In some instances, this means that if someone breaks into a home and lives there for ten years, they get the house for free and the original owner is left with nothing.

In 2015, the Land Registry looked at around 700 adverse possession claims, and despite criticism from legal professionals, no plans have been announced to review the law. However, vacant property management experts such as Orbis can provide a professional security and management solution to protect empty buildings. Steel and polymer screens, access control systems, CCTV and alarms will prevent trespassers from gaining entry to a property, making it impossible for them to claim residence.

Some critics may argue that if a property is left vacant for ten years, it should be put to better use. However, in previous adverse possession cases, it has been suggested that occupiers falsely claimed to have taken up residence years earlier than they actually did. Additionally, these homes do not end up becoming available to the homeless, providing much-needed shelter, but often join a portfolio of properties claimed by the occupier.

Neighbours to one such case claim to have only seen the occupier at the home for about three years before he applied successfully to become the new owner. In this case, the Registrar was ordered to pay the occupier’s legal team £265,000, which was funded by the tax payer.

Is using vacant property to house the homeless really a win-win scenario?

Following the tragic deaths of two homeless people on the streets, the Milton Keynes (MK) People’s Assembly has taken action to campaign for the government to give the council powers and funds to tackle homelessness and the housing crisis. But their solution is not without its own pitfalls and dangers.

The MK People’s Assembly put in a Freedom of Information requested for a list of all long-term empty properties in the area, which is now available on their website. The list revealed almost 500 properties have been empty for more than 12 months, including properties the council is liable for.

Sean Perry, a People’s Assembly spokesperson said: “Despite the council publicly showing sympathy towards homeless people and a willingness to help, the answer to the homelessness crisis in Milton Keynes has been right under their noses.”

However, the answer to homelessness and vacant housing is not so clear cut warns Guy Other, CEO of Orbis: “While using empty property to house homeless people sounds like a win-win scenario, some of these buildings will be long term empty for a good reason.”

It may be that premises are empty as they are unsafe and need major redevelopment before people can live in them; in which case, it can be cheaper to build new housing. Void property needs to be maintained and secured to a high standard to ensure that they remain safe and fit for purpose, otherwise they reach a state that becomes too costly to invest in.

There is also a risk in inviting people to live temporarily in a void property. If someone is injured on the premises the owner can be liable, and even temporary residents may gain some rights in regards to the property.

Perry added: “Public concern, already at a high level due to the clear increase of visible homeless people, has turned towards outrage that such tragic loss of life is possible in one of the richest nations on the planet.” Evidently, new solutions are needed but we must be wary of rushing into what could be a potentially negative situation.