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Kasabian’s Summer Solstice homecoming gig heralds new dawn for Showsec

Rock band Kasabian’s historic Summer Solstice homecoming gig in front of 50,000 fans massed at Leicester’s Victoria Park presented crowd management and event security specialist Showsec with the perfect opportunity to put on a ‘show’ of its own.

Showsec event stewards and managers debuted the company’s new uniform designs at the 21 June gig, which took place barely a stone’s throw away from the company’s Head Office in the city.

“It seemed entirely appropriate this should be the occasion when we used our new uniforms at a major event for the first time, and it certainly heightened the importance of the event to us,” explained Richard Church, Showsec’s regional manager for the Midlands. “We were proud to play such an important role in staging this historic event for the city of Leicester, which will always be remembered as an exciting step forward for the company.”

Kasabian: brilliant gig at Leicester's Victoria Park

Kasabian: brilliant gig at Leicester’s Victoria Park

Church continued: “The new uniforms are a further representation of how we are continually looking to achieve excellence in service for both our clients and members of the public. All of the feedback has been extremely positive, and it’s quite apparent that our staff feel good about the new uniforms which can only enhance that level of service.”

First major concert in Victoria Park for a decade

Showsec’s strong presence at Victoria Park meant that there was predominantly a splash of yellow on the scene for Kasabian’s Summer Solstice event. A workforce of 450 staff was directed by a 62-strong team of management and supervisors put in place for what was a large-scale operation.

The new Showsec uniforms made their debut

The new Showsec uniforms made their debut

“This was the first major concert in Victoria Park for more than ten years,” outlined Church. “The occasion was extra special for a number of other reasons, too.”

From Showsec’s point of view, one of the significant aspects of Kasabian’s homecoming gig – which hihglighted tracks from the band’s new album 48:13 – was that the event took place in the early stages of the security company’s new contract with Leicester City Council, who had collaborated with Live Nation to make the concert happen.

“The operation had its challenges, largely due to the lively audience and the park design, but the event was an overwhelming success,” enthused Church. “We worked closely with Leicestershire Police on crime reduction measures and the feedback from them was very complimentary, as indeed it was from the local authorities and others involved in the organisation.”

As always, the Showsec event stewarding operation was excellent and drew much praise

As always, the Showsec event stewarding operation was excellent and drew much praise

Kasabian put on a great show, featuring lots of classic tracks including Shoot The Runner, Underdog, Empire, Processed Beats and Club Foot (the latter two tracks from their excellent debut album).

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VideoEdge NVR: a better way to focus on video surveillance

American Dynamics (part of the Security Products business unit of Tyco), has released version 4.5 of its powerful, high-performance VideoEdge NVR. New features provide customers with more secure and efficient systems for businesses requiring an active surveillance environment.

VideoEdge Network Video Recorder (NVR) adds a new level of ease and efficiency for surveillance operators. With features such as Auto Discovery, users can locate cameras on the network and assign IP addresses to any VideoEdge NVR with the click of a button.

“The changing landscape for surveillance is dictating a new list of ‘must-haves’,” said Steve Carney, director of video product line management for Tyco Security Products. “This latest version of VideoEdge responds to those security-critical situations with effective, reliable and intuitive tools.”

Carney added: “We’re focused on providing the unique features required by customers who rely on their surveillance systems for fast, real-time incident response.”

Such customers include security managers in retail environments who are looking for solutions to theft as well as data that helps them better understand customer behaviour.

VideoEdge NVRs now boast new features

VideoEdge NVRs now boast new features

VideoEdge provides both. Its powerful Heat Mapping tool means that retailers may spot where customers are lingering – important information that lets retail marketers see where the hot items are, or where they may need additional promotional displays.

This feature is also very useful in other vertical markets such as sports and entertainment, healthcare and other venues for tracking foot traffic patterns, thus ensuring visitors are receiving adequate assistance.

Inclusion of a new Watermarking process

The latest version of VideoEdge also includes a new Watermarking process that allows security officials to assign a unique visual mark to the video that’s specific to its business. This maintains the integrity of recorded video and protects the owner from fraudulent use of the video.

The victor Unified Client helps end users manage all of their live and recorded video from VideoEdge, exacqVision, Intellex and ADTVR video recording solutions from one intuitive interface. victor is part of a powerful NVMS that includes advanced policy management, health monitoring, Smart Search, instant playback and more, ensuring the security and safety of the entire organisation whether a single site or a multi-location, globally dispersed enterprise.

For those enterprise customers who use Software House C•CURE 9000, victor Enterprise provides unification for SAS (satellite application server) and MAS (master application server). Deploying victor and C•CURE 9000 software at the same time and into the same IP system has never been easier.

For those customers at smaller sites, victor Express has been designed to eliminate the need for an SQL database, thus simplifying and saving on installation time.

The VideoEdge NVMS and victor Unified Client are available through American Dynamics’ worldwide channel partners.

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Elmdene powers ahead at IFSEC International 2014

Electronic fire and security products manufacturer Elmdene International (a subsidiary of Potter Electric Signal, LLC) used IFSEC International 2014 (which ran from 17-19 June at London ExCeL) to unveil a record number of new product lines – from highly efficient switch mode power PSUs (Power Supply Units) for intruder alarm and fire applications through to an EN54-23:2010-compliant Fire Alarm Beacon and the groundbreaking ‘Flexi-Bell’ modular siren.

The company (which on first assessment has seen a surge in footfall year-on-year) significantly increased its profile for the 2014 exhibition by exhibiting its latest solutions on stand as part of a large-scale Harmony Village also featuring other Harmony Alliance members GJD, Texecom and TDSi.

Looking in more detail at the solutions showcased by Elmdene at IFSEC International, leading the way was an EN54-23:2010-compliant, ceiling-mounted Fire Alarm Beacon. This is an indoor ‘Type A’ VAD (Visual Alarm Device) which is built around low power consumption LED technology.

Crucially, Elmdene reports that the product has already completed a rigorous testing process to secure a certificate of approval from the LPCB (Loss Prevention Certification Board).

Elmdene's stand at IFSEC International 2014

Elmdene’s stand at IFSEC International 2014

Another new concept for which Elmdene has high hopes is the company’s aptly-named ‘Flexi-Bell’ modular siren which is available in Grade 2 and Grade 3 versions. According to Elmdene, what makes this external sounder stand out from competing solutions on the market is its ability to use one common backplate with simple ‘snap in’ clips to accommodate all of Elmdene’s sounder covers: Vertec, HS and Quartz.

This not only minimises the stock that distributors need to hold but opens up the potential for customers to have their own bespoke covers in terms of shape and colour.

Switch mode PSUs for intruder alarm applications

Other industry-leading products that made their UK debut during the show included a number of new models in the GEN2 and GEN3 ranges of 12V switch mode PSUs for intruder alarm applications. The latest additions have been developed to satisfy the requirements of Grade 2 and Grade 3 under PD6662:2010 and EN50131-6:2008.

Also previewed by Elmdene at IFSEC International 2014 were the company’s cost-effective STX fire power supply units. The roll-out of the latest additions to the STX range (1A, 2A, 5A and 10A) reflects the soaring demand that Elmdene is seeing for fire-specific power supplies that satisfy the EN54-4:1997 standard.

In addition to new product launches, Elmdene once again highlighted the virtues of its ever-expanding family of switch mode PSUs, with sales proving particularly strong where CCTV applications are involved. When deployed, switch mode models offer typical efficiency levels of 80-87% and, correspondingly, lower energy bills and a reduced carbon footprint when compared to more conventional linear alternatives.

Given that they run significantly cooler, switch mode PSUs support enhanced reliability as well as being better equipped to cope with mains input voltage fluctuations.

Beyond this, Elmdene spotlighted the importance of Power over Ethernet (PoE) standby devices. The company has already developed two types of power supplies to bridge what it views as a worrying capability gap across security, access control and information technology applications.

Elmdene’s leadership in this field was underlined as a finalist in Benchmark magazine’s Innovation Awards 2014 (which ran in parallel to the show), with its POE1230-C model singled out for praise in the ‘Infrastructure’ category.

The POE1230-C is a PoE powered PSU (Power Supply Unit) that incorporates a battery back-up capability. Power is supplied from a 50W PoE injector to deliver 12V DC at 1.5A output.

IFSEC International 2014 “exceeded all expectations”

Commenting on Elmdene’s attendance at IFSEC 2014, Ian Moore (the company’s managing director) said: “IFSEC 2014 has exceeded all of our expectations. In fact, it has proven to be the most successful show for us yet in terms of the quality of leads and footfall. We had a much bigger, more prominent stand this time around and, thanks to our strong R&D base, an unprecedented number of product innovations, whether you are talking about PSUs or our EN54-23:2010-compliant Fire Alarm Beacon.”

Ian Moore: managing director at Elmdene International

Ian Moore: managing director at Elmdene International


Moore continued: “Co-locating with other members of the Harmony Alliance represented a major advance for us in the context of IFSEC. Undoubtedly, the benefit of being part of the Harmony Alliance is the way in which it’s focused on pulling together complementary expertise from all of our specialist fields to deliver Best of Breed integrated solutions, most notably at the project level.”

In addition, Moore explained: “The managing directors of the Harmony Alliance member companies took part in a thought-provoking panel discussion around the subject of integrated security during the first day of the show. On a lighter note, we were delighted to play host to over 300 Harmony Alliance customers at an invitation-only party held on a barge near London’s ExCel to help celebrate the success of the Alliance.”

Follow Elmdene on YouTube and Twitter

For more information on Elmdene’s solutions, which are available through the usual distribution channels, telephone: +44(0)23 9269 6638, e-mail: sales@elmdene.co.uk or log onto http://www.elmdene.co.uk

Elmdene has a YouTube Channel which can be found at http://www.youtube.com/ElmdeneInternational and you can also follow the company on Twitter at twitter.com/ElmdeneIntLtd

Further information on the Harmony Alliance is available at: http://www.harmony-alliance.com

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Security Industry Authority News: ‘Security directors disqualified for six years’

On Thursday 19 June 2014 at the Old Bailey, two security directors were disqualified from acting as company directors for a total of six years.

John Anah (aged 56) and 54-year-old Tony O’Gonna ran three security companies: Anco UK Limited, AA Guarding Limited and Metro Guards UK Limited, all of them based in Woolwich.

In December 2012, the companies came to the attention of the Security Industry Authority (SIA) when an unlicensed security officer was found working at a building site in London. SIA investigator then issued a formal warning to Anco UK Limited.

Two security directors have been disqualified from acting as company directors for a total of six years

Two security directors have been disqualified from acting as company directors for a total of six years

A few weeks later, SIA investigators conducted an inspection of the business premises in Woolwich and discovered the true scale of the illegal activity.

It was found that, between August 2012 and July 2013, the companies supplied 33 unlicensed security officers to ten different building sites around London.

Hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court: October 2013

In October 2013 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Anah and the three security companies pleaded guilty to ten charges of supplying unlicensed security operatives contrary to Section 5 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. O’Gonna pleaded not guilty to the same offence.

In March 2014, O’Gonna was found guilty at the City of London Magistrates’ Court. During the trial the magistrate rejected O’Gonna’s claims that he entrusted Anah with the operational side of the business and that he never consented to the supply of unlicensed security officers.

The sentencing was referred to Crown Court.

Anah was sentenced to 120 hours of unpaid work and disqualified from acting as a director for four years. O’Gonna was disqualified from acting as a security director for two years.

Additionally, the SIA and the London Regional Asset Recovery Team have commenced legal proceedings against the two individuals and their security companies under the Proceeds of Crime Act. It’s expected that fines will follow the conclusion of the confiscation proceedings.

The hearing is due to take place later this year.

Complex and challenging investigation

The SIA’s Head of Investigation Nathan Salmon said: “I welcome this verdict, which brings to a close a complex and challenging investigation. The defendants provided misinformation to the SIA in order to distance themselves from the offending. Some of these security officers had neither been trained nor properly vetted to recognised national standards. In one instance, an officer had actually been refused an SIA licence due to convictions relating to common assault and disorderly behaviour. The court also heard that some security officers did not have a legitimate right to reside or work in the UK.”

Salmon added: “The verdicts comprehensively discredit the directors’ version of events and their inability to effectively operate a security business. The directors now face the prospect of another court challenge, this time regarding the money they made as a result of their illegal business practice. We will seek appropriate confiscation of the monies earned during contracts where unlicensed security officers were supplied.”

In conclusion, Salmon stated: “I would like to offer our thanks to everyone who supported the investigation and prosecution of this case.”

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The Shield Group hosts Summer Security Conference 2014 aboard HMS Belfast

Corporate security, technology, manpower and business leaders from across London attended the recent Summer Security Conference hosted by The Shield Group, the UK’s largest independent Total Security Solutions provider.

The event, which aimed to address key issues facing the security industry, was held on Wednesday 11 June on board HMS Belfast, now a museum ship but originally a Royal Navy light cruiser now permanently moored on the River Thames and operated by the Imperial War Museum (IWM).

Chaired by Ken Stewart (The Shield Group’s corporate risk director and a former Detective Chief Superintendent at the City of London Police), over 100 senior customers and guests joined The Shield Group’s team of experts for an afternoon of networking and presentations delivered by dynamic speakers from the public and private sectors. Presenters spoke on a wide range of important and prominent themes in the business security sector.

Tony Porter (Surveillance Camera Commissioner for England and Wales at the Home Office) discussed the importance of surveillance cameras and the challenges in using such technologies.

Porter began his career at Greater Manchester Police and was subsequently appointed head of CID for South Manchester. In 2008, he was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in the New Year’s Honours list for distinguished service to policing.

Tony Porter: the UK's Surveillance Camera Commissioner

Tony Porter: the UK’s Surveillance Camera Commissioner

Porter moved from policing in September 2012 and took the role of vice-president and head of physical security intelligence for Barclays Bank.

In his new role as Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Porter is currently responsible for encouraging compliance with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice, reviewing the effectiveness of the Code and providing advice on the appropriate and transparent use of surveillance camera systems (all of which he discussed at the Summer Security Conference).

Using CCTV for tackling crime and terrorism

Detective Chief Superintendent Jeff Davies (head of crime and counter-terrorism at the City of London Police) spoke about the importance of CCTV surveillance in tackling crime and terrorist threats.

In his current role, Davies provides briefings and advice on a range of topics including personnel, employment screening, cyber security and protective security against terror and domestic extremism.

Jeff Davies (head of crime and CT at City of London Police) addresses the audience

Jeff Davies (head of crime and CT at City of London Police) addresses the audience

During his presentation, Davies shared details of the Project Griffin scheme. Introduced in April 2004, Project Griffin was established to strengthen the partnership between the City of London Police and security chiefs within the City’s business community. It’s a revolutionary initiative aiming to co-ordinate the resources of the police, the emergency services, local authorities and private sector security.

The Shield Group’s CEO John Roddy is also a member of the Project Griffin Committee.

Tim Strofton: head of museum services and security at IWM

Tim Strofton: head of museum services and security at IWM

Pressing security issues facing the UK

Speaking about the event, The Shield Group’s Ken Stewart said: “The Shield Group Summer Security Conference was yet another fantastic opportunity to emphasise the most pressing security issues currently facing the UK and territories overseas. As The Shield Group is the leading independent Total Security Solutions provider in the UK, we are able to organise such an event which brings a real focus to protecting people, property, assets and brands.”

Ken Stewart of The Shield Group (left) with Jeff Davies on board HMS Belfast

Ken Stewart of The Shield Group (left) with Jeff Davies on board HMS Belfast

John Roddy added: “I’m proud of the quality and quantity of our guests as it reflects our reputation in the industry and interest in our business. It demonstrates that we are changing as a business and that we’re ready to reshape the industry with our unique position in the market.”

The decision to host the event on board HMS Belfast was also directed by the fact that The Shield Group was recently awarded the visitor services and security contract at IWM. That contract includes IWM’s flagship branch that’s transforming with new First World War Galleries and Atrium space opening on Saturday 19 July 2014 to mark the Centenary of the First World War.

It also embraces IWM North (housed in an iconic award-winning building designed by Daniel Libeskind), IWM Duxford (a world-renowned aviation museum and Britain’s best preserved wartime airfield), the Churchill War Rooms (housed in Churchill’s secret headquarters below Whitehall) and the Second World War cruiser HMS Belfast.

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PwC: ‘Businesses must wake up to global risks in order to maximise competitive advantage’

New and emerging operational threats to business will challenge an organisation’s existing risk management, business continuity, IT crisis management and information security processes.

Business leaders are not doing enough to prepare for the risks that arise from an increasingly inter-connected world, such as social instability, debt crises and extreme weather events.

The warning was issued by industry experts from PwC, the Institute of Directors, Airmic, Marsh and Zurich in advance of the ‘Responding to Global Risks’ panel event taking place next week.

Simon Walker, director general of the IoD, will participate in the debate alongside industry experts including James Crask, business resilience specialist at PwC. The discussion will examine the ‘Responding to Global Risks’ report, which was written by industry experts from the IoD, Airmic, Marsh, PwC and Zurich. The survey builds on the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk 2014 report, giving company directors tools to manage risk not only in order to avoid disasters, but also to identify opportunities that will help gain a competitive advantage.

Businesses must wake up to global risks in order to maximise competitive advantage

Businesses must wake up to global risks in order to maximise competitive advantage

James Crask, senior manager at PwC, explained: “Enterprise resilience is not just about surviving in the present. It’s about having the foresight, capability and agility to adapt and evolve. The relentless pressure on businesses to cut costs while enhancing their long-term prospects of survival means that agility can sometimes be at odds with the requirement for robust protection mechanisms. For many, this can result in poorly considered investments in resilience. The ‘buffers’ that contribute to resilience are increasingly seen as an unnecessary expense and are removed to reduce costs.”

Businesses could be harming their longevity

Organisations failing to consider the wider factors that contribute towards resilience could be harming their longevity. A mature business will generally mix operational activities (which aim to address shorter-term risks and impacts) with a consideration of a wider range of resilience factors that draw on the characteristics defining the business and which can guide its decision-making.

However, few businesses have identified these wider elements clearly and consistently in every department and at every level. By way of an example, creating a code of values is useless, state PwC experts, if only half of the workforce identify with it.

Richard Sykes – head of governance, risk and compliance at PwC – stated: “While very important, simply delivering robust risk management activities such as business continuity or IT resilience will not be enough to safeguard a sustainable future and enhance reputations. An organisation’s resilience is about much more than good risk management. It’s dependent on a wide variety of factors that can be measured and leveraged to enhance responsiveness and agility in the wake of upheaval.”

Sykes went on to state: “The most resilient organisations are likely to combine these attributes with a commonly shared set of corporate values aligned with behaviours. They will harness a strong understanding of their business and its context, possess the ability to innovate and also maintain high levels of trust and loyalty from customers and staff.”

In conclusion, Sykes explained: “Leadership also plays a critical role in building resilience, but this can only have maximum impact if it’s allied with the empowerment of those on the ‘shop floor’. Trusting workers to make the right decisions and exhibit Best Practice behaviours also helps to enhance resilience and prevent reputational damage.”

For more information visit: http://www.director.co.uk/Content/PDFs/Responding-to-global-risks-web-edition.pdf

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The Shield Group named UK’s ‘Security Solutions Specialist of the Year’

The Shield Group – the UK’s largest independent Total Security Solutions provider – has been named ‘Security Solutions Specialist of the Year’ at Acquisition International’s prestigious M&A Awards 2014.

Now in its third year, AI’s M&A Awards recognise and celebrate the stellar achievements of financial advisers, financiers and service providers pinpointed for demonstrable expertise in their specialised fields, with each award category being nominated for by clients and peers.

The awards are bestowed solely on the basis of merit to commend exceptional service over the last 12 months.

Acquisition International is a popular monthly financial magazine with a global circulation positioned to reach influential deal makers and senior financial professionals.

Leading national security provider

The Shield Group is an award-winning total security solutions company which has been at the forefront of the industry since its inception 25 years ago. The group has been recognised following a successful acquisition by India’s largest security company, Topsgrup, which was led by executive chairman Dr Richie Nanda.

Dr Richie Nanda: executive chairman at The Shield Group

Dr Richie Nanda: executive chairman at The Shield Group

In July 2012, Dr Nanda completed a £19.5 million acquisition of The Shield Group, initiated with a 51% controlling stake in 2008. The acquisition enabled the company to make vital in-roads into the regional UK security market, in turn transforming The Shield Group into a leading national security provider.

The company has since launched several new offices across the UK, including its regional headquarters in Manchester, increased staffing numbers to 2,500 and the number of customers it serves to 400.

In addition, The Shield Group has hired seven managing and regional directors, invested over £1 million to realise an NSI Gold certified Alarm Monitoring Centre in Preston and launched new business divisions – Shield Guarding and Shield Strategic Solutions with sub-verticals Shield Consults, Shield Monitoring Services and Shield Vetting – to offer bespoke security services to clients.

Furthermore, under Dr Nanda’s leadership the business has secured a number of high-profile contracts, including The Imperial War Museum and Bournemouth University.

All of these changes helped increase revenues from £61 million (2013) to £81million (projected for 2014).

With a growth in EBIDTA of 67% from the last financial year, the combined turnover for Topsgrup and Shield this financial year is expected to be £170 million.

Increased growth, new business wins

“We are truly excited to have been named the Security Solutions Specialist of the Year,” said Dr Richie Nanda. “We have had an exceptional 12 months with increasing growth and new business wins. This award is testament to the team’s remarkable work ethic and our world class services and products. Though this award brings great pride to The Shield Group, it also brings a lot of responsibility and we endeavour to uphold the trust and loyalty that our clients place in our services.”

John Roddy: CEO at The Shield Group

John Roddy: CEO at The Shield Group

Also speaking about the award win, John Roddy (CEO of The Shield Group) added: “This is great news. I’m pleased for everyone at The Shield Group. We place a lot of emphasis on our specialised security model, Total Security Solutions (TSS), which is paying dividends. The acquisition from Topsgrup has allowed us to combine expertise and innovative knowledge to better our offering to clients while at the same time benefiting from economies of scale. This is further endorsement of our benchmarking security solution offering, and we look forward to the challenge of continuing the tradition of pushing innovation within the sector.”

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