Security tags key to future operations
A progressive security overhaul means that boats, vehicles and other property are now much safer at Westhaven Marina. The overhaul, which includes increased detail of CCTV surveillance over the marina's 133 cameras, the move to swipe tags for pier access, and an in-depth recruitment and training program for marina crew, is in response to changing times says Panuku Development Auckland’s General Manager Marinas, Tom Warren.
“While there wasn’t a crime wave, we were targeted often enough that it was important that security was made a priority,” he explains.
Swipe tags have now been issued marina wide, and have been generally well received.
“It’s not as easy as the PIN access system but most people seem to realise why it’s necessary in terms of security,” says Warren.
While it’s still in the early days, it is clear that activity associated with code sharing and unauthorised use of the marina has decreased. “Our team are spending less time investigating complaints and looking through CCTV footage to identify culprits,” he says. “These are good indicators.”
Warren says that the PIN system was out of date and a security weakness. Some codes were being used by hundreds of people, and the software was not capable of tracking or limiting this. As far as the marina could tell from its software reports, the worst culprit was a boat that had issued its code to 1,800 different people.
Under the new system, nearly 300 tags have been issued with proof of identity by the marina office to guests and crew, and marina team has worked with Westhaven’s yacht clubs on a system specifically for race crew, which is being well used and with minimal hassle.
The introduction of swipe tags was not only about security: it was also necessary to deliver a contractor management system, whereby contractors are tracked onsite via their use of swipe tags.
“With new health and safety legislation coming into place, like other marinas, we’ve reviewed our practices around contractors working at Westhaven. We need to know where our contractors are at all times, and if they are swiping in and out of piers, that is a very good approach,” says Tom Warren, who is also on the committee of the New Zealand Marina Operators Association, which is advising on health and safety issues for the industry.
Swipe tags can also make it possible for berth-holder access to carparks to be more tightly protected in the future.
“There will likely be a time in the not too distant future where berth holders and their guests use their swipe tags to access the reserved parking areas for berth holders,” says Tom Warren.
“You can see that the marina is getting busier. The dynamics will change again when Skypath is built, and we need to have proactive strategies in place so that we are ready to ring fence areas for berth holders, guests, and crew to park.”
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In terms of other security measures, a CCTV system has also been introduced on Y Pier, which provides much better surveillance of the fairway, including at night time, and carpark surveillance continues to be improved.
“There are thieves that target marinas by water and from land,” says Tom Warren. “Locking up your property securely on board is the best protection, and a combination of surveillance, on the spot
Instead of hiring a security firm to watch the marina as was done in the past, security is now one aspect of the job of marina crew. This trained team are able to deal with customer service, maintenance, and boat issues in a way that was not possible with outsourced security guards used previously. The marina has a good working relationship with Police, Maritime Police, the Harbourmaster, and Coastguard, and uses its CCTV system extensively to assist these oranisations with solving and minimising crime.