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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77782 Find in a Library
Title: Intruder Alarms - The Police Policy
Author(s): S E Bailey
Corporate Author: Northumbria Police
Chief Constable's Office
Force Headquarters
United States of America
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 43
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Northumbria Police
Ponteland NE2 0B1, England
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: A British police constable traces the development and use of intruder alarms in the United States and Great Britain and discusses their impact on British police and communities, with emphasis on the problem of false alarms.
Abstract: Development of current intruder alarm systems coincided with progress in the fields of electricity and telephones. The first central office burglar alarm operation appeared in America in the 19th century, and electronic protection for industrial and commercial enterprises was well established in New York City by 1889. Burglar alarms first appeared in Great Britain in the early 20th century, and by 1978 the growth of intruder alarms was continuing rapidly and the results on police and the environment were beginning to be seen as potentially detrimental when the effectiveness of alarm systems was considered. Much police time was being spent in dealing with false alarms. Moreover, false alarms were often found to be caused by human error, faulty alarm system design or layout, equipment failure, and equipment mismatch with the physical environment. Recent statistics showed that about 98 percent of alarms were false alarms. Their main effects on the police include waste of resources, the negative psychological effects on police response, and the nuisance to the environment of a ringing alarm bell. Alarm companies and the police should work toward the British Standard BS4737 as the minimum acceptable level for alarms. Firm action should also be taken against alarm systems which create too many false calls; withdrawal of police response appears to be the only effective sanction. Standardized procedures for resetting of equipment are also needed. Other areas needing attention are transmission systems, centralized control rooms for all types of alarms, and the use of digital communications systems. No references are cited.
Index Term(s): Business security; Failure factors; False alarms; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Intrusion detectors; Police business cooperation; Residential security
Note: Paper presented at the International Fire, Security and Safety Exhibition and Conference, London, April 22, 1981.
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