Tag Archives: Guarding

First three companies meet proposed SIA business licensing requirements

Renown Protection Limited, Stopfordian and West Valley are the first three companies to achieve product certification to British security standards from BSI to help them meet proposed Security lndustry Authority (SIA) business licensing requirements.

The SIA currently requires that all security staff are licensed. From 6 April 2015, in addition to individuals, proposed new regulation will require that all private security businesses also hold an SIA business licence in order to demonstrate their competence to deliver security services.

To meet this proposed new legal requirement, Renown Protection Limited, Stopfordian and West Valley have taken advantage of a new pathway for security companies to gain an SIA business licence via third party product certification to relevant British security standards with the BSI.

Renown Protection Limited knows it will need to gain a business licence in order to continue to operate on a legal basis when the new business licensing regime comes into force. However, as a small firm the company has had to consider all possible options (including potentially closing down the business).

“As a small company, we wondered if it was worth getting a licence, but when we looked into it more closely we saw we were already doing a lot of the things we’d need to do,” said Jay Hollick, managing director at Renown. “The biggest challenge lies in ‘winning hearts and minds’. However, once we got buy-in from everyone they understood why we needed to complete paperwork, for example, and they could see the benefit of regular training and in-house refreshers as well as keeping a record of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).”

By law, security operatives working under contract and all door supervisors must hold and display a valid SIA licence card

By law, security operatives working under contract and all door supervisors must hold and display a valid SIA licence card

This new route to compliance particularly benefits those businesses looking to provide clients with independent proof of their commitment to offering a quality service. “Product certification and licensing shows clients and prospects that this is how we do business. It proves it without us having to convince them,” added Hollick.

By placing more emphasis on staff training and development, the company has also seen improved staff performance and morale. “We have always taken pride in giving staff a thorough induction and training,” asserted Hollick, “but whereas it has been largely verbal in the past, it’s now much better documented and methodical. Staff are more motivated which means that our clients receive a better service.”

Building on performance and reputation

Stopfordian and West Valley see the product certification route as an opportunity to not only meet the proposed new statutory licensing requirements but also build on their existing good performance and reputation.

Earlier this year, Stopfordian formed a strategic partnership with West Valley. The two firms now work together to protect their collective clients at work, home and in-between. A key benefit of the product certification process has been in helping them both maintain their quality ethos, and building upon it to make day-to-day running of the businesses as efficient as possible.

The process has also enabled the companies to look deeper into what they do and how they do it, leading them to devise and implement improved structures and processes.

“The thorough approach to even seemingly small parts of the job meant that all aspects of the company were looked into, considered and improved,” explained Laura White, Stopfordian’s office manager. “For example, stringent key holding procedures ensure the safety of clients’ venues. While time-consuming, screening and vetting procedures are necessary and hugely beneficial as we’re able to verify that our staff are of the highest quality.”

White went on to state: “Product certification has ensured that the two companies mirror each other in terms of procedures and service. As a result, they are not only able to serve existing clients, but also to promote the new merged entity in a way that’s quality assured. We are now able to increase business while running the companies in the most efficient way, in turn saving money and driving profits.”

Suzanne Fribbins, risk management specialist at BSI, commented: “Renown Protection Limited, Stopfordian and West Valley should all be very proud of their achievement in being the first to receive third party product certification to meet the Government’s proposed new requirements for security companies. They can now demonstrate they have independently verified Best Practice processes in place which will provide their clients with peace of mind that any operative entering their venue has been stringently assessed. Compliance with the security industry’s proposed business licensing regime will also enhance their ability to win and retain contracts, and shows a clear commitment to continual improvement.”

View Case Studies here: http://www.bsigroup.com/LocalFiles/en-GB/SIA/case-studies/BSI-SIA-Product-Certification-Stopfordian-WestValley-case-study-UK-EN.pdf and here: http://www.bsigroup.com/LocalFiles/en-GB/SIA/case-studies/BSI-SIA-Product-Certification-Renown-case-study-EN-UK.pdf


Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Pilgrims Group appoints Andrew Melvin to further develop UK security guarding service for end users

Commercial security expert Andrew Melvin has joined security risk mitigation specialist Pilgrims Group as the company’s UK business development director.

Melvin’s appointment follows a 21-year career with the police service and 12 successful years in the private security sector. He’ll now play a key role in developing Pilgrims Group’s domestic business and help continue to grow its security guarding service as a leading independent, dedicated security operation in the UK.

Melvin joins Pilgrims Group following his role as commercial director at The Shield Guarding Company. He’s a trustee of the Cross-Sector Safety and Security Communications (CSSC) charity, a legacy project of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and also a member of the Institute of Directors.

Andrew Melvin: UK business development director at Pilgrims Group

Andrew Melvin: UK business development director at Pilgrims Group

Speaking about his new role, Melvin stated: “I have a passionate belief in the provision of professional, high quality security services through a specialised security company which is not too large and impersonal. Several large companies now dominating the market offer a range of other solutions, such as cleaning and catering, but I believe this dilutes the focus on security.”

Melvin continued: “Pilgrims Group provides one of the broadest ranges of services in this single specialist sector, delivering comprehensive security risk management. The company is completely dedicated to the provision of professional security within the UK and on the international stage. It has a highly experienced management team from backgrounds that include military, policing and intelligence services. I’m looking forward to working closely with the team and building Pilgrims Group’s presence in the UK.”

Pilgrims Group’s managing director Bill Freear added: “We’re delighted to welcome Andrew to the company. We have been looking for a very long time now to discover someone with his talents. We have long had the product and track record but needed the final piece in the puzzle which was someone to ‘lead the charge’. Andrew has all the essential ingredients to fit into the Pilgrims Group team and present our services to the domestic market. We have extensive ambitions to grow our security guarding service which will offer so many opportunities for our clients in the coming months and years.”

Jeremy Spring takes on CFO role

Pilgrims Group has also announced the appointment of Jeremy Spring as Chief Finance Officer.

An experienced Board director, Spring will bring key strategic leadership to Pilgrims Group given his expertise in areas such as growth management, business integration, corporate governance, working capital management, commercial finance and multi-national accounting.

Pilgrims Group’s clients will benefit from Spring’s direction of operational finance, calling on his hands-on knowledge of managing high volume payables and receivable teams, systems integration, accounting infrastructure and customer service.

Jeremy Spring of Pilgrims Group

Jeremy Spring of Pilgrims Group

Chief Operating Officer David Freear commented: “We’re thrilled that Jeremy has joined the company and excited to add such financial expertise to our senior management team in order to create, support and drive the strategy of the business.”

Jeremy Spring stated: “Pilgrims Group has grown significantly in the last five years, establishing itself as a trusted industry partner. Through the proven expert delivery of high quality services and the prioritisation of customer service, the Group is looking to build on its phenomenal reputation and I’m overjoyed to be joining at such an exciting time in the company’s life.”

A member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Spring arrives at Pilgrims Group having spent more than 15 years in the international customer services’ industry, most recently working for a fast-paced, industry-leading multinational corporation with a global footprint.

All you need to know about… Pilgrims Group

Pilgrims Group is a medium-sized company with a global network and a strong crisis management background.

The company provides security guarding and intelligence services for businesses across the UK, including clients operational in the pharmaceutical, media and oil sectors.

Pilgrims Group also operates in countries including Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Ukraine and has helped clients in times of international crises (including 2013’s tropical storm in the Philippines and the disasters in both New Orleans and Haiti).

Complementing its security guarding offer, Pilgrims Group’s consultancy services include crisis management, evacuation, relocation, business continuity plans and reviews, training and specialist security exercises.

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Personnel excellence celebrated at Ward Security’s Star Employee Awards

Ward Security has announced its top performing employees of the year at the annual Star Employee Awards Ceremony. From its 550-strong team, Ward Security presented nine employees with a Star Award in recognition of their commitment, loyalty and outstanding achievements during 2013.

Winners included employees from the London, Central, South East and West regional offices operated by the company, with two members of staff receiving special recognition awards.

Alex Ambrose, who has been an employee of Ward Security for seven years, was formally recognised by receiving the Outstanding Achievement Award. Ambrose was described at the ceremony as someone “who prefers to work under the radar” and has amazed the head office team with his ability to efficiently collate and analyse data as well as problem solve.

In addition, Ambrose plays a pivotal part in managing the company’s bespoke client Help Desk service.

The seventh annual Ward Security Star Employee Awards were a tremendous success. Pictured (far left) is Ward Security's md David Ward, with Gareth Tancred (CEO, BIFM) second from the right

The seventh annual Ward Security Star Employee Awards were a tremendous success. Pictured (far left) is Ward Security’s md David Ward, with Gareth Tancred (CEO, BIFM) second from the right

Lee Chapman is this year’s winner of the coveted Employee of the Year Award which was presented by Gareth Tancred, the CEO of the British Institute of Facilities Management. Initially employed as a dog handler in May 2007, Chapman quickly progressed to the position of contract manager and is viewed by Ward Security as one of its rising stars.

Chapman was described by the panel of judges as someone who is extremely proactive and diligent and an outstanding ambassador for the company. He was also noted as someone who is a thoughtful and compassionate person which is clearly visible both in the relationships he has with his clients and in his interaction with the security dogs he trains.

Outstanding team members at Ward Security

Commenting on the Star Employee Awards, David Ward – managing director of Ward Security – explained: “Kevin and I always look forward to these awards with a great sense of pride and satisfaction. We’re delighted to host this evening as a Thank You in recognition of the outstanding team members we have at Ward Security. Such is the quality of our team that this year’s winners were harder than ever for the judges to decide upon. We would like to congratulate everyone who was nominated throughout the course of the year and, of course, our worthy winners.”

The 2014 ceremony represents the seventh annual Star Employee Awards run by Ward Security and the culmination of monthly employee awards for which staff are nominated throughout the year. This year’s event took place on Friday 15 August at The Grange City Hotel in London.

The full list of winners is as follows:

*London Regional Award Winner 2013: Lauren Kettlety
*Central Regional Award Winner 2013: John Finley
*South East Regional Award Winner 2013: Tom Atley
*West Regional Award Winner 2013: Allan Clarke
*Response Award Winner 2013: Samuel Asiamah
*Head Office Award Winner 2013: Sarah Jones
*Dog Handler Award Winner 2013: Karen Jones
*Outstanding Contribution Award Winner 2013: Alex Ambrose
*Employee of the Year Award Winner 2013: Lee Chapman

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Exeter-based security directors found guilty of offences against the Private Security Industry Act 2001

On Thursday 21 August 2014 at Exeter Magistrate’s Court, two security directors and their security company were found guilty of offences against the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

Altin Laska, 26, and Jetmir Luli, 29, ran security company Night Owl (Exeter) Security Ltd and were sub-contracted to provide security officers to energy supplier EDF.

Following an investigation by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), the directors were asked to provide information about individuals they had supplied to EDF. Both Laska and Luli failed to provide all of the information requested by the SIA.

Another individual, Ali Abdol Anvari, 50, was known by the SIA as a security director of another company, Night Owl, which is now dissolved.

Anvari was working in an advisory role for Night Owl (Exeter) Security Ltd and was deployed to work as a security officer. During the investigation Anvari admitted working without an SIA licence and to pretending to be Laska while on duty.

By law, security operatives working under contract and all door supervisors must hold and display a valid SIA licence card

By law, security operatives working under contract and all door supervisors must hold and display a valid SIA licence card

Laska (of Broad Park Road, Exmouth) was found guilty of supplying an unlicensed security operative and failing to provide information to the SIA contrary to Sections 5 and 19 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

Luli, of Hilary House, Exeter, was found guilty of the same offences.

Night Owl (Exeter) Security Ltd, of North Street, Exeter, was found guilty of supplying an unlicensed security operative contrary to Section 5 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

Anvari, of Princes Street, Exeter, was found guilty of false representation to make a gain for himself or another, which is contrary to Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.

Sentencing due to take place in September

In convicting Laska and Luli, the Magistrate commented that the security directors “did not take all reasonable steps or fulfil duties of company directors” in ensuring that SIA licensed staff were supplied.

Commenting on Anvari, the Magistrate stated that he had acted “dishonestly for the benefit of Night Owl and been unwilling to admit your own identity”.

All three individuals and the company will be sentenced in September.

SIA investigations manager Nathan Salmon explained: “Night Owl was closely guided by Mr Anvari. He appeared to take an active role in the direction and administration of the company. Mr Anvari had previously been a security company director and was very familiar with security industry regulation. However, the business and its directors had disregard for basic safeguards to ensure their contracts were fulfilled with SIA licensed operatives.”

Salmon added: “Laska and Luli did not demonstrate that they had serious interest in controlling their business and, in court, Laska described the legal fulfilment of their contract as “hassle”.”

In conclusion, Salmon said: “This conviction highlights that security regulation exists in order to protect the public and ensure the effectiveness of security businesses.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Stuart Pizzey MBE joins The Shield Group as police liaison and commercial risk advisor

Former police officer Stuart Pizzey MBE has been appointed police liaison and commercial risk advisor at The Shield Group. Pizzey’s remit is to develop relationships with businesses across Greater Manchester and throughout the North West and advise on business risk-based solutions.

52 year-old Pizzey served with the Greater Manchester Police for over 30 years and was awarded a Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in Her Majesty The Queen’s 2003 Birthday Honours List for his services to policing.

Indeed, Pizzey played a crucial role in saving the lives of over 80,000 people during the 1996 IRA bombings in Manchester, with his evacuation Master Plan allowing the police force to usher shoppers and staff to safety. He subsequently received the Community Police Officer of the Year Award in 2000.

Stuart Pizzey MBE

Stuart Pizzey MBE

Pizzey was also instrumental in establishing a radio network alert system which covered nearly 600 pubs, clubs and stores across Manchester such that businesses and the police service are now engaged in 24-hour dialogue to prevent trouble.

In addition, before ASBOs were introduced, Pizzey helped to set up exclusion orders aimed at deterring prolific thieves and criminals from targeting Manchester.

Stuart Pizzey retired from Greater Manchester Police in 2010 and then worked with a number of private security companies in a police liaison role.

Now, Pizzey will be based at The Shield Group’s Manchester offices where he’ll be working in tandem with the company’s Special Liaison Unit (headed up by Ken Stewart QPM) to identify and sustain partnerships with the police service throughout the UK, in turn supporting non-front line duties and responsibilities.

Key working relationships and advisory skills

Speaking about Pizzey’s appointment, The Shield Group’s CEO John Roddy stated: “We’re delighted and very proud to welcome such a distinguished individual as Stuart Pizzey to The Shield Group. Stuart has made a significant and lasting impact on his community through his role at Greater Manchester Police.”

Roddy continued: “For some time now we’ve been fully aware of Stuart’s key working relationships and advisory skills, and we’re very pleased that he has decided to join The Shield Group to both enhance our overall capability in the North West region and at the same time offer support for our programme designed to further develop growing relationships with the police service.”

Referencing his appointment, Stuart Pizzey commented: “The chance to join The Shield Group presents a great challenge and an opportunity to use my skills and experience to better serve our customers nationwide. I’m particularly impressed with the company’s efforts to foster a working relationship with the police service and provide support for non-front line duties and responsibilities. I look forward to working with what is an innovative and ambitious team whose commitment and services to security are testament to the company’s continued growth.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

G4S Half Year Results: New contract sales total £1.2 billion

Group CEO Ashley Almanza states that G4S has made “good progress” and delivered a “satisfactory financial performance” in the first six months of 2014, winning new contracts worth £1.2 billion and producing a 6.3% increase in PBITA in addition to a 13.2% rise in earnings. However, Almanza highlights that “there remains much to be done” to capture the full potential of the company’s strategy and strengthen the group’s performance.

Top line financial highlights for the first six months of 2014 are as follows:

• New contract sales with a total value of £1.2 billion (+26%)

• Organic revenue growth: 4.1%, Emerging markets: +12.1%, Developed markets: in line with the prior year

• Underlying PBITA1 6.3% higher at £185 million (2013: £174 million), Emerging markets PBITA up 14.7%, Developed markets PBITA up 6.7%

• Corporate costs: £28 million (an increase of £8 million, including £6 million non-cash pension and LTIP costs)

• Underlying earnings1 of £86 million (2013: £76 million) (up 13.2%), EPS up 3.7%

• Total cash generated by continuing operations: £212 million (2013: £224 million). This included cash flow of £185 million (2013: £148 million) from operating businesses and one-off corporate items of £27 million (2013: £76 million)

• Net debt position as at 30 June 2014: £1,680 million (reflecting the normal seasonal effect of lower cash flows in the first half – which is expected to reverse in the second half of 2014 – and the £109 million electronic monitoring settlement)

• Portfolio management: proceeds of £89 million in six months. A further £37 million is due to be received in the second half of 2014 from the sale of the business in Sweden

• Interim dividend maintained at 3.42 pence/share (DKK 0.3198)

G4S realised good progress and delivered a satisfactory financial performance in the first six months of 2014

G4S realised good progress and delivered a satisfactory financial performance in the first six months of 2014

Underlying results1,2 for the six-month period ending 30 June 2014

2014: £3,371 million. 2013: £3,239 million. Change: 4.1%

2014: £185 million. 2013: £174 million. Change: 6.3%

2014: £86 million. 2013: £76 million. Change: 13.2%

2014: 5.6 p. 2013: 5.4 p. Change: 3.7%

Total results3 for the six-month period ending 30 June 2014

2014: £3,371 million. 2013: £3,249 million. Change: 3.8%

2014: £179 million. 2013: £47 million. Change: 280.9%

2014: £78 million. 2013: £(196) million

2014: 5.0 p. 2013: (14.0) p

1At constant exchange rates. The results at actual exchange rates are set out on pages 15 to 31 of the full report (see below for download link). To clearly present underlying performance, specific items have been excluded and disclosed separately (see page 3 of the final report)
22013 results are presented at constant exchange rates and have been restated for the adoption of IFRS10 and IFRS11. 2013 PBITA has been re-presented for businesses subsequently classified as discontinued (see page 4 of the final report for details)
3At constant exchange rates and including specific items. 2013 results have been restated for the adoption of IFRS10 and IFRS11 and have been re-presented for businesses subsequently classified as discontinued (see page 4 of the final report)
4Earnings is equal to profit/(loss) for the period attributable to equity holders of the parent (see page 3 of the final report)
5Earnings per share is based on the average number of shares in issue of 1,545 million (2013: 1,403 million) (see pages 5 and 6 of the final report)

Commentary from the Group CEO

Speaking about this latest set of financials, Ashley Almanza (Group CEO at G4S) commented: “The group made good progress and delivered a satisfactory financial performance in the first six months, winning new contracts with a total value of £1.2 billion and producing a 13.2% increase in earnings. That said, there remains much to be done to capture the full potential of our strategy and to strengthen the group’s performance.”

“Demand for our services was robust, particularly in emerging markets. We’re restructuring and rebuilding our businesses in the UK and Ireland and, indeed, in Europe. We have seen growth return to the North American market.”

Ashley Almanza: Group CEO at G4S

Ashley Almanza: Group CEO at G4S

“Profit before interest, tax and amortisation of £1,851 million was 6% higher than the same period in 2013. This reflects revenue growth and improved operational gearing as we begin to capture benefits from restructuring and the implementation of our ‘Accelerated Best Practice’ Programmes.”

“With our increased focus on cash management, cash flow from operating businesses was £185 million – a 25% improvement on the same period last year. Total cash generated by continuing operations, including one-off corporate items, was £212 million. In 2013 that figure stood at £224 million.”

Following on from a review of the group’s strategy and business conducted last year, the management team duly identified a number of strategic priorities and, in each area, has subsequently made progress in moving from planning towards execution.

Portfolio and performance management
“Over the past year,” said Almanza, “we have divested six businesses at attractive exit multiples for aggregate proceeds of £160 million. This includes our business in Sweden which we sold in July this year. In addition, we have taken the decision to discontinue a further 15 smaller businesses and have an ongoing sale process for our US Government Solutions business. Portfolio management remains important for strategic focus, capital discipline and performance management.”

Organic growth
“We won new work with an annual contract value of over £600 million and a total contract value of £1.2 billion while at the same time replenishing our pipeline which now stands at an annual value of £4.9 billion.”

“We continue to see further opportunities to sell additional services in our key markets and, in line with previously announced plans, we have invested an annualised £15 million to strengthen sales and business development capability. We’re progressively embedding a consistent approach to sales operations and sales performance measurement.”

Accelerated Best Practice and Cost Leadership Programme
Almanza continued: “Our Accelerated Best Practice and Cost Leadership Programme gathered momentum with the appointment of key management and subject matter experts to focus on direct labour efficiency, organisational efficiency, route planning and telematics, IT standardisation, procurement and shared services. Our major restructuring programmes to strengthen the competitiveness and profitability of a number of key businesses, principally in the UK, Ireland and Europe, are being implemented in line with the detailed plans which were developed last year. These programmes and cost initiatives are beginning to deliver improved operational leverage.”

People and values
“We made good progress with the implementation of our corporate transformation programme. We have enhanced our risk management controls and practices and strengthened contract management, and we’re adopting a more systematic approach to measuring customer service. A group-wide internal communications programme is also underway to reinforce our group values and, in line with the ‘Safety First’ value, there has been concerted focus on Health and Safety policy and practice.”

The overall outlook

“We have achieved a satisfactory financial performance and we’re making good strategic progress,” stated Almanza. “Demand for our services continues to be strong in emerging markets. We are restructuring and rebuilding our UK and Ireland and European businesses, and we have seen good growth return to our North American markets.”

In conclusion, Almanza explained: “The group is making encouraging progress but, as stated earlier, there remains much work to be done to capture the full potential of our strategy and to strengthen the group’s overall performance.”

*Download the full Half Year Results announcement
**Download the full presentation slides

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Security Industry Authority licence-linked qualifications exceed 1.25 million

The number of Security Industry Authority licence-linked qualifications that have been issued now exceeds 1.25 million.

Since 2003, and in continual partnership with the security sector, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) has developed Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications for security personnel across seven sectors. These qualifications are nationally recognised and governed by the relevant regulatory authorities in the UK.

For many individuals, an SIA licence-linked qualification is their first recognised qualification and is often a stepping-stone to a defined career in security.

Currently, the SIA is reviewing and updating the training specification which has required expert Working Groups from each sector to gather and discuss any changes.

It’s anticipated that the new requirements will be introduced in January 2015.

Detail of an SIA licence card

Detail of an SIA licence card

Professionalising the private security industry

Andrew Shephard – the SIA’s head of quality standards – explained: “The introduction of minimum standards through licence-linked qualifications has been pivotal in professionalising the private security industry. The first door supervisor qualification was devised in 2003, and there are now over 1.25 million security qualifications held across the regulated sectors. Many individuals have used a qualification to support an SIA licence application.”

Shephard added: “These qualifications help to establish the private security industry as a recognised career with opportunities for individual development. As members of the general public, we all benefit from having more professional security personnel protecting us.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News