The hard work and achievements of 15 outstanding security professionals have been recognised in the national round of this year’s British Security Industry Association (BSIA) Security Personnel Awards.
The accolades were presented at the Trade Association’s exclusive Annual Luncheon, held on 16 July at the celebrated London Hilton Hotel, Park Lane.
Steve Rodhouse – Commander for Gangs and Organised Crime at the Metropolitan Police Service – presented the prestigious awards, which provide an exclusive platform to showcase the excellence and outstanding performances displayed by employees of BSIA member companies.
Currently in their 15th year, the Security Personnel Awards are presented in five key categories: Service to the Customer, Outstanding Act, Best Newcomer, Best Use of Technology and Best Team.
“The BSIA is always keen to ensure that the efforts and talents of personnel who make invaluable contributions towards maintaining high standards in our industry are not overlooked,” commented James Kelly, CEO of the BSIA. “The awards give us the opportunity to recognise and reward individuals and teams that continue to exceed our expectations year upon year.”
Kelly continued: “This year in particular we received a large amount of exceptional nominations, making the appointment of this year’s winners even more difficult than usual. Our 15 winners encompass the value of the security industry, demonstrating intelligent and innovative uses of technology, teamwork, unrivalled customer service and commendable acts of bravery. We’re extremely proud to have them working within our industry.”
The event would not be possible without the support of Camberford Law plc, specialist insurance brokers to the BSIA and the private security industry, who have sponsored the Security Personnel Awards since inception.
David Ottewill, managing director of the company, talked about the value of the awards.
“So often, good security work can be unnoticed by the public and the industry at large. We want to recognise and reward the hard work and achievements of the high calibre professionals carrying out their security duties. We’re very proud to be associated with the BSIA’s Security Personnel Awards and the talent displayed by the winners.”
BSIA National Security Personnel Awards: The 2013 Winners
Service to the Customer
Joe, from The Westgrove Group, has been demonstrating his assertiveness and dedication at the Frenchgate Shopping Centre in Doncaster for over four years. He not only cares about the well-being of tenants and visitors to the site, but also the wider community, using his knowledge acquired during his time as a police officer to support his duties. Joe regularly attends various local anti-crime partnership meetings and has initiated a number of projects for the benefit of the Frenchgate Shopping Centre and the officers on site. His star quality has been said to be his ‘can do’ attitude, which never fails to impress.
Helen, who works at Advance Security UK, has been fully committed to her contract at Arla Foods, turning the site into a smooth and streamlined operation since her arrival. Helen’s extensive knowledge of security and the premises means that she has been able to make a number of recommendations that have provided real benefits. Helen’s very much seen as the site supervisor and provides essential leadership for the rest of the team, even taking responsibility for the training of the security team. Helen’s dedication meant that she quickly became the pivotal link on site for the client as well as the rest of the security officers.
Shaun, of Corps Security, has been fulfilling his role as senior site supervisor at a large site which is home to over 1,400 staff and runs to 633 acres. In his role, Shaun is responsible for providing security to the entire premises, along with managing 24 security officers. He’s notorious for his commitment and attention to detail, with colleagues knowing that any projects he takes on will be carried out in a logical, concise and prompt manner. Shaun’s hard work and determination have earned him much respect and praise from his fellow officers and the customer alike.
Mark works for The Westgrove Group as a security officer at the Podium Shopping Centre in Bath. One afternoon, Mark was faced with a serious situation when he found an agitated young woman pacing up and down a walkway by a river well-known for its strong undercurrent. It soon became clear that the young woman was planning to jump into the river. Luckily, Mark’s quick reactions meant that he was able to grab hold of her backpack and pull the woman to safety. During the incident, Mark was also able to notify other members of his team for assistance. Had Mark not been on duty, a life may well have been lost.
Michael, from Vision Security Group (VSG), works at a hospital. One day he was called to attend a routine incident involving an unruly patient who had locked themself in a room. The incident soon became severe, as the patient had managed to open an exterior window on an upper level of what is a multi-storey building and was proceeding to climb through it. Michael quickly assessed the situation, kicked the door open and rushed inside to grab the patient who was balancing dangerously on the window ledge. Luckily, Michael was able to pull the individual back to safety and restrain them until the window was secured by ward staff. Michael’s actions saved the person’s life.
Ahmed Akinjobi works for Incentive Lynx Security on a contract for More London. One evening, he was out on patrol when he found a young woman standing on a wall facing the river Thames. Ahmed approached the situation with caution, quickly realising that the female was planning to jump into the river. As she attempted to do so, Ahmed was able to pull her back to safety, saving her life. He was also able to alert other security team members onsite who contacted the emergency services, allowing them to attend the scene and assist. Throughout the entire episode, Ahmed remained calm and in control, using his training in order to save the young woman’s life.
Ethan, from VSG, was chosen to head up the operation for the mobilisation of an EMEA ROC. He hit the ground running, and his ‘can do’ attitude and innovative ideas proved invaluable to the mobilisation of 21 local receiving centres. Ethan used his intuition to quickly identifiy any missing information or processes and design new work flows, demonstrating determination, adaptability and a calm nature in the face of ever-changing requests. The hard work and commitment carried out and shown by Ethan and his team ultimately meant that the project was eight months ahead of schedule. An amazing achievement.
Samantha works at Advance Security UK, and has been excelling in her role as a Front of House receptionist for a multi-purpose building in Manchester. Despite it being only her second role since leaving education, Samantha has been unafraid to take on multiple responsibilities and has used her strong administrative experience to ensure the smooth running of the building. In just 12 months, Samantha grew her own role to incorporate the security and management of the entire building, even taking on additional hours so she could be the pivotal point of contact for the various tenants, contractors and other service providers.
Prior to his role at the Tweedale Industrial Estate, Rob (of Advance Security UK) had not worked within the security industry and was originally recruited as a support officer on a temporary basis. However, his colleagues were so pleased by his work at Tweedale Industrial Estate that he was made a permanent officer for the site. More recently, Rob has been promoted to security supervisor – all within an outstanding ten-month time period. Rob has been noted for his positivity and enthusiasm, working hard to quickly get up-to-speed on the site and his duties, identify where the issues are and work with on-site tenants to tackle them head on.
Best Use of Technology
Murshed, from VSG, works as a safety and security team leader at an IKEA store in Essex. After a distressed customer reported her handbag as stolen – with her car keys, house keys, iPhone4 and cash all inside – Murshed quickly came up with an effective plan of action. Using a tracking application on his own iPhone to link with the customer’s own tracking application, he was able to combine the technology with Google map software in order to view and follow the precise movements of the customer’s phone. This led to the safe return of the customer’s belongings and the conviction of a female, who had previous offences and was sentenced to two months imprisonment for the theft.
Colin, from G4S, has been lending his technical expertise on a contract for The Glenmorangie Company for over seven years. Alongside his day-to-day duties as a security officer, Colin demonstrated a keen interest in (and an apparent aptitude for developing) the site’s security systems and Building Management System (BMS). Following the move of Glenmorangie to a new purpose-built bottling plant, without any prompting Colin began to assess how well the site was working and what security arrangements were being employed. He demonstrated a passion for technology and a capacity for ensuring that the systems were used in the best way possible to secure the customer’s premises.
VSG’s Gareth Stead-Clark took a leading role within the team at the Mall Blackburn, working alongside Mall management team members on several technology-based projects. These included appraisals and enhancements for the CCTV system and internal security database management and improvements. Gareth adopted an extremely proactive approach to his position, spending time on getting to grips with new technology which has allowed him to apply his expertise across various initiatives. The Mall’s management team, CCTV operator colleagues and visiting CCTV engineers have all benefited from Gareth’s knowledge.
The Volkswagen Group Team
The Volkswagen Group Team, from VSG, consists of 21 dedicated officers who offer their dedication and high calibre customer service across four Volkswagen sites. The commitment and dedication of the team is second to none, holding the lowest absenteeism record within VSG since 2008. The team have also managed a near 100% Service Level Agreement (SLA) score since that same year. The officers are described as selfless and dedicated to the client, regularly thinking of new ideas in order to ease the workload of the customer’s staff. The team exhibits a secure, polite and professional manner at all times, making visitors feel welcome at the sites.
The Priory Shopping Centre TeamThe Priory Shopping Centre Team, from SPS Security Ltd, has been working at the site since last April and in conjunction with the local police force to help drive crime down by 19%. Alongside this they have also helped the centre raise over £1,000 for local and national charities, and have even saved the lives of two customers within a six-month time period by working together to perform CPR. The team members have become a significant part of the wider community, extending their services beyond the tenants of the shopping centre to High Street retailers who have come to rely on their outstanding service.
The Mobile Support Team
The team of mobile support officers from VSG has been contributing its collective skills to a retail client across the North West region. The delivery, mobilisation and introduction of regional officers was launched by VSG in 2012. The aim of these officers was to help reduce organised crime and formulate close working crime prevention partnerships across the catchment area, alongside building partnerships with local constabularies. This new venture proved to be successful, with the crime rate reducing and a higher number of arrests being made. Since their deployment, the team members have managed to successfully recover stock to the value of over £125,000.