Tag Archives: Mobile Patrols

Magenta Security Services achieves Cyber Essentials accreditation

Magenta Security Services has been recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) after taking significant steps towards protecting its online systems. The effort expended has seen the Hounslow-based Security Industry Authority Approved Contractor added to a list of endorsed organisations on the NCSC’s website and accredited with a Cyber Essentials certificate.

Cyber Essentials is a Government-backed, industry-approved scheme aimed at helping organisations protect themselves against common types of cyber attack. At its basic level, the scheme advocates businesses implementing certain technical controls in order to bolster overall system security.

To earn its Cyber Essentials certificate, Magenta Security was required to have all of the business’ digital defences assessed by an independent accreditation body.

AbbeyPetkarMagentaSecurityWeb

Abbey Petkar

Having self-implemented the technical controls already, its systems and software also met a detailed set of requirements with various forms of evidence provided to back this up.

Finally, a self-assessment questionnaire was completed as proof of understanding the new implementations and configuration of its systems.

Abbey Petkar, managing director of Magenta Security, explained to Risk Xtra: “Following many recent high-profile data breaches as well as the General Data Protection Regulation deadline, there has been a substantial increase in business awareness of the need to boost online defences. Magenta Security is protecting its clients in every possible way.”

Magenta Security also runs operations in Swindon, Birmingham, Manchester and Kent, providing security guarding solutions, mobile patrols and electronic surveillance.

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Axis Security selected to provide range of services for Lambert Smith Hampton

Axis Security, a leading deliverer of bespoke security services, has won a contract with commercial property consultant Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) to provide a range of security services for eight of its properties in the North East of England.

The contract incorporates security guarding, concierge services, mobile patrols and key holding – including night and weekend cover.

Marcus Cain, regional facilities manager for the North at LSH, informed Risk UK that the company previously used a number of different security providers, with the new contract forming part of a rationalisation process.

“Axis Security boasts a strong presence in the North East region,” observed Cain. “The company’s clients include the UK’s leading property management consultancies, which gives us confidence that the business can deliver the range of services we require across our own diverse portfolio of properties.”

lshgreystreetoffices

Lambert Smith Hampton’s Grey Street offices

Cain added that Axis’ reputation as a good employer is also important. “We have peace of mind that Axis Security looks after its employees and that all officers are licensed with the Security Industry Authority.”

Many LSH properties are multi-tenanted and require flexible, responsive value-add services (for example, providing meter readings of vacant properties). Axis Security completes this particular task using Fast Field technology, giving LSH instant and reliable information to check against utility bills.

“On one occasion,” outlined Cain, “we briefed Axis in the morning regarding a new instruction in the North East region. The mobile patrol service was fully-mobilised that same day, including a meter readings collection for the Estate.”

Other technology employed in the contract includes TrackTik, which provides officer location tracking and enables officers to capture live footage of incidents. Cain believes this is a must-have compliance solution. “Lone worker welfare is an important Health and Safety issue, but the technology also means we can prove to relevant stakeholders that patrols have actually been completed.”

In conclusion, Cain stated: “Overall, Axis is a good fit for our business. They are genuinely responsive and understand that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work.”

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Showsec and Leicestershire Police work in unison to cut crime at 2015 Download Festival

Event security specialist Showsec’s crime reduction partnership with Leicestershire Police has produced another significant drop in incidents at the Download Festival. The impact of the joint operation for the 2015 event at Donington Park in the Midlands has resulted in a fall of 35% in reported criminal activity. That follows on from a reduction of almost 70% at the 2014 Festival.

What makes this further decrease particularly satisfying is that there was a considerable increase in the number of people who attended Donington Park this time around. The whole experience for the 80,000 Heavy Metal and Hard Rock music fans who attended was made all the more enjoyable by the effect of a joint crime reduction strategy aimed at enhancing Download’s reputation as the UK’s premier event of its kind.

Showsec worked closely with Leicestershire Police on the introduction of a specific Crime Reduction Strategy for the first time in 2014. This had a profound effect for a festival which could already point to relatively low crime figures for events of this type. Indeed, crime figures at Download have been on a downward curve since 2011 and are now at a five-year low following Leicestershire Police’s publication of the latest results.

At this year’s event, organiser Live Nation introduced cashless RFID technology which meant there was very little cash on site while the police trialled facial recognition technology. Results of the effectiveness of this particular trial are subject to a separate report.

Showsec worked in tandem with Leicestershire Police to reduce incidents of criminality at the 2015 Download Festival

Showsec worked in tandem with Leicestershire Police to reduce incidents of criminality at the 2015 Download Festival

Festival director John Probyn highlighted the importance of these measures in providing the best possible experience for Download’s loyal customers. “We’re absolutely thrilled that crime figures have fallen again at this year’s Download Festival,” enthused Probyn. “Every year, we work tirelessly with Showsec and Leicestershire Police to ensure that we provide the safest environment for our fans to enjoy nothing but fun and great music. These latest figures are not only testament to the strength and effectiveness of that partnership and the initiatives we introduce to keep the fans safe, but also to our incredible community of Download festival goers.”

Detective Inspector Matt Ditcher, who was in charge of Leicestershire Police’s Crime Reduction Strategy, commented: “Crime at Download has always been low, but this year has been really exceptional. When you consider that 80,000 people flood into North West Leicestershire over five days, almost doubling the size of the local population, it’s incredible that so few crimes have been reported to us. The figures reflect the hard work and co-operation that occurs between ourselves, Live Nation and Showsec. We work and patrol together to prevent people falling victim to crime either by encouraging them to keep their belongings safe, carrying out proactive joint patrols or by identifying and removing those people who are acting suspiciously. It’s obvious that our strategy works really well and has been a great success.”

Developing the Crime Reduction Strategy

Showsec placed great emphasis on further development of the Crime Reduction Strategy as the award-winning company looked to build upon such a positive outcome last year.

“We’re continually seeking to raise the bar with our operations, but achieving further progress in this instance presented quite a challenge for us,” explained Showsec’s director Simon Battersby, who served as director of security for this year’s Download Festival. “This was due to the reduction in crime being so high in 2014 and also due to this year’s Download attracting a considerably higher turnout, both in terms of the large numbers who attended the festival and those who populated all of the camp sites.”

Battersby continued: “It’s a measure of the close liaison which we have developed with Leicestershire Police that, together, we were able to achieve another significant reduction in crime. “Simon Cole, the Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police and the Gold Commander, Chief Superintendent Chris Haward, were both praiseworthy of the partnership. The introduction of our own specific Crime Reduction Strategy was piloted at Download last year and then subsequently adopted at other festivals. We believe this partnership in the case of Download and those orchestrated with police forces for festivals in other parts of the country can develop safer and more secure environments in which customers can realise even more enjoyment out of their festival experience.”

The Download Festival is traditionally one of the largest event operations taken on by Showsec each year. It was the commitment and professionalism of the team at all levels which ensured the company rose to the challenges in this instance – and one in particular.

“The wet weather was obviously one of the biggest challenges,” said Battersby. “It is, of course, all part of working at festivals in an English summer, but even though we’ve experienced it before and know what to expect, it doesn’t make it any easier. What does help, though, is having good-natured Download fans on site who accept the weather as being part of the whole experience. They may be soaked to the skin and covered in mud, but they don’t let that spoil their enjoyment of the whole occasion.”

The strength of Showsec’s management infrastructure meant that Battersby was supported by regional managers Richard Church (as arena security manager) and Alan Wallace (security manager for the camp sites) in addition to a number of area managers. These included Joe Milner (project manager) and Louise Stockden (Control Room manager). Operations executive Jennifer Edwards took on the role of crime liaison manager.

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Magenta Security White Paper provides guidelines for selecting security providers

Abbey Petkar, the managing director of Magenta Security Services, has published a White Paper which offers businesses advice on selecting their security provider.

‘Managing Your Security’ examines the key criteria businesses should consider when looking at a security provider including licensing, Corporate Social Responsibility and customer service.

“Selecting a security company should go far beyond looking at how much it costs,” said Petkar. “In the past, the security industry has been blighted by rogue operators and I have seen far too many clients realise their mistake when it’s too late.”

Abbey Petkar: md at Magenta Security

Abbey Petkar: md at Magenta Security

Magenta Security’s md continued: “The White Paper I have written provides organisations with a checklist of key topics they should think about when looking at appointing a security provider. It’s an informative guide that sheds light on how to recognise legitimate operators with the aim of giving businesses the insight they need in order to make an informed decision.”

To obtain a copy of ‘Managing Your Security’ send an e-mail to: sales@magentasecurity.co.uk

Magenta Security is one of the fastest-growing security guarding companies in the country, providing a wide range of bespoke security solutions. As well as security officers, mobile patrols and electronic surveillance, partnerships with external suppliers mean that the organisation can provide a variety of additional services to clients.

With its Head Office located in Hounslow, Magenta also has operations in Swindon, Birmingham, Manchester and Kent.

For more information call 0845 500 0786 or visit: http://www.magentasecurity.co.uk

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Security officers: why respect for their role really matters

Brian Sims reviews Channel 4’s ‘Undercover Boss’, in which Securitas’ UK and Ireland leader Geoff Zeidler found out exactly what life on the front line is like for the company’s security officers.

Monday 8 July 2013 was something of a Red Letter Day for security guarding in the UK, but you’ll not be overly cognisant of the fact unless you happened to be watching Channel 4 at 9.00 pm.

Series 5 Episode 2 of the broadcaster’s ‘Undercover Boss’ strand featured Geoff Zeidler – country president and UK/Ireland managing director at Securitas – going ‘back to the shop floor’ following the 2011 acquisitions of Reliance and Chubb, and learning what life is really like for his frontline staff during one of the worst spells of economic recession ever to hit the UK.

What followed was not only a seriously engaging hour-long documentary but also a thought-provoking exercise bringing key topics to the fore.

Securitas' UK and Ireland md Geoff Zeidler: The Undercover Boss

Securitas’ UK and Ireland md Geoff Zeidler: The Undercover Boss

An engineering graduate of the University of Cambridge, Geoff took it upon himself to vacate the Boardroom for five days and – under the persona of Dale James, an unemployed engineer looking for a career change – interface with Securitas’ frontline officers. Those officers wouldn’t recognise him, he hoped, once he’d grown a beard and shaved his head.

First port of call was a waterside development of bars in Manchester. Geoff met with Mo and Mario (former employees of Reliance). Over two decades they’ve been threatened by people brandishing firearms, slashed with knives and ‘glassed’ by thugs toting broken bottles.

Geoff swapped his suit for a metal-plated vest and, alongside the duo, attempted to control aggressive drunks and impromptu street brawls. Not his usual habitat and one that, by his own admission, was “very frightening”.

Attempted theft and Anti-Social Behaviour

Next stop was The Priory Shopping Centre in Dartford. Here, instances of attempted theft and Anti-Social Behaviour crop up. Geoff was put to the test by security manager Julie who asked him to confront a six-foot giant banned from the site – the chap concerned was acting out the role – before informing Securitas’ UK leader that she regularly works 14-hour days (many beginning before 5.00 am), finds it difficult to cover all shifts due to lack of bodies and that her own life outside of work is suffering as a result. Not a great picture.

Then it was off to Cirencester, where Geoff pitched up in front of Charles and Carl looking for mobile patrol work. Alas, the eagle-eyed duo rumbled Geoff’s disguise thanks to a photo of ‘The Real Mr Zeidler’ immediately behind him on their office wall, but agreed to keep quiet.

Geoff ventured out on night patrol with James, one of four officers who check up on 500-plus properties. James had to buy his own torch because the one with which he’d been supplied didn’t cut it. He’d also negotiated a new £25,000 contract for Securitas to monitor three warehouses but there was no commission in place for him.

To round off the whole experience, Geoff dropped in on Dewsbury Bus Station (a long-term contract for Securitas). The station resides in a racially diverse town where one third of residents come from an ethnic background.

Dave – one of the officers on duty – is quizzed by Zeidler, who learns of security staff having to cope with (among other things) drunks who threaten them, attempted headbuttings and instances of racial abuse.

Geoff Zeidler on patrol in Manchester with Securitas officers Mo and Mario

Geoff Zeidler on patrol in Manchester with Securitas officers Mo and Mario

At the end of the programme, Geoff – by now “angry” with what he has seen – admits who he is and acts fast. Mo and Mario are granted extra CCTV, Julie additional officers. James is paid his commission (and issued with a new torch). Dave receives £500 to donate to local charities while consideration is afforded to alterations for Basic Job Training on the site that will improve aspects of communication.

How frontline security officers are viewed and treated – by their employers, their employers’ customers and society at large – matters, and massively so. As this programme amply demonstrates, those officers do a fantastic job day in, day out, often under immensely trying circumstances. They absolutely deserve to be wholly respected by the society they protect.

Channel 4, Securitas and Geoff Zeidler merit much praise for producing this programme. We desperately need more prime time documentaries centred on security’s frontline. Maybe then we can banish forever the tired, clichéd and erroneous views of security guarding that have no place in today’s world.

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