Daily Archives: 20/01/2014

Showsec expands Scotland operation

Showsec has made another key appointment to its management team as the event security specialist gears itself up for a year of continued growth and prosperity.

The announcement that Michael Paul has joined the company as area manager for the West of Scotland is a further sign of progress in the early stages of 2014 and follows on from the launch of a highly significant restructuring of Showsec’s London operation.

Paul has taken up a prominent position north of the border where Showsec has quickly established a strong presence since this office opened in 2009.

“The company enjoyed another record-breaking year in 2013 and the Scotland office played an important part in that achievement to continue its steady growth since coming into operation,” stated Mark Harding, Showsec’s managing director.

Scott Anderson (left) and Michael Paul of Showsec

Scott Anderson (left) and Michael Paul of Showsec

“A crucial element of our success across the United Kingdom has been the development of a management infrastructure possessing the skills, operational expertise and industry experience to deliver the highest standard of service to our clients.”

Harding added: “With another exciting year in prospect, we have identified areas where strengthening that infrastructure will help us to continue moving forwards. We believe that Michael will prove to be a valuable addition to our team.”

Industry experience across many sectors

Scott Anderson, Showsec’s regional manager for Scotland, commented: “I’m delighted to welcome Michael to the company. Along with his extensive local knowledge, he brings industry experience from a wide range of sectors.”

Anderson stated: “Michael’s appointment marks a key development in our regional progression and allows us to confidently expand our operation safe in the knowledge that we have a regional management infrastructure capable of delivering excellence.”

Mark Harding: md at Showsec

Mark Harding: md at Showsec

Originally from Inverness, Paul has gained much of his experience with SecuriGroup since starting out as a part-time door supervisor.

Having operated in the Aberdeen and Glasgow areas over the past eight years, he’s now relishing the opportunity to further his career.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to be handed such an important role in the development of the Scotland office,” said Paul.

“The chance to work on larger scale events, especially the music festivals in the summer, is particularly exciting.”

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The Shield Group advises UK retailers as retail crime increases

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has announced that the direct cost of crime to retailers last year rose to £511 million – 166% higher than in 2007-2008.

A leading expert from The Shield Group, the UK’s ninth largest business security company, has looked at today’s figures and offers retailers advice on how to best protect themselves in 2014.

Paul Bland, divisional director-retail of The Shield Group, is hoping his advice can help retailers better prepare during a time of increased incidents of theft and fraud.

Last year, retailers suffered the highest level of theft for nine years. Thefts by customers rose to their highest level for nine years, with the average value of items stolen going up by 62% to £177.

High value items being targeted include electrical goods, designer clothing, handbags and power tools.

With the well-publicised struggles of the British High Street of late, the added crippling cost of theft could force many retailers to shut their High Street branches, with small-to-medium sized business affected the most.

According to the BRC’s annual Retail Crime Survey, retailers suffered 2.7 million offences in the year 2012-2013. While burglary, robbery and staff theft all take their toll by pushing up retail costs, shoplifting and the rise of supply chain fraud are having by far the biggest impact.

Paul Bland: divisional director of retail at The Shield Group

Paul Bland: divisional director of retail at The Shield Group

Last year, theft values by customers reached their highest level in almost a decade, meaning this type of criminality now accounts for more than 80% of all retail crime. Supply chain fraud increased by 15% from the previous year as organised criminal gangs have become more sophisticated in their approach.

Retail criminality has evolved

In recent years, retail crime has evolved and surpasses the rather more obvious shoplifting to more complex crimes like cyber fraud, organised robbery and employee theft, in turn affecting larger and smaller businesses alike.

As a result, both independent and small retailers are turning in ever-greater numbers to private security companies for security solutions. Sector-trained security and loss prevention officers are well placed to stifle criminal activities on the shop floor and implement rigorous crime and loss prevention measures to discourage theft, reduce shrink while promoting a safer, more profitable shopping environment.

The Shield Group believes that the implementation of intelligence-led security solutions across retail communities has played a vital role in preventing imminent and potential criminal threats. As retail crime evolves, it’s more necessary than ever to use these measures to anticipate and pre-empt crime by sourcing, analysing and exploiting timely intelligence.

Effective governance is being built through proactive criminal investigations, the development of Best Practice techniques with retailers and the transmission of evidence to the authorities.

Alcohol is a target for many thieves

Alcohol is a target for many thieves

A cost-effective method for small retailers to increase their security success rate is active co-operation between each other, as well as with private security firms, community groups and the police. The volume of information now shared results in a ‘constant chatter’ between these entities, discussing subject matter such as movements of known shoplifters, real-time notification of thefts and new theft techniques, as well prominent prosecutions.

This intelligence-fed security approach equips retailers with the information required to adapt to changing theft techniques and implement strategies that best protect their brands for the future.

Focus of product security

Product security is no longer focused solely on the shop floor. Digital marking and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking now plays a key role in protecting the whole supply chain from warehouse to customer.

Frontline security officers have contributed to a 50% fall in robbery and violence against staff and customers. This gives retailers confidence that security officers are able to step in at the critical moment to diffuse tensions and respond quickly to situations before the local police arrive, acting as a vital deterrent to criminals.

Technological advances are also helping many small retailers react to crime while it’s being committed. Improvements in Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) systems, in-store and local CCTV and other technological advances are discouraging criminals and helping managers better allocate human resources.

New methods for preventing theft

Paul Bland, the divisional director for retail at The Shield Group, commented: “We have found retailers are spending more on private security measures now than they have in the past as they need to think of new ways to protect themselves from theft which last year cost UK retailers over £511 million in losses. The implementation of intelligence-led security solutions across retail communities will play a vital role in preventing imminent and potential criminal threats. As retail crime evolves, we believe it is more necessary than ever to use these measures to anticipate and pre-empt crime by sourcing, analysing and exploiting timely intelligence.”

Bland went on to state: “The Shield Group is seeing a large increase in active co-operation between individual retailers, private security firms, community groups and the police. The volume of information now shared results in a ‘constant chatter’ between these entities, discussing subject matter such as movements of known shoplifters, real-time notification of thefts and new theft techniques, as well prominent prosecutions.”

In conclusion, Bland commented: “Technological advances are helping many retailers react to crime while it is being committed. Alarms, in-store and local CCTV and other technological advances are discouraging criminals and helping security managers better allocate human resources. Private security companies such as The Shield Group are now offering a Total Security Solutions (TSS) model, allowing them to focus solely on securing their clients’ premises, employees and customers. This innovative model has proven a success with many retailers across the nation, leaving them to concentrate on serving their customers better.”

Top security tips for SMB retailers

(1) Carry out a crime and loss prevention risk assessment

(2) If outsourcing security, ensure the company chosen is able to demonstrate sector expertise and provide the sort of protection and services required

(3 Make sure that crime prevention systems are up-to-date and working well with regular reviews and checks

(4) Senior management must demonstrate a commitment to driving loss prevention culture engagement from all staff

(5) Ensure store management attend local crime prevention group meetings and that intelligence obtained from the authorities is communicated to staff at all levels

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BRC Retail Crime Survey 2013: ‘Concerns growing over increase in shop theft’

This year’s British Retail Consortium (BRC) Retail Crime Survey has revealed that UK retailers are fighting a rising tide of theft in store.

Last year saw the highest level of theft for nine years and the average value of theft increased by 62% to £177 per incident, indicating that stealing is becoming more sophisticated and well-planned.

Criminal activity by a very small minority is having an impact on businesses, employees and the vast majority of honest shoppers.

Despite retailers investing an average of £2 million each on crime and loss prevention measures, they need help and support. Police and Crime Commissioners should follow the lead set in London and work with retailers to build dedicated business crime strategies to help defeat this growing problem.

Direct cost of retail crime up to £511 million

Helen Dickinson, director general of the BRC, said: “Theft from stores pushed the direct cost of retail crime up to £511 million last year, 166% higher than five years ago. Far from being victimless, we all pay for this increased stealing through higher prices and, increasingly, shop closures and damage to town centres as safety is reduced and communities are blighted.”

Helen Dickinson: director general at the BRC

Helen Dickinson: director general at the BRC

Dickinson added: “Last year, we also saw a dramatic increase in fraud and e-crime with eight-in-ten retailers reporting a rise in fraud and the majority of retailers telling us that cyber attacks pose a critical threat to their business. Combined with the increase in organised theft, this means that retailers are facing an increasingly sophisticated criminal.”

The BRC’s leader continued: “We want to work closely with Police and Crime Commissioners and the new National Crime Agency and National Cyber Crime Unit to fight this serious crime, from fraud through to theft and on to cyber attacks. Our engagement has been positive so far, but it’s still early days and it’s important that they implement measures such as single points of contact and create dedicated business crime strategies.”

Single, national definition for business crime

The BRC survey recommends that there should be a single, national definition for business crime in the UK to help measure and solve these problems.

Police forces should routinely publish business crime data, share that information with retailers and work in partnership to combat crime.

In partnership, retailers, the police and Government can build on the introduction of the National Crime Agency and National Cyber Crime Unit to help retailers combat this growing problem.

These changes will not only fight crime, but also boost confidence and help to tackle the under-reporting problem that led to only one-in-ten thefts being reported last year.

Other key findings of the survey

It’s estimated there were 2.7 million offences against retailers in 2012-2013, directly adding £511 million to retailers’ costs.

Robberies were up 48%, but burglaries fell by 49% compared to last year. Despite the number of burglaries falling, the cost of each incident rose from £1,730 to £2,067.

The average cost per incident of criminal damage jumped by 114% in 2012-2013, from £962 to £2,062.

Downloaded the BRC Retail Crime Survey 2013

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Worshipful Company of Security Professionals announces 2014 Spring Dance

Supported by Kings Security Systems, the 2014 Spring Dance organised by The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals takes place on Saturday 1 March at The Rembrandt Hotel in London’s Knightsbridge.

Tickets for the event are priced at £115 including VAT for a four-course dinner with wines, while entertainment is provided by Master Mixer Irie J and an Abba tribute band.

On the night there will be a charity auction. If guests are able to donate items of memorabilia or perhaps experiences others could not otherwise buy, The Worshipful Company would be most grateful. This could be private tours, corporate dining or event tickets.

Proceeds from the auction are to be donated to The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals’ Charitable Trust, while The Worshipful Company will also be raising funds for the Hackney Carriage Drivers Disney Trip for terminally ill children.

The Rembrandt: venue for this year's WCoSP Spring Dance

The Rembrandt: venue for this year’s WCoSP Spring Dance

Seating for the Spring Dance comprises tables of ten. The Worshipful Company will do its utmost to accommodate those who wish to be grouped with other guests.

The management of The Rembrandt Hotel is supporting The Worshipful Company by offering an attractive bedroom rate for the Saturday night of £150 for double occupation. This special rate includes a full English breakfast and is also available for the preceding night. Reference: ‘The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals’ should be used when booking. Contact The Rembrandt’s Reservations Hotline on 020 7589 6000. Note that there are only 30 rooms available at this rate.

For those wishing to indulge in the retail pleasures of the West End, The Rembrandt Notel is situated close to Harrods and London’s Knightsbridge. It’s an ideal location for many Kensington museums and to stroll along the Kings Road.

For those wishing to relax and watch the world go by, The Rembrandt Hotel boasts excellent Health and Beauty facilities which can be pre-arranged by contacting the hotel directly.

See below for an event booking form and guest invitation.

The Worshipful Company looks forward to receiving your booking forms!

2014 Spring Dance – Guest Invitation

2014 Spring Dance – Information and Booking Form

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UKTI calls for Cyber Security Secondees

The Cyber Growth Partnership (CGP) has agreed a £2 billion cyber security export target by 2016 and UKTI is now seeking skilled secondees to resource Government-side export activities in this area.

The following broad skill-sets are required: overseas business development, the ability to develop cyber security strategy and policy for the UK and overseas Governments from a non-industry perspective and to develop and manage showcasing capabilities.

The secondments would be at no cost to UK Government but it believes that they would offer a number of benefits to secondees. These are as follows:

• A unique insight in respect of the cyber security situation and needs in a range of countries (this can be shared with the secondee’s company upon their return)
• Comprehensive understanding of the main cyber security stakeholders in such countries
• Experience in planning and communicating engagements around export opportunities
• Insight into the ‘Best of British’ approach to exports (Note: Secondees will not be able to favour their own company or (of course) pass any commercial or confidential information back to their company)

While full-time secondments of one-to-two years are preferred, UKTI would be prepared to negotiate these terms.

However, it could not negotiate on the confidentiality aspects, nor a prohibition on promoting the secondee’s company over any other qualified UK company.

Interested parties are invited to send any queries or expressions of interest to: mark.phillips@adsgroup.org.uk

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