The fourth annual Securitas Community Awards Ceremony took place on Tuesday 20 June at the Tortworth Court Hotel, Wotton-under-Edge in South Gloucestershire, in turn recognising outstanding achievements made by the company’s staff across the last 12 months.
The evening featured ten main Community Awards categories – among them the Securitas Community Award for Vigilance and the Securitas Community Award for Leadership – and also served to benefit two tremendous charities: Help for Heroes and Embrace (Child Victims of Crime).
Here’s a breakdown of this year’s winners, highly commended entries, finalists and sponsors…
Securitas Community Award (sponsor: British Gas)
Nothing is more vital and important in our society than those who give their time freely, not for reward of any kind but for the satisfaction of helping others…
Winner: Chris Gunter (JLL Centre Court Shopping Centre, Wimbledon)
Highly Commended: Dylan Bhinda (Northern Trust)
Finalists: Owen Stanley (Centrica Easington), Anthony Wildblood (Westfield Merry Hill)
Chris Gunter receives his award from Sarah King-Head of sponsor British Gas
Citation by Sarah King-Head: “Chris Gunter has given over 20 years’ dedicated service to his local community. Since 1993, this security officer has established excellent working relationships with local retailers, the police and the council. He also reflects and reports the feelings of his community at all Neighbourhood Watch gatherings. None of the above is a requirement of Chris’ central role as a CCTV operator. He cares about the local community and endeavours at all times to make it a safer place for all who live and work in the Wimbledon area.”
Sarah King-Head with Dylan Bhinda
Securitas Community Award for Core Values (sponsor: Innovise)
This award recognises Securitas employees who display the company’s core values – Integrity, Vigilance and Helpfulness – on a consistent, day-to-day basis. These are employees who live the company’s core values and never, ever fail to deliver a solid and professional service to Securitas’ customers.
Winners: Valentins Gajeviks and Janis Gajeviks (City West Business Campus, Dublin)
Highly Commended: Tom Grierson (West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive)
Finalist: Philip O’Malley (Kirklees College)
Mark Towers of Innovise with Valentis Gajeviks and Janis Gajeviks
Citation by Mark Towers: “While carrying out his camera sweeps at the CityWest Business Campus, Valentins Gajeviks became suspicious of a car parked in an unusual position. He then noticed two people acting in a suspicious manner and decided he would zoom in to get a better look at them. Valentins noted that they walked to an area lined with trees and hedges off the main road before walking away. He continued to track the two men on camera and made sure the footage was recorded and captured. In the meantime he wanted to take a closer look at the now abandoned vehicle so he called his brother Janis and asked him to investigate further.
“At this point, Valentins noticed the two men entering an open area. This allowed him to zoom in and capture some clear facial images of the pair as they began to act in a very agitated manner and argue with each other before eventually leaving.
“A few hours later both officers heard news of an extremely serious incident in the local area. As more details were revealed, they felt there could be a connection with the activities of the men they had been monitoring earlier that evening. The officers immediately contacted the local police and Valentins explained what they had seen. Janis showed the police where the abandoned car had been parked.
“Valentins was able to direct the police to the exact areas where the two men had been after leaving the vehicle. The police investigated these areas and discovered some very useful information which related to the incident. The police then took control of the CCTV footage that Valentins had captured.”
Tom Grierson (Highly Commended) and Mark Towers of sponsor Innovise
Securitas Community Award for Integrity (sponsor: Sainsbury’s)
Securitas never compromises in its demands for integrity. Integrity also includes openly expressing one’s opinion, reporting improprieties and not withholding information.
Winner: Tom Grierson (West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive)
Highly Commended: Frank Yaba (Viridian, Whittle & Platt)
Finalists: Chris Gunter (JLL Centre Court Shopping Centre, Wimbledon), Ann Halliday (DHL, Staines)
Paul Smith of Sainsbury’s (right) with winner Tom Grierson (WYPTE)
Citation by Paul Smith: “On 24 January this year, Tom was visiting Dewsbury Bus Station when he noticed a man sitting alone and crying. Having worked at the bus station as a customer support officer for many years, he recognised the man as Brian. Brian is known to suffer with Autism. Brian explained that he had lost his bus pass and was distraught. “How am I going to get home? What will my Dad say?” Tom managed to calm Brian down and reassure him. He helped Brian complete all the necessary paperwork for his new pass. On hearing that this could take another five days to receive, Brian again broke down and became inconsolable. Tom went straight to the Travel Centre and purchased a weekly ticket for Brian out of his own money. He again calmed Brian down and made sure he was able to catch his bus home.”
Frank Yaba collects his Highly Commended certificate
Securitas Community Award for Vigilance (sponsor: Peter Drew Contracts)
Professionalism entails seeing, hearing and evaluating. A Securitas employee is always attentive and often notices things that others don’t. Their vigilance is necessary in order to be aware of potential risks or incidents that may take place on customers’ premises.
Winner: Paul Baker and Graham Hine (CCTV Salisbury)
Highly Commended: Rotunda Team (JLL Rotunda Centre, Kingston upon Thames)
Finalists: Joe Galea and Daniel Whitehead (Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, London), Matt McBean (Kodak)
Paul Baker and Graham Hine won the Securitas Community Award for Vigilance
Citation by Tim Drew: “In the early hours of the morning, CCTV operators Paul Baker and Graham Hine spotted a young woman being confronted in the doorway of a shop’s premises. As the two operators observed and monitored the situation, the two men began an assault on the woman. The CCTV operators immediately informed the local Police Force Control Room and police officers in the vicinity were deployed, resulting in the arrest of both males. Chief Inspector Charles Dibble praised the exceptional vigilance shown by Paul and Graham, stating: ‘Your operators attained very high quality footage of the incident and provided a comprehensive commentary for the information of the unit that was sent. Please pass on my thanks for this fantastic piece of work.’ Had it not been for Paul and Graham’s attentiveness, the outcome of this incident was extremely likely to have been for more serious.”
Tim Drew (left) with Paul Howard, who represented the JLL Rotunda Centre Team
Securitas Community Award for Helpfulness (sponsor: Spratt Endicott Solicitors)
As part of an ongoing effort to make life safer, a Securitas employee will always help if an incident occurs that requires intervention.
Winner: Mohammed Ahmed (University of Hertfordshire)
Highly Commended: David Goodwin (Marks & Spencer, Bangor)
Finalists: Rey Marquez (Bentall Shopping Centre, Kingston), Mohammed Salmin (West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive)
Winner Mohammed Ahmed (right) with John Spratt of sponsor Spratt Endicott
Citation by John Spratt: “Earlier this year, Mohammed Ahmed was on duty at the University of Hertfordshire in the small hours of the morning. A male and female had arrived on site attempting to gain entry. As the conversation with the two people continued, Mohammed became concerned for the safety of the woman. Eventually he convinced the man who had arrived with her to leave the area.
“Suspecting the woman had not revealed the full details of the night and noticing her anxiety when she was with the male, Mohammed took her to the rest area, sat down with her and gave her the reassurance that everything would be fine. Mohammed listened as she began to reveal the full story of the night.
“The woman had been the victim of a serious crime that evening and proceeded to explain to Mohammed what had happened. He listened to, reassured and comforted the woman, making sure the police were informed and helping the woman to contact her family. Mohammed then waited with her until the police arrived.”
John Spratt with David Goodwin (Highly Commended)
Securitas Community Team Award (sponsor: University of Hertfordshire)
This award is presented to the Securitas Security Team that demonstrates collective excellence in delivering security strategies for customers.
Winner: JLL Millgate Shopping Centre Team
Highly Commended: BT Alexander Bain House Team
Finalists: Exxon Mobile Team, Sainsbury’s Romford Team
Members of the victorious JLL Millgate Shopping Centre Security Team
Citation by Dale Murphy: “The nomination form submitted by this year’s winning team gave us a revealing insight into the many varied and challenging incidents they face on a daily basis. In total, they recorded no less than 25 serious incidents over a ten-week period. These included serious fires that were prevented on two occasions, CCTV monitoring leading to successful arrests on five occasions, First Aid administered and ambulances called to injured members of the public on five occasions and six cases of missing children being identified and returned to their homes.
“In the words of Graham Bentley, the building services manager at the JLL Shopping Centre: ‘This security team displays a genuine care for the local community in which it works, while quite clearly forging key relationships with all who live and work within that community. This has realised a history of arrests and successful outcomes, evidenced by positive feedback from the police, the ambulance and fire services.’
“A challenging environment met head on by a fantastic team.”
Dale Murphy (left) with members of the Highly Commended BT Alexander Bain House Security Team
Securitas Community Award for Innovation (sponsor: Link Central)
Innovation is understood as the successful introduction of something new and useful. Introducing new techniques, methods or practices as well as new or altered products and services is paramount.
Winners: Eric Grant and Michelle Pepper (Aviva)
Highly Commended: Michael Meays (Everything Everywhere)
Finalists: Stuart Mansfield (Shire Pharmaceuticals), Dean McCormack (West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive)
Mark Barlow (left, Link Central) with winners Michelle Pepper and Eric Grant
Citation by Mark Barlow: “If you want to share information across 130 security staff members and 24 sites and ensure consistent quality, you may want to give our two winning security officers a call. When the opportunity arose to use the customer’s portal, Eric Grant and Michelle Pepper didn’t hesitate. They have developed an outstanding site where officers across the whole of the country could talk to each other by way of a forum. Management notices can be distributed and displayed. Threat levels, police advisory notices, customer praise and forms detailing such things as holidays and uniform requests may be generated and e-mailed to the relevant managers. Eric and Michelle have taken an idea from conception to completion and created a fantastic interactive portal that continues to adapt, evolve and develop on a daily basis.”
Mark Barlow with Michael Meays
Securitas Community Award for Leadership (sponsor: GAP)
This award is presented to an individual who exhibits leadership skills by demonstrating their ability to communicate, make decisions, demonstrate personal commitment and innovation and lead by example.
Winner: David Foster (Procter & Gamble)
Highly Commended: John Turnbull (ConocoPhillips)
Finalists: Amy Hudson (Nestle UK), Dennis Richardson (BAE)
Darren Read of Securitas (left) presents the award on behalf of sponsor GAP to David Foster
Citation by Darren Read (on behalf of GAP): “The winner of this year’s Securitas Community Award for Leadership had a very busy time last summer. David Foster took responsibility for devising and executing the complete security plan for the Procter & Gamble family home during the London Olympics. He exhibited solid leadership, managed 38 security officers and a 24/7 operation.”
Highly Commended entrant John Turnbull with Securitas’ Darren Read
Securitas Community Award: Outstanding Act (sponsor: Marks & Spencer)
Each year, this award recognises the outstanding commitment and professionalism of frontline security personnel.
Winners: David Fanthorpe and Safdar Zeb (Dewsbury Bus Station)
Highly Commended: Christopher Fielding and Lenny Nadin (Chesterfield Hospital)
Finalists: Neil Dickinson (Yorkshire St John University), David Thatcher and Alex Cowell (JLL Bentall Shopping Centre, Kingston)
Left to Right: David Fanthorpe, Clint Reid of sponsor Marks & Spencer and Safdar Zeb
Citation by Clint Reid: “On Sunday 6 January 2013 at approximately 10.35 pm, CCOs David Fanthorpe and Safdar Zeb were on duty when a male entered Dewsbury Bus Station. The man was clearly under the influence of alcohol. He was holding a knife and was covered in blood, with wounds all over his arms. David immediately radioed Metro Control to request CCTV live record while Safdar contacted the police.
“David instructed Safdar to remove the public from harm’s way, asking them to leave the station while David approached the male. Safdar managed to evacuate everyone from the bus station. However, several elderly members of the public were too frightened to move, so quick-thinking Safdar took them in to (and locked) the security office so no-one could gain access. He then went on to assist David.
“As David approached, the male began slashing his own neck and arm, screaming for the officers to leave him alone or he would kill himself. David and Safdar showed great compassion in this difficult situation, communicating with the male at all times and attempting to calm him down.
“The male then walked towards the south entrance to the station when the police arrived. This clearly made the male panic and he began pointing the knife towards David and Safdar, slashing out towards them. David carried on talking to the male, asking him to put the knife down, but the male was continuing to cut himself and swipe the knife at them.
“With adrenaline running high, the male reached out and slashed the knife towards Safdar, but he lost his grip and the knife dropped to the floor. Both David and Safdar immediately pounced to restrain the male while the police officer on scene kicked the knife away before completing an arrest.
“Without doubt, David and Safdar’s actions saved the life of the male and prevented what could have been a terrible conclusion to a traumatic incident.”
Christopher Fielding (right) accepts his Highly Commended accolade from Clint Reid