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Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is Hadley Wood Security Limited (HWS)?
HWS was set up by local residents in 2005 for the sole purpose of raising funds to provide security patrols in Hadley Wood. The company 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
- Why does it cost £1,145 per year?
The cost of a 24/7 patrol is approximately £205k per year, including VAT which we are unable to reclaim.
This means that we need around 180 members to sign up for each patrol vehicle to be funded. If more or
less than 180 members sign up, the cost could go up or down in future years.
- 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.
- 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.
- What services do I receive as a member?
These are all detailed on the HWS web site at www.hadleywoodsecurity.com but in summary your property will be patrolled approximately twice per hour with an emergency response (target time of two minutes) to alarm activations. The security officers 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 over are also included.
- 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
- Why do I need to join 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.
- What is your key holding service? If we sign up to key holding, can you enter our property and reset our alarm if we are away?
MLB can provide a separate keyholding service exclusively for members of the scheme and 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.
- 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.
- 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 autotheft. 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.
- 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 to any incidents relating to non-member properties.
- 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.
- 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.
- Why do you make reference to Zone 1 and Zone 2? What does this mean?
When the scheme was set up, HWS was advised to establish two separate patrolling areas for operating
efficiency and to maintain a reasonable response time. There is no difference in the security service provided in both zones and the cost is the same.
- Why is there a patrol in Zone 1 and not in Zone 2?
That used to be the case. However, we now have 2 patrol cars in both Zone 1 and Zone 2 so this no longer
- Do all residents pay the same?
All HWS members are paying the same rate of £1,145 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. Places of worship and communal buildings are free of charge.
- Will the amount I pay increase each year?
This depends on the number of residents leaving and joining the scheme each year – thankfully almost noone
leaves! If the number of members remains static, the cost will increase by the rate of inflation to maintain the guards’ pay. In 2020, 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
- 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 5% discount will not apply. You would also have to sign a 12-month
agreement even though you are paying quarterly.
- I am currently using Pro-Force, why should I change?
Having carefully reviewed the market MLB offer a far superior service with their wealth of knowledge and
expertise in crime reduction. As ex police officers they work very closely with the police, share intelligence and proactively work to prevent crime in the area. MLB is uniquely based in Hadley Wood; it is always the same officers on duty and the patrol cars never leave Hadley Wood to ensure that a rapid response is maintained in the event of an emergency.
- I note from the HWS accounts that you have substantial 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.
- What is the connection between the 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 will also collect annual subscriptions on behalf of HWA for those residents who
wish to benefit from membership of both the HWA and HWS.
- Will my home insurance premium be reduced if I join HWS?
We do have a special discount in place with a brokerage which exclusively gives HWS members a 10%
discount off their home insurance.
- 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.
- How can I get to know the security patrol team better?
If you would like to meet our guards, please email the scheme secretary on email@example.com and we will arrange for them to come round and introduce themselves at a time to suit you. For security reasons, we will not publish their details on a public web site.
- 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 both
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. (www.hadleywoodsecurity.com)