New regulations require British Standards compliance.

Thousands of UK businesses – and their insurance policies – could be affected by new regulations on security.

If a company’s CCTV system is not fully compliant with the British Standard by 31 October, it may be denied a police response to intruder alarms. This could leave many commercial premises without an effective security system.

Although existing CCTV systems will remain functional, police may not respond to an alarm if their system does not hold a unique reference number.

Non-compliant companies could also face financial losses as their insurance policies might require a police response.

According to the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board, 98% of the monitored CCTV systems installed are not compliant with the BS8418 standard.

Edward Cusack, managing director of GSS, a security systems provider, said: “We welcome the enforcement of the regulations. It should help drive forward the overall quality of security provided by the industry. However, businesses with non-compliant legacy systems need to be aware of the potential ramifications.”

Thousands of companies that had invested heavily in CCTV protection could find that their systems did not have the level of security necessary to elicit a police response, he warned.

He added that companies could also face potentially serious financial implications of lapsed insurance cover if their CCTV systems were not compliant.

“It is almost impossible to calculate the numbers of systems affected and we will not really know until the end of October,” Cusack said.

Andrew Miller, manager of risk control surveyors at Allianz, said: “It is possible that a business’ insurance could be invalidated if CCTV with police response is a condition of their policy. However, I’d like to think the receiving centre would tell them if this was the case.

“The number of insurance policies we have that require monitored CCTV with police response is relatively few so I don’t think it will cause a huge problem.”