OPTEX and FiberSensys showcase advanced perimeter security solutions at Intersec

From 16-18 January, OPTEX and FiberSensys – both OPTEX Group companies – are showcasing their latest innovations in advanced perimeter protection and intruder detection at Intersec 2022.

OPTEX is demonstrating the latest evolution of its multi-award winning LiDAR sensor series, which featuring its longest range yet. The REDSCAN Pro Series consists of two models, the RLS-3060V and the RLS-50100V, offering 30 metres by 60 metres and 50 metres by 100 metres detection range respectively. It provides highly accurate detection outdoors and indoors, without any ‘gaps’ or the detection reliability ‘fading’ with range. 

The rectangular detection patterns provide “excellent” coverage for virtual wall applications, and for virtual planes to cover open areas, ceilings and roofs. Its innovative panoramic camera module means that detection can be visually verified through pre- and post-event images, as well as video stream footage.

Featuring advanced analytics, a high level of network communication security and ONVIF Profile S compliance, the REDSCAN Pro is the ideal solution to protect the highest security sites.

Terrain Defender 100 

FiberSensys will also be showcasing the Terrain Defender 100, the next generation of its buried sensor solution featuring point location. The Terrain Defender 100 provides one-metre target detection and adds another layer of precision and accuracy for perimeter protection for the most demanding sites such as military and nuclear bases, as well as VIP residences.

With the Terrain Defender 100, a detection field consisting of radio frequency energy is formed between two parallel buried leaky coaxial cables. Processors on both ends of this cable pair transmit and receive radio frequency energy forming a bi-directional static field using end-to-end correlation.

End-to-end correlation is a technology developed and patented by FiberSensys that dramatically increases the performance and reliability of buried radio frequency sensors, making the Terrain Defender 100 the best performing buried sensor available.

“We’re delighted to be able to meet with our customers and technology partners in person again and gather industry feedback,” enthused Masaya Kida, managing director of OPTEX EMEA. “Intersec provides the ideal opportunity for us to deliver an engaging and interactive on-stand experience to demonstrate our latest technologies and solutions for enhanced security.”

*Visit OPTEX and FiberSensys at Intersec 2022 on Stand S1-K33  

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Amy Wilkinson appointed social value lead at Corps Security

Amy Wilkinson is the new social value lead at security solutions provider Corps Security. Passionate about Corporate Social Responsibility, Wilkinson played a lead role in Corps Security obtaining Social Enterprise status, from investigating how to apply, what credentials needed to be met and then working closely with the senior management team to achieve that status.

Mark Rogers, executive director at Corps Security, explained: “Social Enterprise status brings many benefits. For our business, it guarantees that our social mission remains at the very heart of all that we do and serves to ensure we continue to operate in an ethical, transparent and accountable way. I’m excited to have Amy lead on this. It’s my hope that, working together, we can achieve great things for our people and our planet, while supporting our core purpose. Amy will make sure that, as a business, we do exactly that.”

Wilkinson began her career in the security industry in 2008. Over the intervening 13-year period, she has held various roles across both sales and marketing functions. In this time, Wilkinson has also helped to support sales strategy as a bid manager, working with colleagues to secure a number of large contracts with blue chip customers.

In particular, Wilkinson is passionate about partnerships and working collaboratively with client organisations who share the same values and ingrained sense of social responsibility as the team members at Corps Security.

Social value

Through time, Wilkinson developed an interest in corporate responsibility and social value, having observed the genuine and positive impact security colleagues can exert both on client organisations and, indeed, the wider communities.

Joining Corps Security in 2019, Wilkinson was excited to be working for an employer whose very purpose has its foundations in social value and community support. Corps Security was created back in 1859 with a very specific and special social mission – to provide gainful employment to ex-service personnel returning from the Crimean War.

Moving forward, Wilkinson will work in collaboration with Corps Security’s charity partner Combat Stress, as well as other much deserving causes, in order to define how the business can improve social impact.

All about the people 

Commenting on the news of her appointment as social value lead, Wilkinson stated: “One of the things I found when I joined Corps Security was that it’s not all about the bottom line. While making a profit is, of course, important for Corps Security as a business, it’s all about the people. I couldn’t be happier to take the lead on Social Enterprise. It’s important for me that Corps Security receives the recognition it deserves for the work it does with ex-military personnel. Corps Security was founded on a social mission and still lives by that social mission today. It’s now my duty to make sure we keep that mission alive, alongside achieving our environmental and governance goals.”

As social value lead, Wilkinson is working with the senior leadership team to ensure the company’s future activities continue to support its initial social mission, staying true to the organisation’s unique roots and working closely within the military communities.

Thanks to Corps Security’s clients, Combat Stress has funded 109 days for the Helpline. That equates to 4,500 calls of which 2,070 were new callers seeking help for the first time. They have given 131 veterans individual sessions with a psychiatrist, funded 575 one-to-one, trauma-focused sessions and 862 video therapy sessions. In addition, 2,632 participants can attend one-to-one peer support group meetings across the UK.

As well as meeting Social Enterprise criteria earlier this year and joining the growing number of companies able to offer a ‘diverse spend ’option, Corps Security has also been awarded the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award by the Ministry of Defence. This is in recognition of outstanding support for the Armed Forces community.

Further, Corps Security has been a Living Wage Foundation Recognised Service Provider since 2020 and is also a carbon neutral company, funding projects across the world and offsetting 477 tons of carbon each year.

*Further information is available online at www.corpssecurity.co.uk

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Facial recognition “to open new avenues for smart cities” in 2022

In 2022 and beyond, facial recognition technology will play a key role in the future of global urban development and assist in improving the experience of smart citizens. From personal convenience through to enhanced public safety, the range of applications is wide-ranging. That’s the firm belief of facial recognition technology solutions provider Corsight AI.

Using their face as their credit card, members of the public will no longer have to leverage cash for payments or worry about a stolen/lost wallet. A secure biometric system – such as that being pioneered by Amazon Go stores – makes paying for goods or services effortless.  

In terms of security and access, workplaces are beginning to understand the value of the technology as it can enable the seamless flow of people and facilitate the protection of sensitive locations by restricting access to approved visitors only. Spaces such as building sites, maternity wards and Critical National Infrastructure locations can all benefit from this software.

Facial recognition can also be used in smart cities to help identify those at risk. In the case of searching for a missing child or an Alzheimer’s patient, facial recognition technology can significantly speed up the process.

There’s a particular concern right now about the safety of public streets, especially so for women. Facial recognition technology can prove useful for recognising unusual behaviour and identifying and tracking known offenders throughout the city environment. 

Higher standards in 2022

As is the case with any technology, there are potential risks to using facial recognition, such as threats to privacy, violations of rights and potential data theft. These concerns are of significant importance and have even forced the hand of some public and private organisations to limit the use of the technology. This calls for thoughtful Government regulation moving forward and heightened responsibility for facial recognition technology vendors and operators to comply with the rules.

Currently, documents such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are in place to set industry standards and provide ways for individuals to protect their personal data – and, by extension, their privacy and other Human Rights – which we’re seeing enforced. 

Although the industry continues to demand greater certainty from lawmakers, it’s evident that Best Practice is emerging from the application of the GDPR and its core principles. The use of Privacy Management Programmes and Data Protection Impact Assessments demonstrates the willingness to protect the data rights of citizens and maintain trust and confidence across our communities. A combination of these policies and their application will continue to ensure facial recognition technology can be used as a force for good. 

Cyber security

As data processing becomes more central to operations in 2022, organisations will need to be more responsive to the evolving cyber threat landscape. For facial recognition technology end users, in particular, securing biometric data will remain a top priority this year.

Cyber criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods, and will now typically seek the most sensitive data to hold at ransom. Vendors must therefore implement the most stringent security measures to protect sensitive data and ensure end users are working hard to stay on top of the threat.

Customers will also demand more transparency from organisations about how they’re using their biometric data and how it’s being stored and protected. To garner trust, users of facial recognition technology must be more explicit in its use and set clear measures on individual privacy and data protection.

In 2022 and beyond, Corsight AI expects to see further commitment from policymakers and industry to develop even higher standards that attain levels not seen before. The move towards ‘Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence’, greater regulation and a genuine commitment to Human Rights will support the development of this software such that it can be used as a force for good.

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Andy Topp appointed sales director at Corps Security 

Corps Security has appointed Andy Topp as its new sales director. Topp will work with executive director Mark Rogers and the rest of the senior leadership team to broaden the company’s approach and develop new market sectors, and particularly those interested in a more ethical approach towards procurement now that Corps Security is a social enterprise.

Topp has more than 20 years’ experience in the security and facilities management industry, having held senior roles with Reliance Security Services, Securitas Security Services and ISS Facility Services where he most recently served as national sales director. 

Commenting on his appointment, Andy Topp enthused: “I’m thrilled to be joining Corps Security. As the only major social enterprise in the security sector, the company is completely unique. I now look forward to helping to grow the organisation and increase its positive impact on the local communities in which it works.”

Mike Bullock, CEO of Corps Security, responded: “I’m delighted that Andy is joining us and bringing with him a wealth of senior experience in our sector. His ability to work at both a strategic and tactical level to deliver results will be a significant boost to the team.”

Corps Security is a Living Wage Recognised Service Provider, while Mike Bullock is a member of the Living Wage Foundation’s Recognised Service Provider Leadership Group. The organisation is also carbon neutral. 

Corps Security supports military charities in particular Combat Stress, the UK’s charity for veterans’ mental health, and also the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA), the UK’s oldest national tri-service military charity.

Last year, Corps was awarded Gold status in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme for outstanding support towards the Armed Forces community.

*Further information is available online at www.corpssecurity.co.uk

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Traka visualises significant efficiency savings for distribution centres

Traka has produced an animated video designed to highlight the solutions available for busy distribution centres such that their management teams can ensure they run like clockwork, in turn delivering goods on time and in full.

Pinpointing the key issues faced by distribution centres, and notably so when it comes to the management of hand-held devices, the two-minute clip outlines ways in which to save time, resources and money, while simultaneously allowing full visibility and traceability of assets at all times.

Lee Payne, market development manager for Traka UK, informed Security Matters: “Within any distribution centre it’s true to say that time is money, and particularly in the current environment. Teams are expected to meet strict deadlines throughout the day and night so that products can be processed correctly and efficiently and deliveries sent out.”

He added: “What this video demonstrates is how to ensure a distribution centre can always meet tight schedules. It doesn’t take a significant investment to make a difference. Simple technology updates such as the implementation of asset management lockers enable a smooth transition for team members who can immediately start their shifts with the equipment they need to operate.”

Efficiency tools

Included in the video is detail around how distribution centres can embrace the ideals of efficiency tools such as asset management to instantly optimise performance, control and monitor all physical processes and reduce the likelihood of human error.  

There’s also a dedicated step-by-step process illustrating how easy Traka’s modular systems are to use for team workers and management alike. These systems are developed with dedicated fault-reporting, charging facilities, first-in, first-out device rotation and access control integration capability alongside a full suite of management tools.

Payne concluded: “With the addition of our asset management solutions, distribution centres could save an impressive 72,000 labour hours per year simply by resolving issues such as teams waiting to receive and return fully operational hand-held devices. This is a significant efficiency saving that allows distribution hub managers to focus their attentions on an opportunity to support the economy thanks to the swift delivery of product.”

*The video is now live on Traka’s YouTube channel. To view the video visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkC7eSfKBKI

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BSIA launches regional security personnel rounds of British Security Awards

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has launched its 2022 celebration of the industry’s finest, specifically the British Security Awards, and started the ball rolling with the regional rounds of the security personnel-focused categories.

Scheduled to take place on Wednesday 29 June at the Marriott Hotel on London’s Grosvenor Square, the British Security Awards will celebrate the achievements realised by security officers and teams across the UK’s private security industry, as well as acknowledging innovations in technology and business and the career contributions made by long-serving industry stalwarts.

The first phase of the awards will be to identify the regional winners and national finalists of the five security personnel categories: Best Newcomer, Best Team, Security Manager of the Year, Outstanding Act and Service to the Customer.

Regional winners will be announced at the beginning of April and then automatically go forward to the national stage on Wednesday 29 June. They will also be recognised prior to the ceremony at events around the country.

In total, there are 18 categories in 2022, including Innovative Security Project, National Partnership, Environmental Project of the Year, Business of the Year, Apprentice of the Year, Contribution to the Industry and the Bravery Award. Two new categories, namely the Corporate Social Responsibility Award and the BSIA’s Special Recognition Award have also been added to the role of honour.

The entry process for these national categories will open on Tuesday 11 January.

Talent and commitment

Mike Reddington, CEO at the BSIA, commented: “The British Security Awards continues to be the professional security industry’s national event that celebrates the talent and commitment of our industry’s finest. The scale of achievement we see every year from across each sector is remarkable. Our awards enable us to recognise acts of untold bravery, ingenuity in the application of new technology and the successful delivery of projects by forward-thinking self-starters who work so diligently in our sector.”

Reddington continued: “After two incredibly challenging years for the industry, we’re looking forward to recognising and rewarding individuals and teams for the dedication they’ve shown to their chosen profession. We’re confident that, by June, we will be able to welcome members, stakeholders and colleagues from across the industry and celebrate excellence in security.”

After holding the event online for the past two years due to COVID-19, the Trade Association anticipates that the event will go ahead in the physical setting this year.

2022, in fact, marks 25 years of the BSIA’s awards scheme and also five years under its current guise as the British Security Awards.

*To enter one of the categories, visit the British Security Awards website at www.britishsecurityawards.co.uk

**The security personnel categories of the British Security Awards are sponsored by Camberford Underwriting

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SEON research unveils UK’s biggest business fraud ‘hot spots’

UK-centric research conducted by anti-fraud expert SEON has revealed the areas with the highest rates of business fraud per 100,000 members of the population. The research uses data from Action Fraud and records both the total number of fraud reports in each area as well as the total number of business or corporate fraud cases. It then compares this to population data, giving relative rates of fraud and business fraud in each geographical area. 

The City of London is found to have the highest rate of corporate fraud per 100,000 people in the country at 100.92 cases. This is arguably of little surprise, given that the City of London is the centre of the UK’s financial industry and home to a huge number of businesses, while also playing host to a comparably small number of individuals.

Nottinghamshire has the second-highest rate of corporate fraud in the country, making the county a much riskier place in which to do business than the majority of the country.

In third place is North Yorkshire. This largely rural county is home to several well-off small cities and market towns, such as York and Harrogate, which act as business hubs for the area and are likely the focus of fraudsters’ attentions in the region.

UK’s business fraud ‘hot spots’

RankPolice ForcePopulationCorporate Fraud ReportsCorporate Fraud Reports per 100,000 People
1City of London10,90011100.92
3North Yorkshire831,60010312.39
7North Wales703,400466.54

County Durham, the territory policed by the Durham Constabulary, has the highest average losses per report of business fraud in the country. The huge sum involved is more than three times higher than every region other than second place, which it is still noticeably higher than.

Areas with most costly incidents

RankPolice ForceCorporate Fraud ReportsCorporate Fraud LossesAverage Losses per Corporate Fraud Report
2City of London11£1,300,000£118,182
9Thames Valley101£1,600,000£15,842
10Greater Manchester110£1,700,000£15,455

In second place is the City of London. While still being much higher than the majority of other regions, it’s perhaps surprising that the City of London didn’t top the leader board in this instance given that it plays host to the UK’s finance industry.

Lancashire is the third most expensive place to be hit by business fraud. While substantially lower than the average losses incurred in County Durham and in the City of London, the figure involved is still high enough to put some small companies out of business altogether.

The City of London places top as the region most susceptible to all forms of fraud, with 143,092 reports per 100,000 people. The second region most susceptible to all forms of fraud, with 568 reports of fraud per 100,000 people, is the area covered by Dyfed-Powys Police in Wales. 

Northumbria tops the list as the most expensive part of the UK in which to fall victim to any type of fraud, with average losses per incident standing at £11,661.

*Further information concerning the SEON research results is available online at https://seon.io/resources/business-fraud-hotspots/ 

Fraud and cyber crime

UK residents and businesses have seen financial losses of £2.5 billion from fraud and cyber crime over the course of the past year, a new study reveals. Research undertaken by Payback Ltd analysed data drawn from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau to reveal that the UK has reported almost 500,000 cases of fraud and cyber crime that have resulted in financial loss.

Spanning data from November 2020 to November 2021, it was found that the UK has reported an average 40,586 cases of fraud and cyber crime per month, with an average financial loss of £5,700 per case.

The height of cyber crime activity appeared during the earlier months of the year. In February, the UK reported 47,800 cases equating to £267.6 million in financial losses, while in March more than 48,500 cases amounted to losses of £219.3 million.

Monthly breakdown of UK Cyber Crime and Fraud reports (November 2020 to November 2021)

 Total # ReportsTotal Financial
Loss (£)
Average loss per
reported case (£)
Nov 202036,277165,400,0004,559
Dec 202035,739163,500,0004,575
Jan 202141,347138,700,0003,355
Feb 202147,801267,600,0005,598
Mar 202148,546219,300,0004,517
Apr 202141,404161,800,0003,908
May 202139,614220,500,0005,566
Jun 202135,024167,500,0004,782
Jul 202135,701173,900,0004,871
Aug 202132,636165,300,0005,065
Sept 202128,160245,800,0008,729
Oct 202132,995187,000,0005,668
Nov 202131,791231,100,0007,269

Fraudulent activity using online shopping and auctions amounts to more than 100,000 reported cases through the year (100,168 in total) that equate to a value of £77.1 million in financial loss. The overall umbrella of ‘consumer fraud’ includes other criminal activity such as dating scams and bogus tradesmen, and accounts for £437.2 million of the country’s losses last year.

Overall, fraud and cyber crime cases relating to individual British residents account for 87% of the country’s total report volume. This translates to £1.8 billion of financial losses incurred over a reported 421,473 cases. Those aged 20-29 reported the most instances of criminal activity, with 82,000 reports made across the course of the year, followed closely by those aged 30-39, who clocked in 80,000-plus reports.

There were 62,976 reports made by British businesses throughout 2021, equating to a total reported financial loss of £736.3 million.

Commenting on the research findings, a spokesperson for Payback Ltd stated: “It’s difficult to see such high figures relating to fraudulent and criminal activity taking place over the course of the year. It is now imperative that members of the British public exercise caution when making financial transactions of any kind. They must ensure that they’re confident any transactions are conducted via official, safe and legal means.”

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SSGC CEO David Stubbs wins British Ex-Forces in Business Award

The CEO of an award-winning specialist security company has received national recognition for his ever-growing commitment towards supporting members of the ex-Armed Forces community. SSGC CEO David Stubbs picked up the Business Leader of the Year accolade at the glittering Ex-Forces in Business Awards, with the ceremony held in central London on Thursday 2 December.

The Ex-Forces in Business Awards are a celebration of ex-military personnel in second careers and recognise the business achievements of ex-military members. They also celebrate employers who support current and former members of the British Armed Forces.

A former military policeman, Stubbs was recognised for his outstanding leadership and management which have been instrumental in Swindon-based SSGC’s considerable growth over the last seven years.

When he took over management of the business back in 2014, Stubbs set out with a distinct vision which has resulted in the company since achieving a remarkable 1,500% revenue growth year-on-year.

As a proud signatory to the Armed Forces Covenant, SSGC goes above and beyond the Call of Duty and has been a driving force in helping the veteran community right across the country.

Under Stubbs’ leadership, the business supports the military community through several remobilisation projects including deploying veterans to man COVID-19 Testing Centres across the UK in partnership with the Yorkshire Regiment.

At present, SSGC employs more than 500 veterans as part of its highly-skilled team and helps several of them to combat physical and mental difficulties as they settle back into life after their military service.

Going the extra mile

Commenting on the award win, Stubbs explained: “It’s truly a very humbling experience to be recognised on such a prestigious platform like this and I’m very grateful for the award. Although this is an individual award, a leader is no use without his or her team and the SSGC team is simply amazing. The military community is close to many of our hearts and we always go that extra mile to ensure that its constituents are looked after.”

Stubbs added: “There are thousands of servicemen and women who leave the Armed Forces each year and this creates a rich pool of talent for us as employers. Those individuals are underpinned by skills and values that easily transfer into a wide spectrum of roles. I believe that it’s our duty to look after these individuals who have given so much to our country and I’m grateful to have a platform to be able to do so.”

Stubbs also actively works with Mission Motorsport as SSGC’s charity partner, so far donating more than £50,000 to the organisation, which itself engages with veterans through motorsport. Stubbs regularly drives at Mission Motorsport events, offering beneficiaries high-speed passenger laps around several of the celebrated British racing circuits.

*For more information about SSGC visit www.ssgc-net.com

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Richard Ellis appointed interim managing director at ATG Access

ATG Access – the designer of vehicle barriers, road blockers and bollards and part of the HS Security Group of Hill & Smith Holdings plc – has just announced the appointment of a new interim managing director following the departure of Gavin Hepburn.

Richard Ellis joins the business with more than 30 years’ experience in the construction industry, having previously held senior positions including UK operations director for Interserve, operations director at Midas Group and, most recently, interim managing director at Berry Systems, another Hill & Smith Holdings plc company within the HS Security portfolio.

Starting as a brick layer at just 16 years of age, Ellis went on to study construction management at university. He was awarded the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) Construction Manager of the Year Gold Award in 2006 before going on to become a CIOB Fellow in 2010.

In his new role as interim managing director at ATG Access, and as an extension of his own consultancy business, Ellis is ideally placed to support the company as it transitions to a new permanent managing director and will be instrumental in driving forward ATG Access under Hill & Smith’s ownership.

HVM specialist

Andrew Beaney, Group president (roads and security) for Hill & Smith Holdings plc, commented: “ATG Access is at the leading edge of the hostile vehicle mitigation industry and has been for many years. Richard’s extensive knowledge and experience will ensure that the people at the heart of ATG Access are supported through the transition period, while also providing an invaluable outsider’s perspective that can help to shine a spotlight on areas for growth or improvement.”

Speaking about his new appointment, Richard Ellis noted: “Throughout my employment with Berry Systems, I was extremely impressed with Hill & Smith, finding it to be a forward-thinking, modern plc with an autonomous business model which enables each unit to flourish in high growth niche markets.”

Ellis concluded: “When the opportunity arose with ATG Access, I was excited to continue my work for the group and guide an impressive business as it moves into a new era. I’m looking forward to making sure the business is in the best possible shape for a new permanent managing director, and also to make the transition process as positive as possible for everyone involved.”

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Landmark judgement in Court of Appeal “confirms legal status of property guardianship operational model”

A unanimous judgement announced in the Court of Appeal earlier this month will “set a precedent” and, more importantly, confirms the basis of the Licence Agreements under which guardians for the dedicated property guardians business Global Guardians operate in order to occupy and secure properties left in their care by their clients.

These clients are many and varied in nature, large and small in scale and span the public and private sectors. They include a large number of NHS Trusts, London councils and leading housing associations.

The case arose when a former guardian refused to comply with the terms of the Licence Agreement that had been signed when the individual concerned moved into one of Global Guardians’ vacant properties (owned by an NHS Trust) to ‘protect by occupation’ under the terms laid down by BS 8584:2015.

When the property owner wanted the building back, the individual was given due and proper notice to leave the premises under the terms of the signed agreement with Global Guardians. However, the individual refused to vacate the building and, instead, claimed a ‘tenancy agreement’ which conferred certain tenant’s rights. A claim was also made that the Licence Agreement as signed had no proper legal foundation and was ‘a sham’. According to Global Guardians, this was an “attemp to sully the company’s considerable reputation” in terms of the way in which it operates the business.”

Business model

The Court of Appeal’s decision in the case (involving Global 100 Limited v Maria Laleva [2021] EWCA Civ) effectively validates the company’s business model of using Licence Agreements for guardians’ occupancy. It defeated claims made by the former guardian and her associates that their occupancy was, in reality, a tenancy rather than a licence to temporarily reside in the property.

This unanimous decision reached by Senior Judges in the Court of Appeal not only clarifies a formerly grey area in terms of guardians’ rights, but also “consolidates Global Guardians’ position” as a leader in the field of guardian-based property protection services by dint of taking steps to finally clarify the position, once and for all, in a Court of Law at the highest level.

In reaching its decision, the Court of Appeal closely examined Global Guardians’ proprietary form of Licence Agreement and its Property Protection Proposal with owners, as well as the system used in selecting and placing guardians in the relevant property.

The Court of Appeal was satisfied that the Licence Agreement was not a disguised lease agreement, and that the guardians’ occupancy was an essential part of their provision of guardian services at the property. Therefore, the Judges concluded that the guardians had no real prospect of establishing that they were tenants, while the County Court initially hearing the case had properly ordered that possession be granted to Global Guardians.

Significant aspects

There are other significant aspects to the Court of Appeal’s decision that clarify the law in connection with Civil Procedure Rules, as well as property law concerning estoppel and title to property. However, the most important part of the Court’s decision is that it confirms Global Guardians’ (and its legal team’s) position on the legal relationships between property owners, the guardian company and the individual guardians – to whit it is, and has always been, correct and proper.

The case went right up to the Court of Appeal as the individual concerned and her other guardian colleagues refused to accept the previous judgements handed down. The appeal was finally dismissed in this unanimous verdict handed down by Lord Justice Lewison, Lady Justice Macur and Lord Justice Snowden, who also commented in the judgement that, in their opinion, the case should never have been allowed to progress so far. “On the proper interpretation of agreement, considered in light of the surrounding circumstances and the purpose of the agreement, the argument that it created a tenancy rather than a licence had no real prospect of success.”

Landmark legal decision

Speaking after the judgement was announced, Stuart Woolgar (CEO of Global Guardians) commented: “We are all immensely pleased at this landmark legal decision as it has finally laid to rest a conflict which has bedevilled both ourselves and our industry from time to time over the years and, regrettably, caused problems for us, our clients and some of our guardians.”

Woolgar continued: “It also reassures all of our clients and others in the wider property and security sector that my company has always operated to the very highest ethical standards and complies with both the spirit and the letter of the law at all times with respect to our clients and our guardians, many of whom have been with us for years, happily living in and safeguarding their properties.”

In conclusion, Woolgar noted: “We are, first and foremost, a property security company, not a housing supplier, although that is a by-product of our business. However, if we can provide some hard-working and deserving people with more affordable accommodation, then that’s always a bonus. I’m delighted that our reputation has been vindicated. Our properties are always secured by professional and ethical personnel. We are a safe pair of hands now and into the future, with our standards confirmed by the highest levels of the judiciary.”

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