When a social club in Suffolk needed some added security, Jacksons Fencing were on hand to provide a safe, sound and secure upgrade
Built in 1920, Westgate Ward Social Club in Ipswich, Suffolk, is a multi-functional venue hosting all types of events from weddings, to local community meetings, sports clubs, and even film shoots. Although the venue space is highly popular within the community, it had also sadly become a target for anti-social behaviour.
Resolve, a Centre of Excellence dedicated to combatting antisocial behaviour and providing safety for communities, reveals that in 2022 anti-social behaviour reached epidemic levels. Approximately 37% of the adults surveyed reported having experienced or witnessed anti-social behaviour in their community – the highest figure in six years.
Having a secure perimeter is paramount for businesses and community buildings, however aesthetics are as important to consider in the design and specification process. Perimeter security can heavily influence first impressions, and affect how people view the site.
As such, it is crucial that public buildings and facilities are appropriately designed and security is carefully planned from the outset. Properly specified fencing and gates will help demonstrate how safe and secure a site is. In turn, if it also looks stylish and well-maintained, this will create a positive first impression and display the calibre of standards and care.
This club is located in the centre of a Victorian Conservation area. The car parks and sports field adjacent to the building were surrounded by concrete slab fencing and dilapidated boundaries. This allowed anti-social behaviour to continue as the fencing and boundaries restricted the view from the Community Safety CCTV system.
Whilst concrete is often thought to be a durable material, aesthetically it creates a visually dull environment that is uninviting and drab for visitors and the local community. It may surprise you that concrete materials are unable to withstand the test of time.
The eco-credentials of concrete are very low and gaps can be easily created over time as a result of weathering and ground shifts. This affects how robust the boundary is and creates a security and safety risk.
Then if gaps in the fence have been created, a ladder effect materialises, making it very easy to climb, while also being hazardous for guests.
Angle iron posts and barbed wire strands had previously been installed above the fencing to counteract any climbing, which again can appear hostile for guests and the surrounding community.
A Suffolk Police Designing Out Crime Officer (DOCO) discussed her concerns about the inadequate existing perimeter security on this site with Jacksons Fencing.
It was evident that more robust boundary protection was needed to provide essential security, increase visibility, and help expose areas that were currently CCTV blind spots. As the club is based in a Victorian Conservation area, all solutions specified needed to comply with these regulations.
It was important that physical solutions were implemented that are not only secure but also aesthetically pleasing. Combining quality materials and fixings, good design, exceptional installation, while also considering sustainability and longevity assures a long guarantee.
This specific project expertly demonstrates it’s possible to have anti-climb and vandal-resistant security fences and railings that are also visually appealing.
Balancing style with substance
In order to meet the requirements, create a secure yet welcoming environment for guests, and protect the site from vandalism, climbing, and trespassing, 48 metres of Barbican Imperial® railings and 101 metres of EuroGuard Flatform fencing were installed.
Allowing clear visibility between the pales from the club site to the outside, the Barbican Imperial railings feature strong, pale-through-rail construction which is ideal for safety and surveillance. The lack of visible bolts means they cannot be removed to gain access. Instead, hidden internal panel-to-post connectors are used to eliminate any weak points in the metal railings.
The pale tops are cut to 45-degree angles and protrude through the top rail, actively deterring opportunist climbers.
The Suffolk Police DOCO is committed to sustainability and longevity, as such, the products used in this regeneration project needed to be robust. The metal railings are hot dip galvanised to protect them from rust and corrosion, and are polyester powder-coated black, providing a highly durable and long-lasting finish. As with all Jacksons products, they come with a 25-year service life guarantee.
Around the club’s sports field, 101 metres of EuroGuard Flatform fencing was installed. This has hot dip galvanised posts and each mesh panel is Galfan zinc alloy coated to ensure enhanced resistance to corrosion. The fencing was also polyester powder-coated green to match the surrounding area.
Peter Jackson, Managing Director, Jacksons Fencing, comments: “It has been a great pleasure to transform Westgate Ward Social Club into a secure environment for the local community and visitors to enjoy. Sadly, anti-social behaviour is on the rise, and many sites similar to this are experiencing vandalism, trespassing, or theft. I hope these robust security solutions will ensure the club is fully protected now and for years to come.”
Wendy Crafton, Club Secretary, comments: “All the work completed to make the area more secure and open by the Police and the Council has certainly made a big difference in providing a safer neighbourhood.”
Find out more about Jacksons Fencing’s fencing solutions here.