Bidvest Noonan has unveiled plans to introduce “disruptive new technologies” designed to bring about the company’s vision for “truly touchless and frictionless” security.
The business has just recruited industry heavy-hitter Stephen Webb (pictured below) as its director of technology solutions. Webb boasts over 20 years’ experience in leading the development of security technology businesses here in the UK and also in North America.
Bidvest Noonan has accelerated its innovation and technology programmes in response to the pandemic. The business saw working practices change and clients grappling with a host of new problems during what has been a challenging period. The company’s security solutions team sought technology-enhanced systems to help clients keep their people safe, ensure business continuity and find new ways of achieving their longer-term objectives.
The company set its sights on leveraging Artificial Intelligence-enhanced, cloud-based and biometric-focused security systems with a view towards transforming and unifying areas such as access control, alarm monitoring, video surveillance and visitor management.
Stephen Webb’s appointment to what is a newly-created senior leadership role signals the business’ commitment to advancing its security technology plans.
Commenting on this development, Eddie Ingram (managing director of Security Solutions at Bidvest Noonan) informed Security Matters: “I’m thrilled to welcome Stephen to our team. He has a proven track record for leveraging technology to deliver performance improvements and added value to clients. He will play an important role in the development of our ambitious security technology plans and I know he will be very successful at Bidvest Noonan.”
Comelit has extended its security offer for end users by delivering a wireless intruder alarm system. Designed to seamlessly operate with its inclusive app technology, Secur Hub allows businesses to not only control their door entry and CCTV, but also their intruder alarm regime.
The Italian security specialist, which is well known for its high specification solutions, has launched Secur Hub as an intruder alarm system natively connected to the Comelit Cloud, which itself encompasses both Wi-Fi and LAN connectivity.
Secur Hub operates a high-performance, two-way radio link between the control panel and the sensors. It allows up to 16 IP CCTV cameras with HD resolution to connect to the control panel for users to view in live stream mode via the Comelit app and facilitates the recording of four cameras on alarm events for visual verification.
Francesca Boeris, Comelit’s UK managing director, explained: “To maintain and grow our position as a premier security specialist, we’re constantly evolving our solutions to present future-proof technology that keeps people and their places of work protected, in turn using the Internet of Things to deliver the latest app-friendly solutions.”
Boeris added: “We’re also conscious of the need for simplifying the installation process to enable more installers to be able to offer this smart technology. Secur Hub’s functional design extends to all devices that communicate with the control panel and allows the system to be installed quickly. The support of a built-in intuitive wizard offers instant peace of mind and security.”
Setting the system
Specifically designed for quick installation, Secur Hub doesn’t require ports to be opened on the router – even for the app – for both system management and for viewing any connected CCTV cameras.
Via the app, end users can set or unset the alarm system, check the status of each sensor and organise notifications or view the control panel event log.
Boeris concluded: “Secur Hub is an exciting and innovative launch that really uses the best of our technology to offer a smart solution with the kind of stylish design that installers have come to expect from us. When combined with the Comelit app, it presents the perfect solution for the end user.”
Tavcom Training is launching the first in a series of virtual classroom training courses to add to its existing classroom training portfolio. The programme kicks off with two fundamental courses: the BTEC Level 3 course focused on Intruder Alarm System Design and the BTEC Level 3 course concentrating on CCTV System Design and Planning.
Delivered via Zoom through online interactive lectures and workshops and guided by the same expert instructors as the physical classroom courses, learners will have the chance to gain an accredited certification in a live environment without having to travel.
Andrew Saywell, business development manager for Tavcom Training, informed Security Matters: “We understand that a lot of our learners come to us for the high standard of training we deliver here at Tavcom. We wanted to find a way in which to provide that high standard of classroom learning to the many individuals who cannot travel at present. Our new virtual classroom courses are a solution to this problem. Delivered by and in partnership with our lead tutors, they’re fully interactive and designed to provide practising professionals with the necessary skills required to carry out the key elements of their role.”
Saywell continued: “The launch of our accredited virtual training courses is just one element in a series of developments that we’re implementing in order to increase the accessibility of Tavcom Training courses to learners on a global footing. Now more than ever, it’s easier for security professionals to gain a worldwide recognised qualification.”
Not only will learners be able to interact with other members of their class and ask questions as they would in a normal classroom situation, but they can also expect to receive all of the typical benefits of traditional face-to-face training including full tutor support, training resources and protected soft copies of the learning material distributed prior to course commencement.
The BTEC Level 3 in Intruder Alarm System Design is the first course in the portfolio to be delivered virtually. This is an essential course for technical specifiers, sales engineers and consultants who wish to work lawfully within the new legislative guidelines and determine the risk assessment of each installation on which they’re working.
Learners on the course will be taught the skills required to carry out risk assessments and surveys in accordance with current British Standards and their European equivalents in combination with design and planning exercises that will introduce all of the necessary new grading requirements.
The Intruder Alarm System Design course is scheduled to take place virtually on 15-17 February and will cover the following core topics: completing security risk assessments, an overview of detection devices, control and indicating equipment, signalling devices and considerations, the planning and design of systems, European Standards, insurance requirements, alarm verification techniques, equipment grading criteria, producing system proposals and information on how to conduct practical site surveys.
Learners can expect to undertake focused morning and afternoon sessions interspersed with project work requiring a level of independent research.
The CCTV System Design and Planning BTEC Level 3 course is designed for all those who have the task of designing and planning small or large CCTV systems while ensuring compliance with the latest international standards. This course will provide learners with the experience and knowledge necessary to offer solutions for a variety of clients’ CCTV requirements.
The course will be of particular interest to specifiers, consultants, sales personnel and CCTV system project managers.
It’s scheduled to take place virtually between 15-18 March. Throughout the course, learners can expect to cover the following core topics: an overview of CCTV technologies and products, developing an Operational Requirement, risk assessments and site surveys, CCTV system design and product selection, effective lighting for CCTV applications, legislation, industry standards and Codes of Practice, system planning (costing, installation, commissioning and maintenance), system documentation (specification, drawings, commissioning and handover), writing system proposals and, last but not least, the tender process (with a keen focus on pre/post tender meetings and presentations).
High standard of learning
Kevin Matthew, operations director for Tavcom Training, explained: “Delivery in a live virtual classroom has many of the benefits of face-to-face learning without the inconvenience of travel. This is a very important consideration for those whose need for accredited and quality training hasn’t changed, even if their ability to join a classroom course has due to COVID-19 restrictions.”
Matthew continued: “Learners will participate in the same way that they would in the classroom, interacting with each other and the qualified course tutor, as well as receiving the high standard of learning and support associated with Tavcom Training’s courses.”
In conclusion, Matthew observed: “This is just the start of a series of virtual classroom courses that we’re looking to develop in order to meet the ever-changing needs of security industry professionals.”
*Course prices start from £395 (excluding VAT). This includes a formal BTEC accreditation. Upon completion of the course, learners will also receive formal Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. **Further information is available online at https://www.tavcom.com/
Tavcom Training, the Linx International Group company providing accredited security systems training courses, is celebrating its 25-year anniversary. Since 1995, the company has trained and certified upwards of 50,000 learners in over 100 countries by way of its extensive portfolio of more than 100 classroom and online courses.
With the mid-to-late 1990s growth in the number of manufacturers producing security technology including CCTV, access control, intruder alarms and IP networking, there was a burgeoning demand for expert vendor agnostic training regarding the design, installation, management and use of these increasingly complex safeguarding systems.
As a result, Tavcom Training was founded by Mike Tennent to meet this need. Tennent rapidly established the company’s international reputation as being the benchmark for training excellence. Today, the pace of technical innovation is faster than ever and Tennent’s commitment to delivering relevant and high-quality training continues to be a significant factor in Tavcom’s ongoing success some 25 years later.
Kevin Matthew, operations director at Tavcom Training, recalled: “In 1995 there were training courses accredited by a variety of industry bodies, but no standardised vocational qualifications universally recognised by employers in the UK and overseas.”
A key milestone came in 2001 when Tavcom’s BTEC courses were accredited by the Edexcel Foundation. Matthew added: “This proved to be a game-changer for the security industry, with quantifiable and accredited qualifications available for the first time.”
Forging strong ties
The commitment to professionalising the industry and improving standards through recognised and accredited training has continued for 25 years, with Tavcom Training forging strong ties with the British Security Industry Association, the Security System and Alarms Inspection Board, the CCTV User Group/NASCAM, the National Security Inspectorate, Skills for Security and the Career Transition Partnership, as well as other certification bodies including City & Guilds.
The company has also taken the lead in other industry-defining initiatives, notably so the Register of Certified Technical Security Professionals. Launched in 2017 and managed by Tavcom, this professional public register recognises the competency of individuals fulfilling technical roles in the electronic security and fire sectors.
Tavcom continues to make significant long-term investments in its training provision, seeking out world-renowned subject matter experts and trainers, developing new courses in response to the changing requirements of security professionals and also the rapidly evolving technology accessible to them.
The business has also made significant upgrades to its state-of-the-art and future-proofed Training Centre in Bishops Waltham, Hampshire, as well as opening a new facility in Shipley, West Yorkshire and delivering courses at a purpose-built Training Centre in Singapore.
Matthew observed: “One of the biggest transformations in terms of how we deliver training has taken place in the past few years, with demand for online courses growing exponentially. Our portfolio of accredited online security training courses, bite-size training and interactive courses enables practising security professionals to access the training and qualifications they need from anywhere in the world.”
Online education programme
Tavcom’s established online training programme has proven invaluable for many security professionals this year given restrictions on travel and national lockdowns imposed as a result of COVID-19. This has allowed many industry professionals to improve upon their knowledge and skills. Matthew concluded: “We’re immensely proud of our rich 25-year heritage. As the security market and technology continues to evolve and grow, Tavcom is committed to being a trusted and respected training partner for learners at every stage of their career, whatever their training needs, circumstances and requirements may be at any given moment.”
The Board of Directors at Euralarm has welcomed Vanderbilt as the newest member of the long-standing and influential association of European security and fire safety solution manufacturers, installers and service providers, with the security systems developer joining the Security Section. The latter represents companies involved with CCTV, intruder alarms and access control and serves as a key stakeholder in organisations such as CertAlarm, CEN-CENELEC, IEC and, indeed, the European Commission.
The Security Section collaborates on a regular basis in a bid to find security solutions in what is now a digitised and somewhat challenging world. Section meetings feature recognised experts offering presentations on topics such as the standardisation landscape within the video surveillance market.
Importantly, the Security Section liaises with key standardisation groups in the security field and closely follows technological developments with a view towards guiding regulation and standardisation. In terms of standards, the Security Section informs member companies of changes and advocacy activities at both the national and European Union (EU) levels.
Being a member of Euralarm, Vanderbilt will enjoy access to the extended network of national associations and major companies in the electronic fire safety and security sectors. Membership of Euralarm will realise opportunities for both parties as it also strengthens the association.
Vanderbilt is a global provider of high-performance security systems for access control and intrusion detection. The business is recognised for its future-proof, innovative and easy-to-use portfolio that contains access control systems including the ACT365 and ACT Enterprise and the popular SPC and SPC Connect intruder detection solutions.
A strong advocate of open platforms and system integration, Vanderbilt (itself an ACRE brand) understands the issues customers face and provides multiple solutions that are designed to meet these needs.
Expertise on markets and opportunities
Companies joining Euralarm benefit from a unique insight into what is happening in European markets and the opportunities they might offer. They can not only tap into the political expertise and understanding that underpins EU policy, but also make personal connections with technical and political experts as well as potential business partners.
Euralarm members have their voice heard in Brussels and can actively support and direct standardisation and legislative processes.
Founded back in 1970, Euralarm now represents over 5,000 companies within the fire safety and security industry valued at 67 billion Euros. The membership comprises national associations and individual companies from across the European region.
Jacksons Fencing’s latest research has uncovered the experiences and concerns of the UK’s faith communities when it comes to criminality. Six-in-ten people of the 2,000 individuals surveyed believe their place of worship has been a target of crime, while it appears that almost half of all places of worship are targeted on a monthly basis and upwards of one-in-ten are targeted daily.
The company has released various insights into security at religious venues contained in its White Paper entitled ‘Places of Worship: Understanding Security Issues’. The findings highlight the most pressing safety concerns of the UK’s faith communities, centred on from physical and verbal harassment through to theft, burglary and vandalism.
More than half (54%, in fact) of those people surveyed agree that lots of physical security makes them feel nervous, while the majority (76%) feel safer with a certain amount of security measures in place.
Crime perpetrated at religious venues is far too frequent, with three-quarters (74%) of respondents saying their place of worship is a target of crime at least on a yearly basis. Compared to five years ago, the situation hasn’t improved. Most people (81%) report that the amount of crime on-site has either remained the same or increased.
Despite the frequency of incidences, places of worship play an increasingly vital role in society, with 44% of worshipers saying they are more a place of asylum and safety than they used to be.
Three-quarters of respondents remain concerned about security threats, the most worrying of these being vandalism (18%), burglary, theft and robbery (17%) and personal physical attacks (17%). Of those concerned about vandalism, these individuals are most worried about broken windows (52%), damage to the building’s exterior (46%) and graffiti (45%).
With only 13% of people saying they feel secure enough at their place of worship, there is clearly much work to be done. However, while three-quarters (76%) feel safer with security measures in place, there’s a fine line to be drawn. As stated, 54% say lots of physical security makes them feel nervous.
Popular security measures taken by religious bodies include more tightly controlled access (38%), moving donation boxes to more secure areas (37%), removing valuables from display (30%) and increasing physical security measures (25%).
Moving forward, people would feel safer with CCTV (42%), alarm systems (31%), gates (27%), better lighting (24%) and the installation of security fencing (23%).
Detect, defend, deter
Peter Jackson, managing director at Jacksons Fencing, commented: “Places of worship need to be both safe and welcoming. Security has to make worshipers feel safe, provide solace and not deter those requiring support. With so many religious buildings of all faiths being regularly targeted by criminals, the security measures implemented should not only detect and defend against attacks, but they should also deter potential criminals or intruders from making an attempt at crime in the first instance.”
Michael Brooke, head of operational services for Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, advised: “A sensible and practical level of security, which will not adversely affect the efficient running of the place of worship, is essential. The majority of burglaries are committed by opportunist thieves who choose premises that have no obvious signs of security and where they think they will not be seen.”
Brooke added: “Having someone in place who meets and greets visitors is a great preventative measure. In particular, having someone there who knows the congregation enables strangers to be identified such that they can be either welcomed or turned away. It’s also useful to remove and lock valuables away during times outside of services.”
Amthal Fire & Security is celebrating its 20th Anniversary with the launch of a new logo, dedicated to showcasing the company’s fast-growing and evolutionary journey towards becoming a fire and security specialist.
Launched in 2000 by close friends John Allam and Paul Rosenthal, Amthal Fire & Security now has over 60 members in the team and operates on a nationwide basis providing design, installation, maintenance and monitoring services across the commercial, public and residential sectors.
Amthal Fire & Security is dedicated to satisfying end user needs for security and safety by offering design, installation, service and remote monitoring of advanced electronic fire and security solutions, including intruder, fire, access and CCTV systems.
In 2008, Jamie Allam joined the management team to become commercial director and created the structure to drive an ambitious growth plan, incorporating all aspects of the business from operations through to sales and on to commercial targets.
Since last year, a dedicated senior management team has been created to manage day-to-day operations, including team members from across the business, some of whom began their Amthal journey as apprentices.
Jamie Allam commented: “Since we opened our doors in 2000, the economy and the challenges our clients face have evolved dramatically and our business has always taken a proactive approach. We’ve continued on our dynamic journey, transforming the way in which we work to operate as a total solutions provider for clients in order to deliver full fire and security services.”
Allam continued: “We’re very excited to reach our 20th Anniversary and wanted a special way to celebrate our year, which reflected our mission, vision and values, both to our incredible team and our customers. The logo was created by providing keywords we associate with Amthal, such as ‘Strength’, ‘Diversity’, ‘Understanding’ and ‘Trustworthy’ alongside recognising our commitment to smart solutions and the latest technology.”
The logo will now be appearing across all social media channels and marketing material, and marks the start of the celebrations through the year, culminating in a special event on Amthal’s actual birthday, which is 14 November 2020.
Amthal Fire & Security is accredited by the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board, the United Kingdom Accreditation Service and British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE).
Integrated security solutions manufacturer TDSi welcomes Gwen Curran to the business as its new channel partner manager (North). Curran’s role is a pivotal one in TDSi’s ongoing relationship with its channel partners in Northern England and Scotland.
John Davies, managing director of TDSi, commented: “Channel partners are a lifeblood for TDSi and we have a close working relationship with them as we build our business together. We’re very pleased to welcome Gwen to this highly important role. She will be a key contact for our channel partners across the North.”
Reflecting upon her new position, Curran commented: “My new role means I will be working closely with leading channel partners in the North to grow awareness of our full access control offer supported by the wider TDSi integrated security portfolio. I’ll be here to support our installation partners with all of their TDSi needs, but equally to support their business with end users and grow joint revenue overall.”
Gwen Curran: joining the team at TDSi
Curran’s career in the security industry started in 2004 when she joined Norbain, working as an internal account manager with the distributor for over a decade. Across those ten years, Curran worked with leading manufacturers on a range of security systems and products including CCTV, IP solutions, access control, gate automation and intruder alarm systems.
In 2013, Curran joined the Risco Group before taking on her new role at TDSi.
Continued Curran: “Access control is an element of the security industry that’s growing at a rapid pace and, as part of the TDSi team, I aim to be an integral part of this vibrant sector. As a leading British security solutions manufacturer, TDSi’s systems are at the heart of many exciting projects, which often include close integration with many other leading brands and manufacturers.”
Curran concluded: “I’m looking forward to working alongside our channel partners and to being a key part of TDSi’s rich ongoing history and helping to grow the business.”
The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) offered its full support to World Accreditation Day 2019 (#WAD2019). A global initiative celebrating accreditation, the event (which took place on Sunday 9 June) focused on accredited bodies like the NSI adding value in supply chains.
From a security and fire safety sector perspective, installers and service providers of security and fire safety systems and security guarding solution are a vital ‘link in the chain’ with their expertise at the point of delivery, keeping people safe, ensuring security solutions harness suitable technology and that they’re fit for purpose.
Whether it be in the design, installation and commissioning of intruder alarms, access control systems, fire detection or suppression systems and CCTV or the monitoring of myriad guarding services, Best Practice in service provision by NSI-approved companies ensures that quality solutions are delivered to customers.
World Accreditation Day marked the work underway to launch ‘IAF CertSearch’, a website designed to provide buyers with the ability to verify management systems certificates such as ISO 9001 (itself a key component of NSI’s Gold approvals). This facility will help to distinguish certificates issued by accredited conformity assessment bodies (CABs), such as the NSI, from certificates issued by non-accredited CABs and to check the authenticity of a certificate.
Richard Jenkins, CEO at the NSI, commented: “World Accreditation Day plays an important role in promoting the value of accreditation and accredited conformity assessment. As an accredited certification body, the NSI conforms to ISO 17021-1 and ISO 17065 in the delivery of Certificates of Approval to over 1,800 approved companies operating in the UK and Eire. The worldwide system of accreditation spans economies accounting for 96% of global GDP*. The NSI is proud to play its small part in this ecosystem underpinning Best Practice, competency and consistent quality within our sector, as recognised by, among others, the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the Security Industry Authority, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, BAFE and industry and insurer stakeholders.”
NSI Gold Approval combines Quality Management Systems approval ISO 9001 with specific product standards pertinent to services provided, in addition to NSI Quality Schedules and approval criteria specifically designed for the security and fire systems and guarding services sectors. The NSI adopts a ‘treat recommendations as mandatory’ stance with regard to all standards and Codes of Practice, affording buyers confidence that NSI-approved companies adhere to the latest Best Practice at all times.
For full details of the range of NSI approvals to international and British Standards and industry Codes of Practice visit www.nsi.org.uk
Working to a tight ten-week schedule, four teams of Secom engineers recently completed a significant electronic security upgrade at no less than 150 critical sites resident within the UK’s energy infrastructure network.
The project – covering offices as well as remote locations with no staff – involved replacing key legacy equipment and software to create a superior platform for the remote monitoring of CCTV surveillance systems. It brought the 150 sites up to the same high standards of security as the customer’s other 250-plus sites across the UK.
Phil Lamb, Secom’s general manager for regional sales, feels that installation of new transmission units has allowed a switch for all of the customer’s sites to a more robust and cutting-edge video control platform in the Alarm Receiving Centre.
“Security is of course a major consideration for infrastructure service providers, but can prove to be challenging because of the many remote locations needed to ensure uninterrupted delivery to consumers nationwide. Reliable CCTV and alarm systems are important tools in dealing with issues that might affect the continuity of supply or any other risks of compromising security or Health and Safety concerns if, for example, there’s an unauthorised entry.”
Lamb said the customer was facing a critical need as its existing transmission units had become obsolete. With the existing video management software there was a growing risk of losing connectivity with remote sites – and also, therefore, visibility of site issues.
“The decision to replace obsolete hardware and software was initiated to mitigate the risk of major security incidents by creating a more stable platform. Our role was to replace the end-of-life kit with the latest generation transmission units. As the incumbent service provider, we have intimate knowledge of each site and could evade potential issues, using our engineering skills to design issues out of the tight schedule by dint of using detailed process maps.”
The software platform was upgraded to meet customer expectations. Due to the nature of the replacement project, Secom hand-picked engineers for the four teams and also provided dedicated project managers.