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Month: August 2021

Trespassers are illegal, not just a pain

Trespassing is not just a pain, it is illegal. However, understanding the difference and how you manage a trespasser is critical to protecting your land and property, whilst deterring trespassers in the future. Gallowglass Security offer a variety of solutions when dealing with trespassers, but before we dive into those, we want to answer some of the top questions we receive about trespassing.  

What makes a trespasser?

Trespass is the unlawful occupation or interference with land or property belonging to someone else. It is illegal and you, the landowner, has the right to remove a trespasser. However, it is worth being careful, as trespassers also have rights and they aren’t just a nuisance.

What are trespassers rights?

Under common law, a land owner has a right to remove trespassers, which is often referred to as a self-help remedy. This consists of the use of reasonable force to remove trespassers. There is little judicial guidance on what is reasonable force and each case is judged on its own facts. When dealing with a trespasser and wanting to stay on the right side of the law, consult an expert.

Can I threaten trespassers?

Gallowglass Security are firm believers of amicable solutions. Politely ask the trespassers to leave as soon as you become aware of them. Should this not result in a solution, contact Gallowglass Security as we can remove trespassers without having to go through the court’s process. If the police attend, try to be there at the same time so you have a good idea of what is happening. You can forcibly remove trespassers, but only ‘reasonable force’ is permitted by law.

Can I remove trespassers?

Here at Gallowglass Security, we understand the constant problem of trespassers on commercial land and property. The process of a High Court Writ can often be a lengthy drawn-out process- and the nature of the lifestyle of the trespasser leaves room for their constant return after eviction. Therefore, we will exercise rights of self-help to remove these trespassers from your land and will instruct bailiffs from Gallowglass Security to do so on its behalf.  This right, under common law, is set out in Halsbury’s laws of England, Para 1400, volume 45 of Fourth edition.

The turnover time from the serving of such a notice to eviction of trespassers is usually less than 36 hours. So should you suffer the blight of returning illegal trespassers onto your land, we have a process in place to remove them almost as quickly as they arrive.

How do I stop trespassers?

Mark your land so people can clearly ascertain when they have strayed from public land. Highlighting these boundaries with a secure gate or fence is effective. Having neighbours who can keep an eye on your property when away can also act to deter trespassers. Gallowglass Security offer security services that patrol vacant properties ensuring trespassers do not enter. Please see the security section of our website for further information on this service.

Demand for street-patrols is back on the rise – what you need to know!

Over the course of COVID-19 lockdowns, cities and councils across the UK and continent saw a decreasing number of rough sleepers on the street. This was largely due to efforts by the authorities and charities to house the rough sleepers in hotels. As a result, many rough sleepers were able to access the help they needed from charities around the reasons why they had ended up on the street.

This has helped decrease the number of rough sleepers on the streets; however, where the rough sleepers have returned, they have concentrated on smaller areas populated by tourists, local residents, shoppers and restaurants. 

With the opening up of the UK to tourism, there has also been a marked rise in the number of organised beggars, especially around some the country’s shopping and eating areas. With this rise, there has been an increased demand for street patrol units to ensure that those most in need of help are able to access support.

If you are looking for street patrol support, here is a reminder of some of the top questions we are asked:

WHAT ARE STREET/FOOT PATROLS?

Street Patrols are made up of a two-man foot patrol team who are dedicated to a small area such as a retail stretch or a Business improvement district (BID). The team patrol the area providing help and support to all visitors to the area.

Our security officers engage with retailers, supporting in incidents such as shop lifting, direct outreach services to those sleeping rough and liaise and maintain a strong working relationship with local dedicated ward officers from the police services. We provide the local force with local intelligence, collecting CCTV and providing reports. This reduces pressure on their services and increases crime prevention.

WHAT DOES A STREET SECURITY TEAM DO?

Their first responsibility is customer service to all visitors to an area. We are often the first people that visitors interact with, and we are also a point of contact for tenants on behalf of landowners. Therefore, we reflect our client and are there to support and relay information to management teams to make strategic decisions.

WHY DO YOU NEED STREET/FOOT PATROLS?

The urban policing structure has changed. Although the numbers of dedicated ward officers have been maintained their areas of responsibility have increased, therefore their impact has reduced. This has been driven by a focus on counter terrorism and not on neighbourhood policing. This has seen a well-documented rise in street crime, especially on individuals and retailers. Many are targeted for their mobile phones. Street patrols act as a genuine deterrent to this type of behaviour and the improvement in areas where we work can be demonstrated by the metropolitan police own data.

HOW DO STREET/FOOT PATROLS WORK?

The two-man team focus on a designated area, this can often change throughout a day where they take on specific responsibilities depending on what is required. Typically, retailers require support in the day and restaurant areas need support at lunch and in the evening. The team aim to quickly build a rapport with shop managers, restaurant staff and front of house teams in hotel and office sectors. The team visit and collect data and general information which is collated in detailed reports and shared with the client which may be a landowner or a group of local businesses. The data is able to provide information on trends and concerns.

WHAT LICENSES DO STREET PATROL SECURITY HAVE?

All Gallowglass Security team members have a front-line SIA licence and receive a number of valuable training courses including ACT action counters terrorism, identifying vulnerable adults, fire marshalling, health and safety, customer service, and emergency communications. As a result, they are well equipped to manage a range of issues that they may face, seamlessly supporting the police, fire and ambulance services.

Gallowglass are also part of the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS).

Tough Mudder at Belvoir Castle 14/15 August 2021

And so, the juggernaut that is Tough Mudder, moves on this weekend for the greatly anticipated Midlands leg of the UK 2021 series; located amongst the elegant splendour of the grounds of Belvoir Castle.

The Gothic inspired and imposing Belvoir Castle is the ancestral home to the Duke of Rutland; and is located on the nape of a steep high hill overlooking the Vale of Belvoir, which has been described as an unspoilt stretch of English Countryside at its patchwork green best.

This serene and beautiful backdrop and landscape gives little hint of the daunting challenges facing those hardy souls brave enough to take on the epic endurance challenges presented by Tough Mudder. The competitors are expected to cover 10 to 12 miles on foot whilst overcoming up to 25 obstacles located throughout the course, and some of which have a challenging twist in that they play on elemental human fears such heights, water and electricity !

Since inception the Tough Mudder obstacles have evolved, but some, notably the “arctic enema “, electric shock therapy”, and “hydrophobia” are time tested perennial challenges; and still remain to throw the gauntlet down to the competitors fighting spirit. New additions to test Tough Mudder vets include “well swung” which relies on sheer grit and strength.

At Gallowglass we are privileged to have been the security provider for Tough Mudder for so many years, and it is a great favourite for our guard force. Our security teams travel the length and breadth of mainland UK to provide a highly professionally run security guarding regime at each leg, that reflects the positive and up beat tone of this remarkable event.

The Gallowglass security team leader for Tough Mudder UK John Griffiths says of this event. “ Tough Mudder is a tremendous event to be involved in. A lot of prior planning and logistics are involved to ensure that we successfully meet our security objectives. These events have an incredibly upbeat and positive vibe, and its essential that our guards mirror that with high energy positive interaction with competitors and staff.

I am proud of our fabulous team who always work hard to deliver, and no one epitomise this better than Mike Ellis, who constantly impresses with his never say die and positive can do attitude, which is the Gallowglass Security way”.

Eviction at Gallowglass Security

Gallowglass Enforcement – Evictions

Over the course of COVID-19, evictions were largely given a moratorium. However, according to the government “Courts will carefully prioritise the most egregious cases, such as those involving anti-social behaviour and other crimes” meaning “orders can now be enforced where the landlord has a valid warrant of possession”. However, bailiffs must provide 14 days’ notice of an eviction and have been asked not to carry out an eviction if they are made aware that anyone living in the property has COVID-19 symptoms or is self-isolating. As a result, Gallowglass Security has adapted it’s eviction process to meet these new rules and keep our staff safe from Covid-19.

Here we answer some of your questions to keep you in the know.

How do I correctly make a residential eviction?

At Gallowglass Enforcement we perform residential, commercial and common law evictions. Should you require an eviction, we can help from the point you receive your N26 Order for Possession from the county court. The N26 Order for Possession is required for both residential and some commercial evictions. For common law evictions, i.e., travellers on your land or trespassers in your commercial premises, only a notice will have to be served as a possession order is not necessary. We are able to assist and help with all such eviction queries and needs.

How do Gallowglass Security undertake a residential eviction?

Once we receive your N26 Order for Possession, our team will be able to transfer this to a High Court Writ of Possession under Section 42 of the County Courts Act 1984. Once this writ is received, the tenant is given 14 days to vacate the premises. Please note that Writs of Possession cannot be disputed the same way a County Court Warrant can – there is no leeway for a stay of eviction. Therefore, we have an excellent eviction success rate and endeavour to evict via legislative process ensuring diligence to our client’s immediate need, leaving problem tenants with no recourse for rebuttal.

Undertaking Commercial and Common Law Evictions on private land

Here at Gallowglass, we understand the constant problem of travellers on commercial land and property. The process of a High Court Writ outlined above can often be a lengthy drawn-out process- and the nature of the lifestyle of the traveller leaves room for their constant return after eviction. Therefore, we will exercise rights of self-help to remove these travellers from your land and will instruct bailiffs from Gallowglass to do so on its behalf.  This right, under common law, is set out in Halsbury’s laws of England, Para 1400, volume 45 of Fourth edition.

The turnover time from the serving of such a notice to eviction of travellers is usually less than 36 hours. So should you suffer the blight of returning illegal travellers onto your land, we have a process in place to remove them almost as quickly as they arrive.

Undertaking evictions during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Evictions have become more difficult to perform due to health and safety concerns around the potential of transmission of coronavirus during repossession. Of course, problem tenants and trespassers are aware of this and will use this to try to delay the proceedings. Therefore, at Gallowglass we have the following policies and procedures in place to ensure successful evictions, and prevent unwarranted complaints from the problem tenant. We have taken official government advice as well as our own experience to come up with the following points to reduce these potential issues:

Preventing transmission

  • On arrival at a property, our enforcement agents will undertake a dynamic risk assessment. They will remain alert to risk throughout the visit and will act to mitigate these if they identify a risk to their own or another’s safety. Mitigation measures will be put in place throughout the entire visit.
  • Our enforcement agents work in pairs. They will operate in fixed teams where possible to minimise contact between different individuals.
  • Full PPE will be worn, so any potential problem tenants will not have potential transmission to use as an excuse to evade eviction process.