The UK has rediscovered holidaying at home and the good news for caravan parks is that this looks to be far more than just a fad brought on for economic reasons. It is also being driven by sustainability and convenience in that it avoids the pain of dealing with busy airports, especially when you have children. This is great news for caravan parks but it does bring a new set of challenges. In particular, it increases the demands on caravan park security.
Caravan park security needs to be (almost) invisible but very effective
Leisure facilities have to establish and maintain a fun ambience while still ensuring that people are kept safe (and that theft and damage to personal property is kept to an absolute minimum). In a leisure environment it is very much preferable that security is managed in a way which is aesthetically pleasing, or at least aesthetically acceptable, and it is crucial that it is done in a way which will minimise inconvenience to genuine visitors.
All security begins with securing your perimeter
Stopping unauthorised access (even unintentional unauthorised access) is a crucial step in making caravan parks a safe place to be. Most caravan owners will understand this and will probably accept a slight degree of inconvenience as a trade-off for security. The important point to note, however, is that they will expect caravan park owners to do everything they reasonably can to keep this inconvenience to a minimum.
In practical terms, this means investing in robust security hardware and creating effective, workable processes to ensure that it is managed in a way which provides the customer with a seamless experience. Here are a couple points to consider.
Perimeter barriers need to fit the space available
Rising arm barriers and security bollards are both very space-efficient and hence can be a great choice (or, indeed, the only choice) at access points where there is little room to maneuver. They do a very efficient job of keeping out vehicles and hence preventing cars and caravans from being stolen, but aren’t necessarily as good at keeping out humans on foot (or bicycles). Gates, by contrast, need space to swing or slide, but they can be a whole lot more effective at keeping out thieves after small valuables rather than the vehicles themselves.
Perimeter barriers need to be operated as quickly as possible
In principle, automatic barriers have the edge here as they can be automated or, at the very least, operated remotely from a control room. For the record, however, it’s important to have a back-up process for automated systems as they are not (yet) 100% reliable. In particular, they are dependent on cameras being able to read number plates correctly and relay them either to an Automatic Number Plate Recognition system or to a screen viewed by a human operator. If anything gets in the way of the camera, it may be unable to perform correctly and a human will need to intervene. Manual systems tend to be best suited to smaller caravan parks and the good news is that they can work with a high degree of efficiency, especially if customers are advised to call ahead at a certain point in their journey so that a staff member can be waiting for them at the entrance (or at least on their way).