Tag Archives: Manchester

Hikvision opens new demonstration and training facility in Manchester

Hikvision has opened a Northern demonstration and training facility to support customers in the region. Based at Media City in Manchester, the new facility showcases the latest Hikvision products, solutions and technologies together with outlining the real-life benefits they can bring to both end users and installers of the products.

Also forming part of the facility is the new Hikvision Academy training centre which can comfortably train 30 engineers at one time in a number of courses including the popular HCSA training course along with the new Hikvision HCSP and VMS courses.

HikvisionManchester OfficeOpening1

To celebrate the official opening, Hikvision carried out guided tours of the new facility for invited guests, running through the latest products and technologies on display. This was followed by an evening event where the official ribbon-cutting ceremony took place.

“We’re delighted to officially open the new Hikvision demonstration and training facility here in Manchester,” said Gary Harmer, sales director for Hikvision UK & Ireland. “We take great pride in providing Best in Class products and solutions for our customers and their end users. Coupled with this, we’re showing commitment to our customers by listening to their requests and supporting them by providing the tools required to specify and install Hikvision solutions to the highest possible level.”

HikvisionManchesterOfficeOpening2

*To find out more about the new Hikvision demonstration facility or the training courses available at the Hikvision Academy in Manchester visit www.hikvision.co.uk

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Showsec praised for ‘superb crowd management operation’ at Parklife 2015 Festival

Showsec has been acclaimed for new crowd management measures which helped to make the Parklife 2015 Festival even bigger and better for attending fans. Thousands flocked to Manchester’s Heaton Park for the music extravaganza which opened with a concert from The Courteeners followed by a spectacular line-up of performers across the weekend.

The crowd management and event security specialist worked with the event organisers and other agencies to provide the best-possible experience for fans who wanted to see the likes of Rudimental, Disclosure, Fatboy Slim and Mark Ronson. Much of that planning was focused on ingress and egress arrangements for the 70,000 revellers who came and went on each of the days of this increasingly popular event.

Jon Drape, event director for Parklife, said: “Mark Logan and the whole Showsec team are an integral part of the Parklife team. They deserve full credit for the success of this year’s festival. The attention to detail and extensive experience shown in the planning phase resulted in a superb operation on the ground.”

Drape added: “We’re very pleased with how everything developed, particularly given the scale of the festival. I think it shows the benefit of all agencies working together.”

Showsec's security operation proved a great success at this year's Parklife Festival

Showsec’s security operation proved a great success at this year’s Parklife Festival

Planning to minimise disruption

The sheer scale of the attendance and the fact that there’s no camping for the visiting public makes Parklife one of the biggest festivals of its kind in Europe. On that basis, there’s necessarily a considerable amount of emphasis placed on ingress and egress to minimise disruption when so many people arrive and then leave in a short space of time.

In his capacity as security director for the event, Showsec’s Mark Logan headed up the planning and then the implementation of the crowd management strategy. One feature was an innovative new queueing system.

“We pride ourselves on being innovative with our delivery systems,” said Logan. “Parklife is a good example of how our planning and preparation can deliver an even higher standard of service for clients and the public. There was a strong focus on the ingress and egress operations in the planning phase for Parklife, and we’re pleased with the impact of the new systems in making passage in and out of the site considerably easier for customers.”

Logan continued: “With the movement of such a high volume of people, particularly at the end of each day, we introduced an additional exit gate and assigned more resources to our crowd management support teams to help with this process. We also designed a holding pen system which cuts down on the length of queues and enables us to control the release of people in stages.”

He added: “Having that measure of control meant we could manage people movement more effectively at a critical time, thus reducing both the amount of congestion in certain areas and the likelihood of a rush developing.”

Showsec deployed more than 2,000 staff across the three days of the event. Alan Wallace (regional manager, North), Mark Wilcock (area manager, Greater Manchester) and Axel Fernandes (operations executive) were key members of the project management team.

‘Royal’ appointment for Showsec in Nottingham 

In addition, Showsec has secured a new agreement to extend a long-standing association with Nottingham’s Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall at what is undoubtedly a time of huge historical significance.

Showsec will continue to provide its services for two of the United Kingdom’s most successful touring venues for three more years. That means the company will play an important role later on this year in the 150th Anniversary celebrations of the Theatre Royal which first opened its doors back in Queen Victoria’s reign.

While the Theatre Royal has long been established as an iconic venue in the entertainment world, the Royal Concert Hall also attracts many high-profile events and artists.

“We have been working with the Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall for many years now, so we’re delighted to be presented with this fantastic opportunity to extend that association,” commented Joe Milner, Showsec’s area manager in the East Midlands.

“What makes it particularly special is that we will now be playing a part in celebrations of this landmark year for the Theatre Royal which are planned for September. We pride ourselves in offering a high level of customer service to enhance the experience for audiences visiting each of the venues, and this has helped them both to progress to a point where they are very busy in terms of events taking place throughout the year.”

Milner added: “Attracting more than half a million visitors each year, the diverse programme of events for both venues means they are as popular now as they have ever been. That puts them right up there among the leading entertainment venues of their kind in the East Midlands region, if not the whole of the UK.”

Members of the Showsec team at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall

Members of the Showsec team at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall

Smarter image for stewarding and event staff

Last year, the refurbished Royal Concert Hall re-opened on the same night that Showsec staff wore their new three-piece suits for the first time. The smarter, more professional image has certainly been well-received and that has been a contributory factor in the cementing of this long-term association.

Kate Collins, operations director at the Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall, said: “We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Showsec and we look forward to that continuing. A major influence upon the success which we have achieved in recent years has been the strong focus on providing the best possible customer experience and undoubtedly a key element of that is having the right quality of Front of House staff to deliver that service.”

Collins concluded: “It’s important to have the same familiar faces working with us on a regular basis and that makes them feel a part of our team. Showsec understands our requirements. The staff are always helpful and responsive to feedback and they go the extra mile where and when required.”

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Showsec appoints new area managers for Leeds and Sheffield as Yorkshire operation restructures

Showsec is gearing itself up for further expansion in the North of England with the appointment of two new area managers. The crowd management and event security specialist has now divided its Yorkshire operation into two distinct areas following the recent restructure of the Manchester office as the business seeks to maximise the potential for further growth.

Sam Hodkin has been confirmed as the new area manager in Leeds while Craig Bennett will take up a similar role in Sheffield next week. The two appointments represent another major endorsement for the company’s highly-acclaimed Management Development Programme, meaning that six graduates of the ground-breaking initiative have now progressed to become area managers.

Alan Wallace, Showsec’s regional manager in the North of England, commented: “This is another significant step in the company’s development throughout the region and puts us in a very strong position to achieve further growth in the future. We’re looking to expand our footprint all over the United Kingdom and Yorkshire is clearly an area where there is enormous potential. A considerable amount of growth has already been achieved there and recent developments presented us with the chance to undertake this restructure in dividing such a large county into two distinct areas centred on Leeds and Sheffield.”

Left to Right: Sam Hodkin, Alan Wallace and Craig Bennett

Left to Right: Sam Hodkin, Alan Wallace and Craig Bennett

Wallace added: “This is an exciting new challenge for Sam and Craig. They’ve been given an excellent springboard through the Management Development Programme which has created a strong infrastructure for us to promote from within. The value of the company’s commitment to helping individuals fulfil their potential is further underlined by operations executive Christopher Hudson, another recent graduate of the Management Development Programme, who has now moved across from Manchester to Leeds so that he can join Sam’s team.”

Speaking about his new appointment, Sam Hodkin said: “This opportunity is a dream come true. I look forward to continuing on a successful journey with Showsec and embracing this fantastic opportunity.”

Hodkin’s views were echoed by Craig Bennett, who told Risk UK: “I’m thrilled to have been given this opportunity and fully appreciative of the level of time, effort and support I’ve received at every step throughout my career with Showsec. Having been based in Sheffield for the past six years, I’m excited to be able to take on this role and further develop the service we provide in the Sheffield area.”

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World Class Service audits commend Showsec personnel’s customer service skills

Event security specialist Showsec has received acclaim after achieving exceptionally high scores for customer service at three major arenas. The company is commended for its high levels of service at the Phones 4U Arena in Manchester, the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield and the First Direct Arena in Leeds following audits conducted by World Class Service.

Showsec staff at the Phones 4U Arena led the way with an audit score of 94%, closely followed by the team at the Motorpoint Arena (93%) and employees seconded to the First Direct Arena (92%).

The World Class Service on site audits, which were commissioned by Showsec, highlighted a significant improvement in performance at all three arenas. “This is a fantastic set of results and great credit to all those involved in delivering our service,” said Alan Wallace, Showsec’s regional manager. “We’re constantly looking at ways in which we can raise standards and these audits provide a crucial benchmark in helping to measure progress.”

Wallace added: “The 2013 audits identified a need to make improvements to certain aspects of our service and I’m delighted with the progress that has been achieved since then.”

World Class Service works with venues and organisations to help drive standards of service and enhance the customer experience. The company conducts a ‘secret shopper’ assessment of arenas focusing primarily on three key areas: behaviours, processes and environment.

The Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield where Showsec provides security and stewarding solutions

The Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield where Showsec provides security and stewarding solutions

Recruiting staff with the right attitude

“The Showsec staff in all three venues were wonderful,” said Tracy Waddacor, managing director of World Class Service. “The company has obviously put a lot of hard work into getting the right mix. Recruiting staff with the right attitude is vital and, on the whole, everyone we encountered was helpful, considerate and professional when dealing with customers.”

Wallace praised the operations executives who’ve been at the forefront of the improvements which have been made at all three arenas, namely Tom Bailey at the Phones 4U Arena, Craig Bennett at the Motorpoint Arena and Sam Hodkin at the First Direct Arena.

“Their dedication to service has been the driving force behind this uplift in performance,” commented Wallace. “It’s very clear they’ve had a strong influence on how all members of the teams perform at ground level which in itself is highly commendable.”

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Showsec heroine Cherice Wallen saves young boy’s life in Manchester

Cherice Wallen – a member of Showsec’s Christmas Market team – has been hailed a life-saving heroine for preventing a young boy from choking to death in Manchester.

Wallen responded swiftly and decisively to a medical emergency in the city centre by administering crucial First Aid treatment when it became apparent the child was in extreme difficulty after an item of food had lodged in his throat.

Although the Emergency Services had been alerted, Wallen decided to act when she noticed the boy turning blue and performed the Heimlich Maneuver to dislodge the piece of food, much to the huge relief of everyone who was present at the scene.

“Cherice’s ability to remain calm in such a terrifying situation and her swift response to the emergency saved a child’s life,” said operations executive David Bradshaw, who’s responsible for overseeing Showsec’s security operation at the market. “The family involved were immensely grateful for her actions and returned later with a gift and a card that simply read: ‘Thanks for saving my life’.”

Showsec's Cherice Wallen on duty at this summer's Kasabian gig in Victoria Park, Leicester

Showsec’s Cherice Wallen on duty at this summer’s Kasabian gig in Victoria Park, Leicester

Bradshaw added: “This course of action was above and beyond the service which we offer, but that’s something Cherice strives for in each shift that she works for Showsec.”

As well as the boy’s parents, Manchester’s Christmas market managers have also presented Wallen with a gift in recognition of her actions.

First Aid training with St John Ambulance

“I was just doing my job,” said Wallen with typical modesty. “I always try to do my very best to help members of the public. That’s an essential part of the role. The significance of what I had done didn’t really hit me until afterwards when I was back at my position and I saw the parents cuddling the young boy. It was then that I was overcome by the emotion of it all. There were a few tears shed.”

Wallen continued: “At the time, you don’t stop to think about what you’re doing. You just get on with using the skills you’ve developed to deal with the situation in front of you. I decided at a very early point in my time with Showsec to go and acquire some First Aid training with St John Ambulance. This is most definitely one of those occasions when it all seemed worthwhile because you cannot put a price on someone’s life.”

The young boy was given a clean bill of health by the Ambulance Service when they arrived on the scene and was able to continue on his day out. While the family are hugely indebted to Cherice for her swift and decisive actions, they’ve asked to remain anonymous. Of course, Showsec respects those wishes.

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The Shield Group unveils new regional headquarters in Manchester

The Shield Group has unveiled new regional headquarters in the heart of Manchester which is expected to create hundreds of jobs in the region.

The state-of-the-art facility, located close to Media City, will aim to further enhance the group’s operations as well as serve its growing client base in the important hubs across the North of England, supporting the company’s branch offices in Glasgow, Leeds and Birmingham.

All other corporate functions will continue to be conducted from The Shield Group’s central headquarters at Austin Friars in London.

The Shield Group – which recently launched four strategic verticals combining traditional manpower and innovative technology to deliver intelligent, risk-based Total Security Solutions (TSS) to its customers – has decided to add to its portfolio of business premises in London and Preston with a new Manchester office.

The flagship building will showcase The Shield Group’s rapidly expanding client base across the north of England and Scotland, as well as its diverse range of business security services.

The move is testament to the success story Shield has enjoyed in the Manchester region, where the company has seen strong growth in recent years and has recently added major clients such as the city’s renowned Imperial War Museum North.

The new office is also set to bolster employment in the region with more than 300 new staff, who are to play an integral role in advancing the corporate ideals and vision of The Shield Group. The location of the Manchester regional headquarters will place the company at the centre of the fastest-growing economy in the UK outside of London.

Smart investment generating local employment

Speaking about the launch of the new regional headquarters, John Roddy (The Shield Group’s CEO) commented: “The decision to open a regional headquarters in Manchester was an easy one. From the first day we set up office in the city, where Shield has operated for a number of years, we have experienced – and continue to experience – phenomenal growth. The new centre is a smart investment that will bring new employment opportunities to the area as well as provide a welcome boost to the fastest-growing economy outside of London.”

John Roddy: CEO at The Shield Group

John Roddy: CEO at The Shield Group

Roddy went on to state: “We are delighted with the feedback from our customers in the region and this decision also further extends our reach across the UK. The growing demand for our innovative Total Security Solutions model is testament to our growth and unparalleled expertise in the security sector.”

Heading up the new Manchester operation is corporate account manager Bradley Cohen, who brings with him an extensive portfolio of business development experience working for a range of leading UK-based companies.

Prior to joining The Shield Group, Cohen founded the leading Manchester-based marketing company Mojito Marketing where, through managing major sales and marketing campaigns, he generated more than £27 million in revenue for large companies such as Compass, Chubb, HP and the RES Group.

Cohen has also helped lead on business development operations at several other companies including Romeike, Bunzel plc and Equifax plc, where he worked across a wide range of sectors including finance, manufacturing and leisure.

Speaking about his new role, Cohen said: “I’m thrilled to be heading this amazing new project, which marks a pivotal point in The Shield Group’s continued journey of growth, innovation and success. I’m confident that the decision to strengthen our presence in the North of England will prove to be a successful venture, and I look forward to working with our team in Manchester to grow the business and achieve our overall corporate goal.”

The Shield Group’s expanding footprint

The Shield Group’s business has expanded rapidly over the last few years, with the opening of several new offices around the UK. Shield has geared up its presence throughout the UK by widening its footprint to Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Belfast.

The number of staff working at the company has increased to over 2,500 and customers to more than 400. Recently, The Shield Group activated the Shield Monitoring System in Preston which has full Category II status, is compliant with British Standards regulations (BS5979) and will further enhance the range of services that the company can provide to its clients.

In order to grow the business volume, Shield has also hired seven managing and regional directors and invested £1 million into an NSI Gold certified Alarm Monitoring Centre in Preston. All of these changes have helped increase revenues just over the last year from £61 million (2013) to £81 million (projected for 2014).

This latest development follows The Shield Group’s acquisition by India’s leading and largest security conglomerate, Topsgrup, back in 2012, whereby the two market leaders set out to strategically collaborate and scale up the company’s services.

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 around £170 million.

The Shield Group's executive chairman Dr Richie Nanda and John Roddy (CEO)

The Shield Group’s executive chairman Dr Richie Nanda and John Roddy (CEO)

Dr Richie Nanda, executive chairman of The Shield Group, added: “We’re delighted with this announcement and the opportunity it provides for our customers, who now feel that we are closer at hand to continue to provide a world class security service.”

Nanda continued: “The Group has seen significant growth in the service we provide in the region and will use the new regional headquarters to meet these growing demands. Manchester is the ideal location to strategically enable The Shield Group to take advantage of the growing opportunities in the city and expand our services to the neighbouring regions.”

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BTP investigation launched following sale of fake Beyonce tickets

Detectives from British Transport Police are investigating more than 100 cases of ticket fraud relating to Beyonce’s recent concerts at the Phones 4U Arena in Manchester.

Detective Constable Mike Dermody commented: “It seems that someone has been selling fake tickets to concert goers who only realise the tickets aren’t genuine when they reach the venue. We believe there have been more than 140 sets of fake tickets sold, though only seven victims have come forward so far.”

Dermody added: “In most cases, the tickets have sold for at least £100 each and each victim has bought at least two tickets, so we are potentially looking at a fraud worth more than £28,000.”

Each transaction has taken place over the Internet using public selling websites, with the victims arranging to meet someone in Manchester to pick up the tickets.

Beyonce: currently on tour in the UK

Beyonce: currently on tour in the UK

“We believe the victims of this fraudster will be spread far and wide as people travel from all over the UK to see Beyonce,” commented Dermody. “Therefore, we’re appealing to anyone who has been sold fake tickets but has not yet spoken to the police to come forward. We have a number of leads, but need as many people as possible to get in touch.”

If you have any information about the fraudulent tickets please call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40.

In all calls quote BTP log NWA/B5 of 28/2/14.

About the British Transport Police

The British Transport Police is the specialist, national police service for Britain’s railways. BTP deals with major and minor crime, disorder and incidents and covers the rail system in England, Wales and Scotland (including London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, the Glasgow Subway and the Midland Metro and Croydon Tramlink systems).

The BTP’s 2,880 police officers, 376 Police Community Support Officers, 251 Special Constables and 1,451 support staff are recruited and trained like those of local forces and have the same powers. Find out more at: http://www.btp.police.uk

The North Western Area of British Transport Police covers the National Rail system throughout the north west from Stoke to the Scottish border. It employs 263 police officers, 36 Police Community Support Officers, 24 Special Constables and 63 support staff.

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