The safety and security of our buildings and occupants is of utmost priority at urbanbubble, particularly in autumn and winter when seasonal changes can cause a number of issues.
One of the most prevalent relates to homelessness in Manchester city centre; the colder weather attracts homeless people to quieter residential areas in search of properties to take shelter in. However, at all times of the year, we encourage vigilance for issues of people loitering around private property.
urbanbubble are working closely with the Greater Manchester Police to handle these concerns. Below, we’ve outlined why it’s so important to stay aware of activity around your building, and how to deal with any issues that may arise:
Controlling access to your building
Tailgating is a huge problem in communal buildings; many people don’t feel comfortable confronting someone who attempts to enter the building with them, but it’s vital that only residents and their guests are given access. This prevents incidents of theft and vandalism, protecting occupants and their properties.
In the case of homeless people, some residents think giving them shelter is the right thing to do. And while most aren’t there to commit crime, there is still a risk element involved. Defecating, urinating and drug-taking are just some of the issues that can stem from letting people into the property, which directs resources away from upkeep of the facilities.
If you are entering the building with someone you don’t recognise or who is acting suspiciously, we advise you to politely ask whether they have a fob or key code. Often, a simple challenge will be enough to deter them from entering, both then and in future.
However, we appreciate that this might not always feel appropriate. The most important thing is to report any potential tailgating incidents to the police. GMP regularly review tailgating statistics, and will only arrange patrols if they see a pattern of activity. So contact 101 to log the incident, to ensure that the police can proactively manage this problem.
Monitoring activity around the building
Sometimes people are not trying to get into the building – they may just be loitering or hanging about nearby. This isn’t a problem in itself, unless they are being verbally or physically aggressive, or committing a crime such as dealing or taking drugs.
Therefore, we advise against confronting individuals who are in close proximity to your building. Instead, just stay aware of what they’re up to, and try to build a pattern if you notice them in the area regularly.
If you are concerned about this activity, their behaviour can then be reported to your property team, so that they are aware of it. Of course, if you do notice an incident, it’s important to inform the police immediately.
Removing temptation from the equation
To minimise the risk of theft on site, there are several things occupants can do. Within your apartment, we strongly recommend that you keep valuables out of sight, especially on ground floors but also upper levels where balconies provide a view into the property.
Windows are an advertisement to what’s inside, so keeping your blinds drawn and locking windows and doors when you leave the property is good practice. For ground floor apartments, we also suggest leaving a light and the TV or radio on.
Finally, if you have a car parking space, it’s important to leave minimal belongings in your vehicle while it’s parked. Keeping sat navs and valuables on show not only brings the risk of break-in; it also encourages further opportunism in the car park.
As we head into autumn, urbanbubble are continuing to take a proactive stance to maintaining the safety and security of our properties. By following this guidance, and passing this article onto your residents, we can come together to protect the living experience in our properties.
If you are concerned about any activity in or around your building, contact your property team, or report an incident by calling 0161 236 33 44.