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Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is Hadley Wood Security Limited (HWS)?
HWS was set up by local residents 15 years ago 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 residents.
- Why does it cost almost £1,100 per year?
The cost of a 24/7 patrol is approximately £205k per year. This means that we need around 190 members to sign up for each patrol vehicle to be funded. If more or less than 190 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 are the company appointed by HWS to provide the security patrols. They are fully licensed and run by two ex-police Borough Commanders, they currently have a three-year operating agreement with detailed performance clauses which are reviewed quarterly.
- Why was the previous security provider (OCS) changed to My Local Bobby Ltd (MLB)?
Having been with OCS for 7 years the Directors felt it was appropriate to re-tender the contract to ensure residents were receiving the best value for money. We were also aware of operational issues that concerned us. Four companies tendered for the contract, MLB won the tender based on a number of factors. They were not the cheapest but offered the best value and the most professional service.
- 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 once 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 on the vehicle. Meet & Greet services and holiday cover are also included.
- Why do I need to join if I already have an alarm and or security gates?
Its not an either or, its both! Sadly, the police can no longer provide an acceptable emergency response service, the criminals know that and are taking advantage of it.
- What evidence is there that the existing patrols are effective?
The patrols were originally set-up to target aggravated burglary that was prevalent at the time. Thankfully, this has been extremely successful and the focus is now on 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.
- 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 anything happen to MLB HWS would appoint another company to provide security services in future.
- Do the Police approve of this service?
Yes, the scheme was originally approved by none other then 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. Two patrolling zones were established, Zone 1 is Beech Hill/Camlet Way and all roads connecting to and Zone 2 is Lancaster, Waggon and the Duchy estate.
- Why is there a patrol in Zone 1 and not in Zone 2?
From the beginning we had enough residents in Zone 1 who were prepared to pay for the service, up until now this has not been the case in Zone 2.
- Why are you now proposing to set up another patrol in Zone 2?
The effect of regular patrols in Zone 1 has only served to displace the criminal activity in to Zone 2 and there has been a sharp increase in incidents in recent months in the unpatrolled roads. The Hadley Wood Association has taken the initiative to bring together the Police, HWS, MLB and NHW (Neighbourhood Watch) to work together for the benefit of ALL Hadley Wood residents.
- Do all residents pay the same?
Zone 1 is a larger area than Zone 2 with approximately 600 properties versus 400 properties in Zone 2. There are a handful of roads in Zone 1 that pay a slightly lower rate but the vast majority of residents pay the same. The only exception is multi-tenanted buildings (apartments) where a 50% discount is offered provided that ALL residents subscribe. 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. If the number of members remains static, the cost will increase by the rate of inflation to maintain the guards’ pay.
- 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.
- I am currently using Pro-Force, why should I change?
Pro-Force are a very good company who also operate in north London and tendered for the contract at the same time as MLB. However, Pro-Force are not offering a like-for-like service with hourly patrols and vehicles dedicated solely to Hadley Wood, the services provided by MLB are significantly more comprehensive.
- 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 this year we will embark upon our biggest project to install ANPR cameras throughout the patrolled roads.