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Have you heard of the street muggings that have been happening in London recently?
Well, if you haven’t, and you intend to go filming in London, we thought you should know. London is a beautiful city with excellent sites and impressive architecture. It is no surprise that TV shows, film, and music video directors choose London to film scenes.
With the recent security concerns, however, there are measures that you are required to keep in place. These measures will ensure that you and your filming equipment are safe. After all, who would want to encounter unpleasant surprises when filming along London streets? We know we wouldn’t.
The worst part is that the muggings happen even during the day. That is why it is advisable for you to be vigilant at all times, especially if you are new in the city. However, evening hours are even more dangerous because most muggings happen between 6 and 10 in the evening. If you intend to film during these hours, it is imperative you exercise extra caution.
As much as London is considered a film-friendly city, there are a couple of things that you have to do before you start filming.
This filming guide covers a range of additional advice, with extra material for filming on the underground.
Filming equipment is often expensive, and it would be a great loss if you lose yours to muggers. Moreover, you might sustain serious injuries as you struggle with a mugger or even lose your life because muggers usually have a weapon with them. Most people report that muggers in the city carry a knife or variant.
A good example of a mugging incident that happened recently on the streets of London is one on an Australian TV news crew. The crew was ambushed by masked thieves soon after they had finished a live coverage in London at around 10 pm. The thieves managed to get away with a camera worth a good £15,000. That is quite a large amount, don’t you think? That is why we have settled on giving you some tips on how you could keep you and your filming equipment safe when you are filming on the streets of London.
One of the most effective ways to protect yourself is by having some confidence. Being confident is essential regardless of whether you are new in London or if you have been there a couple of times. Looking confident minimises your chances of being targeted. You are required to be aware of your surroundings and ensure that you move with a goal in mind.
The London Metropolitan Police advise visitors to plan their route before taking to the streets. Preparation is key, and you should also ensure to think about the filming equipment you want to carry. This mostly applies to those who are new in the city, but it does not exempt individuals who have been in London before and those that reside in or around the city.
Safety is key here, and you are advised to stick to busy and well-lit streets. Additionally, you should use paths and walkways that most probably have CCTV coverage. If you are covering long distances within London, you will need to use a means of transport. If this is the case with your project, you should ensure to ride in taxis or minicabs that are licensed, which ensures you are in safe hands regardless of whether you are new in the city.
Another effective way to keep yourself safe as you film along the streets of London is keeping your equipment out of sight. Carrying the equipment carelessly may expose you to the thieves, and they may sweep in to grab it from you. It is imperative to pay attention to your surroundings even if most of your concentration is on shooting the perfect clip.
The thieves along the street could also be witty, implying that you need to stay alert and know what or who is around you. Moreover, you should never make the mistake of leaving your filming equipment unmanned. Thieves may end up spotting it when you are not around and get away with it. If you are using your phone to film, ensure that it is always in your pocket whenever you’re not using it. This ensures that it is not snatched from your hands.
As much as protecting your equipment is important, ensure to put your safety first. Remember that the thieves might be violent, and they could also be carrying a weapon. You do not need to lose your life defending material things that can be replaced easily while your life cannot.
Another effective precaution that you need to take is installing security features on your phone. Sometimes when you are filming using your phone, it may prove a little hard to keep watch over your surroundings. At such an instance, thieves may come in and snatch it from your hands. If you have installed security features on your phone, the police may be able to track and retrieve it.
Moreover, there are security features on a phone that enable you to prevent a thief from restoring it to its factory settings, lock your handset, or wipe data. Phones usually have an IMEI number, which is unique with every handset. To get your IMEI number, all you have to do is dial *#06# then write it down. In case your phone gets stolen, you can call your mobile provider to stop the phone from being used. You are also advised to register your phone or filming equipment at www.immobilise.com. It allows the police to track stolen property and stop their sale.
Personal safety is paramount, and the London Metropolitan Police Service dedicates a lot of resource to making London one of the safest cities in the world. If you are new in London, you may benefit from the tips below that have been provided by the Met. They could help keep you and your equipment safe.
If thieves manage to get away with your filming equipment, you should report to a police station immediately. Alternatively, you can dial 101. However, if the case is an emergency and it is happening at the moment, you need to call 999 immediately.
Sometimes, you may be handling a big project in the streets of London, which might hinder you from being able to keep you and your filming equipment safe. In such a scenario, it is advisable to use the services of a film and TV set location security firm. Such firms are usually licensed, and they offer a couple of security services.
The firms’ security personnel ensures to work with your location managers and production teams in order to make their tasks easier as well as allow your team to concentrate on their tasks. These individuals will not only protect your crew but also keep your equipment safe. It is their responsibility to ensure that thieves do not come anywhere close to your filming location.
If you are filming a major movie or TV show on the streets of London that features A-list celebrities, you will also need the services of a reputable film and TV set location security company. This is because most people are often fascinated by such personalities, and they may distract your set in a major way, which could keep you behind schedule. If the crowd is overly thrilled, some may end up damaging your filming equipment as they attempt to meet or touch their favourite TV personality.
Some of the services that you should expect to receive from the security firms.
• Close protection
Film and TV set location security entails offering close protection to every member of your crew. You might have observed the way celebrities are escorted when they are walking down the red carpet, right? Such is the type of services that you will receive. Ensure to hire a security firm that is licensed and has years of experience.
• Risk management
A reputable security company’s personnel will also assess potential hazards around your filming location constantly. The firm’s personnel should also be well trained to carry out a risk assessment in order to neutralise different risks and provide you with a safe working environment.
• Traffic management
London is a busy city and keeping your crew and equipment safe amidst filming may prove a little difficult. Fortunately, you can find a location security firm to provide you with traffic management solutions as you film. A good security company will be able to control high-speed chases, stop and go services, and major road closures. Such services will help you to work on your project seamlessly.
• Street reservations
When you are shooting from the streets of London, there are scenes that will require you to reserve certain streets. Taking care of such tasks by yourself could be hectic. However, if you hire a location security company, its crew can help you to keep the street clear and completely maintained.
• Logistical support
Shooting a movie often requires you to use heavy equipment. Moreover, you will need to carry around a ton of equipment. A great location security company will provide you with all the logistical support that you need. They will ensure to move your crew and equipment from one street to the next and minimize your hassle, especially if you are a newcomer in the city.
• Event location security
When you are shooting a movie on the streets of London, you need everything secure and your project going according to plan. A film and TV set location security firm can help keep things in order and meet each of your specific demands. This is not only convenient but also capable of boosting your efficiency.