Tag Archives: Coronavirus

Security guarding specialist SSGC appoints Haines Watts to manage “rapid growth trajectory”

One of Britain’s fastest-growing specialist security businesses has appointed a leading national accountancy firm as part of its planned expansion strategy that has so far seen a substantial turnover increase to over £60 million per annum.

Robust systems and bespoke technology has enabled SSGC, a niche provider of fully-vetted security officers, to deploy hundreds of individuals to secure and marshal the COVID-19 testing programme at centres right across the UK, building on the significant growth already achieved by the company throughout 2019.

Further, the business has now appointed Haines Watts, the accountancy firm with more than 50 offices nationwide, to manage its financial affairs as it draws up its long-term expansion plan after securing contracts which have underpinned the aforementioned robust and rapid growth in turnover.

Swindon-based SSGC has demonstrated its ability to rapidly provide hundreds of guarding personnel within very tight time windows, many of them former military personnel returning to front line duties as part of the national Coronavirus effort.

SSGCSecurity

Mike Lloyd, a partner at Haines Watts (left), with Guy Dungworth (a shareholder in SSGC) and David Stubbs (managing director at SSGC)

Reinforcing the front line

“Reinforcing our front line in the fight against COVID-19 has meant making some sound decisions as we rise through the ranks of security firms to be part of the top flight of specialist businesses,” said David Stubbs, managing director of SSGC, in conversation with Security Matters. “Appointing an equally top flight accountancy firm was always part of our long-term planning.”

Stubbs continued: “Growth has always been a major part of our strategy, but our ability to demonstrate a robust response to the Government’s needs during the COVID-19 lockdown suddenly accelerated those plans. We had already established a good relationship with Haines Watts, so a complete move to take advantage of a strategic finance partner that complements our own direction of travel will definitely help us when it comes to shaping our future direction.”

Mike Lloyd, partner with Haines Watts, responded: “We provide services to thousands of businesses, many of which, like SSGC, are going through a phase of significant growth in a short time. Expansion presents new and exciting challenges and secures a spot for SSGC as a major corporate player. This is a target the business was already heading towards before current events arose.”

Lloyd continued: “Accountancy services fall broadly into two distinct areas, namely compliance and planning. From the compliance side, we can make sure that SSGC meets all of the necessary legal and tax requirements. With planning, we can help optimise areas such as tax management, financial modelling and scenario forecasting in order to maximise the financial fluidity of the company under growth. We are already working with the directors on both fronts at this key time in the company’s evolution.”

Armed Forces Covenant signatory

A signatory to the Armed Forces Covenant, SSGC is an ethical business committed to supporting the military community through remobilisation projects and is also being supported by other key partners in Skipton Business Finance and Squire Patton Boggs Solicitors in delivering on the Government’s call to action.

SSGC is a Security Industry Authority Approved Contractor Scheme registered business that was formed by MBO back in 2014

David Stubbs, himself a former military policeman, concluded: “This is a very exciting time for the business as we transition into the next phase of our development. Working with Haines Watts provides seamless access to the financial services and expertise we will be leaning on this year as we execute the next phase of our growth.”

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Trauma awareness training to be highlighted on Armed Forces Day 2020

On Armed Forces Day 2020, which takes place on Saturday 27 June, the mental health charity PTSD Resolution is going to be highlighting the plight of Armed Forces’ veterans who find themselves in the criminal justice system. Many are suffering from military trauma and are not receiving the therapeutic support that they need to become well again and rehabilitated.
 
The specialist charity works with security companies and myriad organisations, among them ASIS UK, in order to provide therapy for staff who have been traumatised, as well as training for line managers.

On Friday 26 June at 1.30 pm, PTSD Resolution is holding a free webinar entitled ‘Trauma Awareness Training for Everyone’. The TATE Programme helps people to recognise the symptoms of trauma in themselves, their colleagues or members of staff whom they manage. It provides valuable information on appropriate support and routes for both referral and treatment.

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The charity has also launched a special film that tells the story of a former HMPS prisoner and veteran of the First Gulf War. Entitled ‘The Silent Years’, the film was produced and donated by students of the Ravensbourne University, namely Shakeel Hussain (editor), Louise Corleys (editor and sound), Poppy Louise Carter (director) and Diana Alexandru (producer).

Addiction and breakdown

Government statistics estimate that approximately 4% of those in custody and on community orders are ex-Armed Forces personnel, but external estimates claim that the proportion in the prison population may be as high as 17%.

In addition to criminality, military trauma when left untreated can result in addiction, family breakdown and even suicide.
 
“The Coronavirus lockdown gives us all some idea of the stress of losing our freedom even if we’re not actually in prison,” explained Patrick Rea, campaign director for PTSD Resolution. “Plenty of veterans find themselves in the criminal justice system. In many instances, this is at least in part because of the effects of military trauma they’re still suffering. If they don’t receive the therapy they need in prison to become better, how can we expect them to re-join society responsibly? This is both a justice system and a humanitarian issue.”

PatrickReaPTSDResolution

Patrick Rea

For its part, PTSD Resolution has provided free mental health therapy to veterans, reservists and their families for eleven years now and taken care of people right across the UK. It’s one of the only providers of specialist help to former Armed Forces personnel while they’re in prison or have alcohol and/or substance abuse problems. Treatment is available through a network of 200 therapists, either online or by telephone during the current lockdown scenario.

Reporting of symptoms

According to research conducted by the British Journal of Psychiatry, among ex-Armed Forces personnel, no less than 17% of those who had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2014-2016 reported symptoms suggesting PTSD. Those deployed in a support role such (eg medical, logistics, signals, aircrew) were affected at a rate of 6%, which is 1-2% higher than in the general UK population.
 
Emerging studies are indicating that, following the COVID-19 outbreak, rates of PTSD among those serving as medical key workers or Emergency Services personnel and who have been personally affected by the pandemic are likely to be much higher.

*For further information on PTSD Resolution visit www.ptsdresolution.org

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2020 edition of Security Essen cancelled by Messe Essen due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

The 2020 edition of popular international trade fair Security Essen, which was scheduled to run from 22-25 September, has been cancelled due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. According to Messe Essen, customer expectations and the performance promise of the exhibition cannot be fulfilled under the present circumstances. The decision to cancel was taken by Messe Essen in the wake of close consultations with partner associations. The next Security Essen will now run at Messe Essen from 20-23 September 2022.

As a respected international platform for the security industry, Security Essen is always a showcase highlighting the latest innovations. Numerous market leaders in the security industry had already confirmed their participation for this year.

Messe Essen GmbH, Norbertstraße, 45001 Essen, Germany
http://www.messe-essen.de

Security Essen covers everything from cyber security through to innovations in building security and new solutions for the protection of valuables. Every other year, circa 1,000 exhibitors from upwards of 40 countries show their innovations to no less than 36,000 trade visitors from 125 different nations.

“Anticipation around the 2020 edition and the new concept we had put in place for Security Essen was so high among all those involved,” explained Oliver Kuhrt, managing director of Messe Essen, “which made the decision to cancel all the more difficult. The fact is that the current situation, as well as the continuing global travel restrictions, will not allow adequate preparation for the trade fair.”

Careful evaluation

Norbert Schaaf, chairman of the Management Board of the Federal Association of Safety Engineering and chairman of the Security Essen Advisory Board, observed: “The cancellation of Security Essen 2020 is the result of a careful evaluation of the current situation which we have undertaken together. Since the majority of our participants come to Essen from abroad, we had to act with prudence. Due to the unclear worldwide development of the Coronavirus pandemic and the associated uncertain travel planning we were left with no alternative.” 

Dr Christian Endreß, managing director of the Federal Association for Security in Industry and Commerce and a member of the Security Essen Advisory Board, added: “Security Essen as an important international event in the security industry’s calendar and a particular highlight for the Federal Association. The cancellation is hitting the industry and the security associations pretty hard. We regret the decision, but we also fully understand it and look forward to 2022 with confidence.”

Dr Harald Olschok, general manager of the Federal Association of the Security Industry and also a member of the Security Essen Advisory Board, concluded: “From the perspective of our member companies, the decision to cancel Security Essen is fully understandable. Personally, I regret this very much, because it would have been my fifteenth and last Security Essen as CEO of the BDSW and the BDGW. The Coronavirus crisis represents an enormous economic challenge for security solutions providers. I’m sure that the management and the entire team of the BDSW and the BDGW with their affiliated member companies are looking forward to Security Essen 2022 when, hopefully, there will be better economic conditions for all.”

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Smart R Distribution provides vital link for CCTV expansion at New Cross Hospital

As a direct consequence of COVID-19, many hospitals have needed to quickly erect new portable buildings to expand the capacity of certain sensitive areas. In turn, this has created a requirement to immediately expand the scope of existing CCTV systems to ensure Control Room operators are able to monitor and react appropriately to any suspicious activity in the vicinity of the new buildings.

New Cross Hospital, which is run by the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, is just one of many throughout the UK faced with the challenge of ensuring all areas of its campus can be monitored on a 24/7 basis. Providing 700 beds and employing circa 9,500 members of staff, it’s the largest teaching hospital in the Black Country, having been originally built in 1900 as a workhouse.

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The need to install a new 4K camera in a location over 300 metres from the hospital’s Control Room initially seemed daunting in terms of the cost of laying the network cabling normally needed to transmit the ultra-HD images captured by IP cameras.

“Apart from the cost of the engineering work and the disruption caused by installing the new cabling, it would also have taken several days to achieve,” said Dan Mather, director of Derby-based JKE Security who’ve enjoyed a long-term working relationship with the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust.

“We clearly needed to find a much simpler and cost-effective solution which would enable our clients to take full advantage of the superb quality images captured by 4K cameras and, if necessary, pass evidence of any wrongdoing to the police.”

NewCrossHospital2Finding the solution

Mather sought advice from Smart R Distribution, the Haverhill-based specialist electronic security products distributor. The business was able to offer Mather an assurance that its own brand 602POE-2P single port PoE Ethernet Extender would be able to reliably support a new 4K Wisenet PNP-9200RH dome camera by facilitating the transmission of the IP images over the hospital’s existing coaxial cabling.

The Smart R 602POE-2P is proven to be able to robustly transmit data over any two-wire cable and, with the ability to handle bandwidth of up to 200 Mbps, is more than capable of coping with the transmission demands of the Wisenet 4K camera.

“Although we didn’t source the camera directly from Smart R, it could not have been easier to connect it to the Ethernet Extender,” said Mather. “It was truly a case of plug-and-play, with both devices installed, configured and working within half a day.”

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Commenting on the successful installation of the new camera, Paul Smith (head of security and car parking for the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust) said: “During this challenging time, it’s essential that we’re able to continue to provide a secure and safe working environment for all our heroic colleagues who are so compassionately caring for people suffering from the Coronavirus. I’ve been impressed with how quickly various companies within the electronic security supply chain have been able to join forces and use their combined expertise to provide us with an efficient and cost-effective solution.”

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SSAIB praises registered firm PLP Fire Protection for playing vital role at NHS Nightingale Hospital

The Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) has been full of praise for one of its registered firms, namely PLP Fire Protection, which has been providing invaluable assistance in the building of the Government’s first emergency field hospital at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre in London’s Docklands.

The temporary NHS Nightingale Hospital has been established to treat up to 4,000 Coronavirus patients, with Dorset-based PLP Fire Protection helping to transform ExCeL (which was due to host IFSEC International and FIREX International next month before the COVID-19 pandemic forced a reschedule) into a working hospital in just nine days.

BAFE SP203-registered PLP Fire Protection has worked diligently with 160-plus other contractors – as well as 200 British Army engineers – to complete the astonishing transformation.

Company director Rob Beeching has revealed just how hard the work has been for him and the various members of his team, whom he has nothing but praise for in what had been a tough week for them all. Replying to an email from Fire Industry Association CEO Ian Moore, Beeching stated: “Quite honestly, this week has been hell. We were literally brought back to site on Monday morning and had the most unrealistic time to make sure the initial 500-bed section was installed and signed off. The effort from my team and the sub-contractors has been incredible. I’m so proud of them all.”

Beeching added: “We have even had tears from some of our guys, but proud tears. Working conditions have been very tough, both physically and mentally. I have been arriving back home at midnight most days this week. Then I just feel like breaking down. It has been an emotional rollercoaster for sure.”

SSAIBNHSNightingaleHospital

Intensive care scenario

With the initial 500 beds in place, the NHS Nightingale Hospital will care for patients with the virus in intensive care who have been transferred from other London hospitals. The building work continues in order to make sure the space is sorted for the other 3,500 beds planned, but Beeching insisted that he would not force his committed team to continue to work if they were worried about being in close proximity to the virus.

On that note, Beeching observed: “We were told by a representative from the World Health Organisation that, once patients start arriving, although they will be sectioned off by a wall, we would still be working in adjacent halls. They said we would be completely safe. I wasn’t going to force any of my guys to carry on working if they didn’t feel comfortable with the arrangements but, when I asked for a show of hands in terms of who wanted to continue, 80% raised their hands. They’re all in this until the end and feel they cannot leave the site until the job is completed.”

In conclusion, Beeching said: “Even our suppliers have been personally delivering the equipment that we need to site. We are so grateful. The help being offered from so many people has been amazing.”

SSAIB CEO Alex Carmichael informed Fire Safety Matters and Security Matters: “It’s great to see SSAIB-registered firm PLP Fire Protection assisting with the construction of the NHS Nightingale Hospital and I have to commend the company for its dedicated effort during this difficult time.”

Carmichael continued: “On behalf of everyone here at the SSAIB, I want to thank Rob and the rest of his team for their heroic commitment to helping the NHS in this way and as they continue to assist with the creation of more beds at the facility. I hope they all remain safe while completing this vital work.”

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