Frequently Asked Questions

Published in October 2020

1. Who is Hadley Wood Security Limited (HWS)?

HWS was set up by local residents in 2003 for the sole purpose of raising funds to provide security patrols in Hadley Wood. It now does much more than this and supplies proactive security solutions to our members by funding and maintaining ANPR/CCTV cameras, as well as regular training for patrols in first aid and the use of defibrillators (which are kept in every patrol car). HWS is set up as a co-operative, which means it is owned by its members and is a ‘not for profit’ organisation administered by a Membership Secretary and two Directors, who are also local residents and who work on a voluntary basis.

2. What is the relationship between My Local Bobby Ltd (MLB) and HWS?

MLB is the company appointed by HWS to provide the security patrols. MLB is fully licensed, is run by two ex-police Borough Commanders and currently has a three-year operating agreement with detailed performance clauses which are reviewed quarterly by the Directors.

3. Do we have to pay for MLB and HWS separately?

No, you will only pay HWS, who collect all the member subscriptions (preferably by Direct Debit to save on admin costs) and then HWS pay MLB directly.

4. What services do I receive as a member?

These are all detailed on the HWS website but in summary your property will be patrolled at least hourly with an emergency response to alarm activations (target time of under two minutes if we are listed as your first phone number to call with your alarm monitoring company). The security officers (Bobbies) are First Responders so are trained in restraint as well as basic first aid and firefighting; a defibrillator is also carried in the vehicle. Meet & Greet services and holiday cover are also included.

5. If a crime takes place at my property, how will the security patrol respond?

The security patrol officer will respond immediately and, if need be, will also alert additional MLB officers and the Police. The security patrol officer will act in the same way as a Police officer would by protecting both you and your property and, if necessary, make an arrest. The officers are trained in restraint and will take whatever action is necessary to ensure your protection. They also wear bodycam’s so that all activity is recorded.

6. What is your key holding service? If we sign up to this service, can you enter our property and reset our alarm if we are away?

MLB provides a separate keyholding service exclusively for HWS members at a discounted rate of £25 per month plus VAT. This will allow officers to enter your property and carry out a full internal check prior to re-setting the alarm, if possible. Please contact MLB directly for this service.

7. Why do I need to join HWS if I already have an alarm and/or security gates?

It’s not an either or, it’s both! Sadly, the police can no longer provide an acceptable emergency response service. The criminals know this and are taking advantage of it.

8. How do we link our existing alarm to MLB as well as to our alarm security company and why should MLB be listed as first person for the alarm call centre to ring?

Most modern alarm systems will connect to a central station for alarm monitoring. In the event of an activation the central station will alert up to 6 numbers (including the Police) to advise them that the alarm has been activated at your address. You must provide your central station with the patrol number with the request that this is the very first number called. The patrol can then be directed immediately to your property. Alternatively, if your alarm is not monitored, you can install an auto-dialler that will call the patrol directly in the event of an alarm activation. If you would like further information on your particular security set-up and how it can best compliment MLB’s service, please email us and we will contact you directly.

9. What evidence is there that the existing patrols are effective? Have crime rates dropped?

The patrols were originally set-up to target the aggravated burglary that was prevalent at the time. Thankfully this has been extremely successful, and the focus is now on the prevention of burglary and auto-theft. Members display a large security plaque outside their property indicating their membership of the scheme; this is a very effective deterrent. Almost all criminal activity is targeted on non-member properties with just a handful of incidents occurring in member properties in the past 15 years.

10. Do non-members benefit from the patrols?

All residents will inevitably derive some benefit from the enhanced security in the area, but the patrol will not attend a non-member property, nor will they respond to or offer any of their services to a non-member resident. We would like all Hadley Wood residents to view HWS as a community service and so we continue to actively promote joining HWS to all residents and ask our members to do the same.

11. Is my money at risk at any point?

No. HWS will hold your funds and pay for security services provided monthly in arrears. The HWS bank account is controlled by a Director and supervised by an independent firm of accountants who audit the accounts annually. Should MLB be unable to provide security services, HWS would appoint another company to provide security services in their place.

12. Do the Police approve of this service?

Yes. The scheme was originally approved by none other than Cressida Dick, the current Met Police Commissioner! MLB is run by two ex-senior police officers and they have an excellent working relationship with our local police officers.

13. Why do you make reference to Zone 1 and Zone 2? What does this mean?

When the scheme was originally set up, HWS was advised to establish two separate patrolling areas for operating efficiency and to maintain a rapid response time. There is no difference in the security service provided in both zones and the cost is the same.

14. Do all residents pay the same?

All HWS members will be paying the same rate per membership year (June – May) when paying by Direct Debit. The only exception is multi-tenanted buildings (apartments) where a 50% discount is offered, provided that ALL residents subscribe. Additionally, we have recently introduced a further discount to encourage everyone to join: if every household in your road joins, a 20% discount is offered to everyone in that road. We understand this may be harder to achieve for longer roads, but this is the only road discount arrangement currently on offer. Places of worship and communal buildings are free of charge.

15. Will the amount I pay increase each year?

This depends on the number of residents leaving and joining the scheme each year – thankfully almost no-one leaves! If the number of members remains static, the cost will increase by the rate of inflation to maintain the guards’ pay. In 2020 & 2021, the number of members joining was greater than the annual increase in costs, so the annual subscription did not increase. If we have a significant increase in members then the cost could reduce in future years or we could introduce additional patrols.

16. If I am paying by direct debit, why can’t I pay monthly?

We are contractually committed on an annual basis, so we cannot sign the contract until all the funds are received for the full 12-month period. However, in certain circumstances we will allow quarterly payments, but only if paid by Direct Debit and the DD discount will not apply. You would also have to sign a 12-month agreement even though you are paying quarterly.

17. I note from the HWS accounts that you have some reserves, why?

In some years we have a small surplus and in other years we have a small deficit, but over 15 years we have built up a reasonable surplus which we use to fund security initiatives that benefit our members. In the recent past we have purchased medical equipment and in 2020 we embarked upon our biggest project to install ANPR and CCTV cameras throughout the whole of Hadley Wood; this work is ongoing with 82 cameras now installed.

18. What is the connection between Hadley Wood Association (HWA) and Hadley Wood Security Ltd (HWS)?

The HWA oversees the running of HWS as part of its overall security strategy involving the police, HWS and Neighbourhood Watch. HWS also collects the HWA annual subscription (£50 per year per household) on behalf of HWA for those residents who wish to benefit from membership of both the HWA and HWS.

19. Do HWS cars have sirens? How quickly can they respond in an emergency, especially if they are on the Cockfosters Road?

Houses on Cockfosters Road and some of the roads off that road are on an Emergency Response service only, so the patrol is highly unlikely to be stuck in traffic. However, in the unlikely event that this happens there is always a second patrol that remains in the heart of Hadley Wood at all times.

20. How can I get to know the security patrol team better?

If you would like to meet our guards, please email the scheme secretary at [email protected] and we will arrange for them to visit you and introduce themselves at a time to suit you. For security reasons, we will not publish their details on a public website.

21. I would like to know more about the ANPR/CCTV cameras.

We are happy to discuss this more fully with our members. Please email us and we will contact you directly. For security reasons we do not disclose camera locations or operational protocols. Only authorised personnel can access the cameras.

22. Should I invest in a crook lock? Do they really help avoid my car from being stolen?

Current Police advice is that you should purchase a crook lock if your car is not garaged and is susceptible to vehicle theft. Range Rovers have been targeted in Hadley Wood.

23. I have lived in Hadley Wood for many years but have never been approached to join HWS.

We do our best to make everyone aware in the community. The scheme is promoted online, via several hundred plaques on member properties, via hand-delivered letters through your door, via the Hadley Wood News which is delivered to every home in Hadley Wood every other month (by the HWA) and through the NHW chat forums and the Hadley Wood Association at the AGM. We also incentivise members to make referrals and recommend their neighbours to join. Ultimately, we want everyone in Hadley Wood to be a part of and benefit from enhanced security protection for themselves, their family and their property, so please do not hesitate to get in touch with us via our website