Daily Archives: 25/04/2013

Former SIA chairman Baroness Ruth Henig joins SecuriGroup

Award-winning security firm SecuriGroup has announced the appointment of Baroness Ruth Henig as a non-executive director.

Baroness Henig joins SecuriGroup after completing two successful terms as chairman of the Home Office Regulator, the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

Baroness Henig’s commitment to security and policing is well documented, having held the post of chairman of the Lancashire Police Authority and the chairmanship of the Association of Police Authorities in England and Wales (which led to the award of a CBE in 2000 for services to policing).

The Baroness also served on the National Criminal Justice Board and Street Crime Action Group, chaired by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Baroness Henig was appointed as Deputy Lieutenant for Lancashire in 2002 and made a life peer in 2004 as Baroness Henig of Lancaster. As a sitting member of the House of Lords, Baroness Henig takes her place on the European Scrutiny Committee on Foreign Affairs and is a member of the Independent Policing Commission.

Prudent timing for the appointment

The timing of this appointment is particularly prudent for SecuriGroup as the Home Office prepares to reform the Private Security Industry Act 2001 and create a new regulatory system.

Baroness Henig was instrumental in devising the new regulatory strategy and her in-depth knowledge will ensure that SecuriGroup is well placed to meet the requirements of the new regime.

Baroness Henig said of her appointment: “I am delighted to join the SecuriGroup Board of Directors. The new regulatory framework will provide exciting opportunities for a company with such a strong reputation, and I’m keen to play my part in delivering further success to the organisation.”

Russel Kerr, the managing director of SecuriGroup, said: “This appointment helps to underline our ambitions and further strengthens our credentials. Our organisation continues to expand well ahead of the industry average, and this announcement will increase our profile even further.”

SecuriGroup has navigated the recession well and has experienced double-digit growth throughout the downturn, doubling its turnover in less than five years.

Board exhibits extensive security experience

The Baroness joins a Board with extensive security experience which is chaired by retired Strathclyde Police deputy chief constable John LS Malcolm QPM.

The SecuriGroup Board also includes former assistant chief constable and head of counter-terrorism for Scotland, namely Allan Burnett QPM, and the former joint regional liaison officer and civil contingencies expert Colonel John Kelly MBE.

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The Security Institute announces Emma Shaw as its new chairman

The Security Institute, the UK’s largest membership body for security professionals, has announced that Emma Shaw is its new chairman.

Working alongside her fellow directors, Emma will take the organisation to the next stage of its development by ensuring that it continues to meet the needs of its growing membership.

Shaw is the founder and managing director of Esoteric, a well established electronic sweeping, counter espionage and intelligence gathering company based in the UK. An MBA graduate and a Chartered Security Professional (CSyP), Emma’s early career was spent with the Royal Military Police, followed by a period working in the UK Security Service.

Having previously been vice-chairman of The Security Institute, with responsibility for its strategic direction and finances, Emma takes over from Mike Bluestone CSyP, who had been in the position since 2009.

Bluestone stated: “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to lead The Security Institute over the last four years and I will continue to promote the excellent work that it does wherever and whenever I can. Having worked closely with Emma during that time, I’ve no doubt that the Institute is in the best possible hands and I wish her all the best.”

Refinement of the membership process

Emma has served on the main Board of The Security Institute since 2007. Having also been both registrar and chairman of the Validation Board for several years, she has been instrumental in the ongoing refinement of the membership process, ensuring it remains both current and relevant.

In addition to her work at The Security Institute, Emma is the southern region chairman of the Defence Industry Security Association (DISA) and a council member for City and Security Resilience Networks (CSARN). An active participant in the development of industry standards and Best Practice techniques for technical security counter measures, Emma has worked closely with Skills for Security on National Occupational Standards and with the National Security Inspectorate on Codes of Practice.

No stranger to industry acclaim, Emma was a finalist at the Association of Security Consultants’ (ASC) Imbert Prize 2012, a finalist for Director of the Year at the 2013 Toast of Surrey Awards and won the Security Consultant of the Year 2012 accolade at the 2012 Security Excellence Awards.

Emma also featured in the list of recent IFSEC Global ‘Top 40 Influencers in Security’.

Commenting on her new role, Shaw said: “I feel both delighted and privileged to have been elected to lead The Security Institute. Although we are a UK-based organisation, our future direction, approach and thinking should also reflect our ability to support our members globally. It’s my intention to achieve this objective via a cohesive strategy that makes use of external communications to develop and influence the shape of our industry, as well as supporting our members in their professional career development. The Security Institute has many dedicated volunteer security professionals and I’m looking forward to working with them to shape the organisation’s future.”

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Lone Working: why risk assessments are vital

If you look on Wikipedia, risk assessments are defined thus: ‘The determination of the quantitative or qualitative value of risk related to a concrete situation and a recognised threat.’

Such assessments – or security risk analyses – are essential for every organisation. Only by conducting these exercises can those who hold the purse strings be absolutely sure that the controls in place – and the expenditure aligned with them – are fully commensurate with the risks to which any given organisation is exposed.

Drilling down to the micro level, it’s also true to say that risk assessments around employees are equally vital. No more so than when it comes to members of staff who work alone. The Corporate Manslaughter Act and companies’ Duty of Care to staff as part of today’s CSR policies absolutely set that assertion in stone.

What factors, though, demand most consideration for a genuinely collaborate risk assessment procedure to be executed between manager and employee?

Fundamental questions must be asked

Certain fundamental questions must be asked. For example, can the work defined be carried out safely by a lone individual? What arrangements need to be put in place to make certain a lone worker isn’t exposed to a greater risk than those who operate in tandem?

In essence, the risk assessment for any lone worker has to pinpoint all potential hazards, identify those who may be affected by the perceived risks and outline the right control procedures.

Looking specifically at hazards (or threats), does the workplace present a special risk to the lone worker, perhaps because of the environment, its location or any degree of unfamiliarity with their surroundings?

From a Health and Safety perspective, is the working environment appropriate in terms of, say, lighting and heating? Are welfare facilities – toilets, drinking water, etc – on site both adequate and accessible? And what about immediate access to First Aid facilities should they be required?

From a pure security point of view, does the lone worker have access to suitable communication devices for summoning assistance? Needless to say this area is always important, and particularly so if there’s any perceived or real risk of violence associated with the work activity or location.

Is there an emergency plan in place, and is it appropriate? Has the employee received specific training in how to respond to emergency situations that may arise in the course of their duties when working alone? Variables such as fire safety or the need for electrical shutdowns ought to be considered.

For their part, control measures are focused on reducing risk and the consideration of alternative work methods/patterns, additional training (around, say, emergency procedures and personal safety) and adequate supervision.

Enhanced on-site security (courtesy of CCTV and personal alarm systems) will likely be part of the mix, so too increased lighting at entrances, exits and for external zones like car parks.

When, where and how to seek guidance

As a ‘must’, all lone workers have to be privy to the necessary information that assists them in dealing with everyday scenarios but they should also understand when, where and how to seek guidance or assistance from others should they be confronted by threatening or otherwise abnormal situations.

Generally speaking, the level and extent of training required for lone working employees depends largely on the nature of the work to be conducted in addition to the knowledge and experience of the individuals in question. It stands to reason that younger, less ‘worldly-wise’ individuals and those new to the company have to be inducted by way of more training.

Supervision must also be paramount. The level and degree of this ‘mentoring’ is determined by the nature of the risks involved in tandem with the aforementioned abilities and experience of each lone worker.

Manual (panic alarms) or automatic (motion sensors) warning devices may come into the mix, along with periodic telephone contact/site visits from managers at set intervals. Regular contact (by way of dedicated radios or telephones) or perhaps ‘end of shift’ or ‘end of task’ contact could be initiated.

At the end of the risk assessment, every lone worker must be made fully aware of the outcome and of all necessary control measures to be orchestrated.

Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI
Media Solutions Manager
UBM Live Security and Fire Portfolio

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