Book a Free Survey


Enter your details below to

Book your free survey

Or call 0207 819 3730

  • Enter your details
  • Our team will contact you to
    arrange a security survey
  • You’ll receive a tailored quote

I consent to Banham sending me email updates on special offers, products, and services. If you would like further information on how we use your personal data, please check our Privacy Policy.

Banham Alarm Receiving Centre

When Do The Police Respond To A Burglar Alarm?

Have you ever considered when do Police respond to a burglar alarm? Read on to find out when Police respond to monitored intruder alarms.
Alarm Controller with Headset OnAlarm Controller with Headset On

Professional alarm monitoring with police response provides the best possible line of defence and peace of mind, 24/7, 365. Only Security Companies like Banham that are accredited by Regulatory bodies (NSI/SSAIB) have access to the various Police Force Control Rooms to pass alarm activations from Intruder and Personal Attack Systems to the Police directly.

Which burglar alarm systems are connected to the police?

Alarm systems cannot be connected directly to police. To avoid responding to false alarms, alarm activation signals must go through specially trained security controllers in Alarm Receiving Centres. Once a signal is received by Banham’s in-house ARC, we will take out the necessary checks and confirm the alarm activation with the authorities before sending out our expert response team.

After a monitored alarm is triggered, our team of specialist controllers at the ARC will receive a notification. Following the first activation, we will reach out to the alarm owner or next of kin to verify the alarm trigger and determine the next course of action. If a second detection trigger is received, this will confirm the activation and we can notify the police, who will then respond to the alarm activation.

ECHO-connected Alarm Receiving Centre

In June 2021, Banham’s in-house Alarm Receiving Centre was announced as the first ECHO-connected ARC in the United Kingdom. The ECHO connection fast tracks alarm signals to the police and can improve police response times by as much as four minutes. Banham is extremely proud to be at the forefront of this initiative which provides support for the police and gives our customers peace of mind.

Police response can be withdrawn under NPCC alarm policy

Police response is governed by the NPCC alarm policy, which allows Police Response to be granted to approved Installers such as Banham Security. However, even when an alarm is monitored by the police, there is a chance police response could be withdrawn under certain conditions. This right to withdrawal is stipulated under rules set out by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

Attending false alarms is a drain on police resources, which would be better used elsewhere. It is for this reason that the police reserve the right to withdraw burglar alarm responses if they receive too many false alarm callouts from certain premises.

Police response works on three levels:

  • Level 1 (the top level) is the full police response to ARC-confirmed alarms, as discussed above. Since Banham Security holds NSI and SSAIB accreditations, we are able to gain a Level 1 response. Note that app-only systems are not able to provide a Level 1 response from the police.

  • Level 2 is a police response but only if resources are available — most constabularies no longer offer this level of response, instead moving straight from Level 1 to Level 3.

  • Level 3 (the lowest level) is a response only if a member of the public calls the police to alert them to a crime. This is the same level of response all buildings receive, regardless of alarms, though alarm systems will improve the likelihood of someone noticing a crime in progress and contacting the police to ask for help.

Monitored alarms are downgraded to a Level 3 response if the police are called to three false alarms in the space of twelve months. An alarm system will remain at Level 3 for three months when it has the chance to be put back at Level 1 if the system has been updated with the latest modern technology.

Banham was the first company to be awarded the Gold and Silver awards from the Metropolitan Police for the most reliable burglar alarm systems and the lowest false alarm rate. By selecting our monitoring plan with Police response, you effectively eliminate any risks of having your Police response withdrawn due to false intruder alarm activations.

Police response is not always necessary

Add another layer of defence to your property with Banham’s professional Keyholding & Alarm Response service. Our secure ARC looks after a copy of your keys so our SIA trained and vetted key guards can attend your premises in the event of an emergency such as an alarm activation. Banham key guards are rapidly dispatched via motorbike to reduce response times and are expertly trained to deal with an array of scenarios. They will also call the police if required.

Our key guards can provide an array of useful services such as pet feeding, retrieving and delivering important documents such as passports and if your home was damaged by a natural disaster, electrical fault or leak, a Key Guard can arrange for contractors to attend your property.

If your home alarm system is under a police response contract, the ARC controllers will be able to determine whether a job is more appropriate for the police, or for Key Guards themselves to handle. With this in mind, it’s most advantageous to have both the police, and dedicated Key Guards at your disposal who stand ready to attend your property anytime your alarm is triggered or whenever you may need them to. To find out more about our alarm monitoring service please click here.


  1. Will the Police respond to any burglar or Personal attack alarm?

    No, only ones that are Installed, Maintained and Monitored by an Approved company such as those accredited by the NSI or the SSAIB (e.g. not Verisure, some ADT products etc).

  2. Surely the Police are too busy these days to respond to alarm systems?

    The Police remain committed to responding to alarms passed from approved Alarm Receiving Centres (known as Type A systems) but make no promises to respond to calls where a member of the public has reported a bell ringing or who has been alerted by an App (Type B systems as defined by NPCC Security Systems Policy).

  3. Do the ARC call 999 for a response?

    No, the ARC has a direct link to your local Force Control Room, they quote the alarm type and a Unique Reference Number (URN) which lists all your property details on the Police Command and Control system so they can respond much more quickly and accurately than to a 999 type call. 

  4. Is there a charge for a Unique Reference Number?

    Yes, but it's very good value and is valid for the life of the system unless withdrawn for too many false alarms and even then, it can be re-instated if the false alarm cause is identified and rectified. 

Related Articles