When Itchenor Sailing Club suffered the theft of four outboard engines, club member Richard Lang, who runs a £6 million company specialising in wireless security products, decided to develop a new system specifically to combat this growing problem.
The recession was always going to mean that the persistent problem of outboard engine theft would become worse. Having studied previous recessions and downturns and their effect on crime, The Home Office has issued blunt warnings that the credit crunch will see an overall rise in crime figures. Sure enough, marine insurance companies have seen a marked increase in claims not just for outboard engines but RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) and other small “trailable” craft. The recent theft of four outboard engines and RIBs in Chichester Harbour prompted Itchenor Sailing Club to take action. It so happens that one of the club’s long standing members, Richard Lang, is Managing Director of Tag Guard Ltd, one of the UK’s biggest names in building and construction site security.
Richard Lang briefed his in-house R & D team and they developed a bespoke new system that should enable clubs, marina operators, boat yards and small craft boat dealers or brokers to adopt this new, low cost but highly effective security.
Richard Lang comments, “The new system we designed is now in use at my own club – it’s simple to set up and should prove highly effective in preventing boats and their engines from being taken from moorings or even hard-standing areas.
“One system can protect several boats and the first system now in operation in Chichester Harbour is securing 10 boats and their engines at the same time.
“The equipment can easily be extended to provide effective security to external and internal areas of clubs and marine premises that are left unoccupied and unsecured such as storage sheds, boatyards, workshops and other buildings – it can even incorporate fire detection as part of the overall system.
“The alarm system is wireless and based on the proven products that have been developed over many years to withstand the rigours of the building and construction sector where Tag Guard is best known.
“Any unauthorised movement of the boats or engines triggers an alarm that is received by our own remote monitoring centre, which is manned 24/7 throughout the year.
“In the event that an alarm is triggered, mobile guard response can then be dispatched and key holders immediately notified; the system also sets off an audible alarm and security lights to ensure that the thieves cannot continue unnoticed.”