Monday, 30 July 2012

CP Plus’ guide to the Safer Parking Scheme

If you leave your vehicle in a public car park, you want to make sure that it will still be there on your return. Because no-one wants to deal with the stress and expense of having their car stolen, it’s best to look for car parks which display the Safer Parking Scheme’s sign, known as ‘Park Mark’. A number of parking management companies in the UK, such as CP Plus support this scheme and have the sign displayed in all of their public car parks.

If you see this sign, you’ll know that the car park company have made security a priority, and have taken a number of measures to prevent any criminal activity from occurring in their car parks. The implementation of better management practices and design changes, which are a part of the Safer Parking Scheme, has been shown by studies conducted by the Home Office to reduce crimes occurring in car parks by more than 80%.

This scheme is part of an initiative by the ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers), and aims to allay the fears of drivers who need to park, and are concerned about car theft and other crimes. The Park Mark sign is only awarded to parking facilities which have been carefully assessed and have met all of the requirements as set out by the Scheme’s policy. Meeting these requirements means that the parking company has done everything that they can to ensure that criminals and those behaving in an anti-social manner are deterred.

The scheme was initially only available in certain car parks; however its policies were changed and now it is run in such a way that it is accessible to a wide variety of car parks, including hospital parking facilities, commercial parking lots, residential and retail car parks. The ACPO decided to move from a design-led philosophy to a more risk-based one, so that parking management companies would have more options when it came to safety measures for reducing the risk of criminal incidents occurring.

Some of the criteria which the Park Mark parking facilities must meet include having appropriate and sufficient lighting, having effective surveillance, in the form of CCTV and ANPR, installed and ensuring that the facilities are clean and well maintained. CP Plus say that being awarded the Park Mark sign demonstrates to motorists using the car park that the parking management company is committed to keeping users of the facilities safe, and have taken effective steps to prevent crime.

Currently the Safer Parking Scheme is supported by a number of organisations within the UK, including the BPA (British Parking Association, the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Home Office.



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