“Burglary rates are falling in the UK, with 677,000 reported burglaries reported in 2011/12 in comparison with 743,000 in 2010/11. However, as the UK’s leading trade association for the locksmithing profession, the MLA is keen to emphasise that this is no cause for complacency within the industry. Statistics can be unduly consoling; in reality 677,000 burglaries is still 677,000 too many. It’s vital that as an industry we continue to promote the importance of regular security reviews; ensuring that homes and businesses across the UK are adequately protected against break-in.
“As part of a drive to encourage the public to boost their domestic security and make it easier than ever to contact an MLA approved, vetted and inspected locksmith, we have launched a newly redesigned and upgraded website.
“The lack of Government-backed licensing process for locksmiths has been an increasing concern within the industry for some time. Members of the public can find themselves at risk from unscrupulous traders, often charging high prices for substandard work and leaving the property vulnerable to break-in. The MLA is also keen to combat scam locksmith operations whereby traders position themselves as local companies, often operating under the names and addresses of genuine local firms. This is damaging to the reputation of the real company and to the locksmithing profession as a whole, as well as being detrimental to the consumer.
“The MLA aims to counter the shortfall in the regulation of the industry through providing a user-friendly website where individuals and businesses can easily source a reputable locksmith. A key function of the new website is to empower the public to make informed choices about their security and enable them to easily source MLA approved companies who can be relied upon to provide high quality services with skill and integrity.
“Designed to offer a user-friendly experience, the website boasts an enhanced search function which allows users to search both geographically and by area of specialism for their local MLA licensed, vetted and qualified locksmith. The facility to search by postcode gives an immediate indication of the MLA approved companies in the area and a ‘click on a region’ mapping device provides a visual tool for those looking for a locksmith in a specific area of the country. Lists of member locksmiths by region are also provided, ensuring that MLA member companies are given high visibility on the site as well as enhancing SEO.
“The website also provides a wealth of security advice and information, through blog posts, advice sheets and FAQs grouped by topic for ease of navigation. Simple to navigate, the site engages with the consumer through a question and answer format, guiding the user through the site, starting with the initial question ‘What can we do to help you?’ on the homepage. A section devoted to the latest security-related news provides a quick and easy way for people to stay up to date with security stories in the media.
“There is also a comprehensive sub-section devoted to the trade, including information on the significant benefits that MLA membership provides, how to join, training courses and exams/qualifications available and the MLA CPD scheme, with case studies provided.
“Through the website, the MLA aim to provide a one-stop-shop. Serving the needs of MLA member companies looking to promote themselves as well as continue their training and locksmiths interested in joining the association, the website is also designed for individuals interested in boosting security, whether for their home, car, or business. It provides comprehensive information and advice not only on domestic security, but also on how to enhance the security of a vehicle or commercial property, including specific advice on areas such as how best to acquire a safe.
“Promoting the message to the public that MLA member companies are able to provide an extensive range of services, the site is set up to educate the public that MLA locksmiths are available to conduct security reviews, advise on security upgrades (e.g. electronic access, surveillance, alarm systems), assist property owners ensure their security meets insurance requiremetns and even advise on security to meet fire regulations. Full details are provided of MLA approved professionals with expertise in each area.
“To ensure a joined-up approach, the MLA website also includes links to synergistic partner organisations who share the common goal of promoting security, including The Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network and The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). This enables visitors to the MLA site to continue to find out more about how to boost their own security and create safer communities, and adds further credibility to the MLA approved companies listed on the site.
“Providing a strong link between members of the public and their local MLA Approved Company locksmiths, we believe the upgraded website reflects the MLA’s mission to promote our MLA licensed locksmith companies to the public and make professional security advice accessible to all . It’s a priority for us to be viewed as a consumer-facing, approachable source of professional security advice as well as the go-to source for reputable, licensed, vetted and inspected locksmiths. MLA Member Locksmiths are already gaining a significant amount of enquiries through the new website and we expect this to continue to grow into 2013 with the PR we will be generating around the site, which is excellent news both for our members and the public.”
For further information or to find an approved MLA company please visit www.locksmiths.co.uk