Council reviewing building security

January 23rd, 2013 Category: Building Management

Civic buildings need to be accessible to members of the public, as people will be visiting them for all sorts of reasons day after day.

But an open door policy inevitably means security isn't particularly tight, as council officials want to make themselves available to locals.

However, one authority has demonstrated precisely why the issue of security can't be completely ignored.

According to the Norwich Evening News, a man and his dog recently spent at least one hour wandering round a Norfolk County Council building while it was closed to the public.

Videos uploaded on YouTube showed him looking at sensitive documents on desks, using a radio and computer and even drinking and having a cigarette. He was also seen coming across a genuine council employee who failed to challenge him as to his credentials.

The embarrassing lapse has prompted Norfolk County Council to launch what it has described as a "full and thorough" review of security procedures at its premises. A spokesman confirmed this began as soon as it became aware of the incident.

"The matter is now the subject of legal proceedings," he commented.

"We are unable to discuss current security arrangements for obvious reasons."

Council buildings hold all sorts of sensitive details about members of the public, such as financial records, addresses and dates of birth.

As a result, it is alarming to think that a man on the street can gain access and start rummaging around offices and computer systems to get a closer look at the documents they have.

After all, this type of information can be exactly what identity thieves seek in order to defraud law-abiding citizens to the tune of thousands of pounds.

Local authorities might therefore find it prudent to bring in a facilities management specialist that provides security and other managed services.

It may help council officials and members of the public alike feel more confident that their personal details are being properly looked after.