Corps Security has appointed Andy Topp as its new sales director. Topp will work with executive director Mark Rogers and the rest of the senior leadership team to broaden the company’s approach and develop new market sectors, and particularly those interested in a more ethical approach towards procurement now that Corps Security is a social enterprise.
Topp has more than 20 years’ experience in the security and facilities management industry, having held senior roles with Reliance Security Services, Securitas Security Services and ISS Facility Services where he most recently served as national sales director.
Commenting on his appointment, Andy Topp enthused: “I’m thrilled to be joining Corps Security. As the only major social enterprise in the security sector, the company is completely unique. I now look forward to helping to grow the organisation and increase its positive impact on the local communities in which it works.”
Mike Bullock, CEO of Corps Security, responded: “I’m delighted that Andy is joining us and bringing with him a wealth of senior experience in our sector. His ability to work at both a strategic and tactical level to deliver results will be a significant boost to the team.”
Corps Security is a Living Wage Recognised Service Provider, while Mike Bullock is a member of the Living Wage Foundation’s Recognised Service Provider Leadership Group. The organisation is also carbon neutral.
Corps Security supports military charities in particular Combat Stress, the UK’s charity for veterans’ mental health, and also the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA), the UK’s oldest national tri-service military charity.
Last year, Corps was awarded Gold status in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme for outstanding support towards the Armed Forces community.
Darren Conway has joined Lodge Service in the role of Group strategy director with responsibility for business operations in the UK and Europe. Conway has held senior positions in loss prevention, Health and Safety and trading standards operations with Fraser Group, Superdry, TJX, Debenhams and other retailers.
Lodge Service is a third-generation family business and is, in fact, the longest-serving security consultancy in the UK with 100 years’ continuous experience. Services provided include profit protection, integrated technology, physical security and security guarding.
Conway has worked with the National Business Crime Solution, Business Crime Partnerships and Business Improvement District initiatives aimed at aligning the police service and the business community and tackling business crime at the local and national levels. He’ll retain this focus in his new role with Lodge Service in order to help security solution end users work together to combat the risks posed to their businesses.
In conversation with Security Matters, Conway stated: “So many businesses and security suppliers are focused on their own issues and strategy that they may fail to share intelligence, risks or services where there can be major benefits for everyone in them doing so. From experience, this is usually down to a lack of trust. Too often, it seems, crime prevention is merely an exercise in displacing the risk to a neighbouring business or area.”
Conway concluded: “Post-pandemic, we all have the opportunity to work with customers in developing innovative and cost-effective solutions that are based on shared intelligence and resources. By working collaboratively, we can update the industry’s toolbox of security services and actively reduce the risks from crime pretty significantly.”
Security solutions specialist Corps Security has been awarded Gold status in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, which is run by the Ministry of Defence. The business is among 139 other companies to be awarded the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award for outstanding support towards the Armed Forces community.
Representing the highest badge of honour, Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Awards are awarded to companies that employ and support those who serve, veterans and their families. To win the award, organisations must provide ten extra paid days leave for reservists and have supportive Human Resources policies in place for veterans, reserves and Cadet Force adult volunteers, as well as spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.
Organisations must also advocate the benefits of supporting those within the Armed Forces community by encouraging others to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and engage in the Employer Recognition Scheme.
This Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award for outstanding support towards the Armed Forces community comes at a time when Corps Security is elevating its focus on employee well-being and working towards becoming a social enterprise. This year’s awardees bring the total number of Gold holders to 493, which also includes CBRE, global commercial real estate and investment services-centric businesses.
Recognising employer support
The Employer Recognition Scheme was launched back in 2014 by (then) Prime Minister David Cameron to recognise employer support for the wider principles of the Armed Forces Covenant and the full spectrum of defence sector personnel. This includes the reserves, service leavers, cadets, spouses and the wounded, injured and sick.
Mike Bullock, CEO at Corps Security, noted: “Corps Security was founded to provide employment for ex-servicemen returning from the Crimean War so the roots of our company are firmly ingrained in the military sector. We value every single member of the Armed Forces community employed by the business. They bring a fantastic skill set and their contribution is invaluable.”
Bullock continued: “We are so proud to receive this very prestigious Gold Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award. It doesn’t end there, though. The military sector is so important to us and we’ll work even harder to recruit and support those that have served our country as well as developing our client base in the military sector.”
Security solutions provider Magenta Security has been certified as being Carbon Neutral Plus during a carbon footprint assessment. The company has demonstrated Corporate Social Responsibility Best Practice, with a strong focus on green issues since it was first established more than 25 years ago.
This latest certification, which measured Magenta Security’s carbon footprint over the course of a year (from June 2020 to May 2021), clearly demonstrates that the business actually goes beyond being carbon neutral, offsetting 19% more carbon than it actually generates.
These offsetting measures are in addition to Magenta Security’s ongoing environmentally positive practices, which include a wealth of enhancements to their offices – such as solar power, a strong adherence to the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ mantra and, more recently, a switch from hybrid to 100% electric vehicles (which are powered from the solar panels at head office).
“This is great news for the whole Magenta Security team and a clear demonstration of all the work we have put in over many years, during which we have led the security industry towards a more environmentally friendly future,” commented Abbey Petkar, managing director of Magenta Security.
“Since I first set up the company 25 years ago, I’ve placed Corporate Social Responsibility at the heart of everything we do, whether that’s ensuring the best possible working conditions, charitable work conducted around the world or looking after the planet. I’ve always wanted our business to give back wherever possible. The fact that we are now better than Carbon Neutral is incredibly gratifying. We’re delighted to receive the certification.”
SSGC – one of many security guarding companies providing vital services to keep the country running during the COVID-19 pandemic – has now appointed a new CEO and managing director following a year of huge growth. David Stubbs is appointed to the newly-created position of CEO of both SSGC and WLTS (a new offshoot firm which delivers temporary labour and recruitment services to businesses), while the business has promoted Demelza Staples to the role of managing director of SSGC. Staples formerly served as operations director.
SSGC has grown from a £1.5 million annual turnover business in 2014 to reach a current turnover of more than £100 million. Both appointments are part of its plan to continue growing as the country navigates its way out of the pandemic.
Last year, the Armed Forces Covenant signatory deployed more than 4,000 members of staff to marshal COVID-19 Testing Centres across the UK, many of whom were military veterans. It has since expanded to provide lateral flow testing support for schools across the UK and launched the aforementioned WLTS business, which has already secured a £40 million contract to provide personnel to Comensura (the business that speclialises in managing supplies of temporary, permanent and contract labour).
A former military policeman, Stubbs was a key driver in the management buy-out of SSGC in 2014, while Staples is an experienced retail professional specialising in risk, security, loss prevention, operations and Human Resources.
In conversation with Security Matters, Stubbs explained: “I’m delighted to have guided the business to its current position. The creation of the new CEO role is another sign of the continuing ambition of the business as we look to build a winning senior team which will deliver positive change within the security sector.”
He continued: “It’s critical to the business’ ongoing success that SSGC mirrors the country by forging ahead into a post-pandemic world, building a solution which is fit for the new way of conducting business. I’m heartened by the sizable contract wins over the last couple of months. Hopefully, they’re a sign that we’re doing things the right way. It’s especially pleasing that our social value activity is being embraced by the larger, more evolved corporates. As a business, we will continue to invest in a better living standard for all of our staff and the wider communities in which we operate.”
Further, Stubbs stated: “There are many brands emerging from the growth of SSGC as we maintain our focus on specialisation and meaningful innovation. I’m excited by the challenges and opportunities that the future holds. I would like to congratulate Demelza, who has made a hugely positive impact on our COVID-19 testing-related security solutions delivery. I’m certain that she will prove to be an exceptional leader for the business.”
Challenging and rewarding
Reflecting on her own new role with the business, Demelza Staples said: “It’s amazing to have been involved at a senior level in this business’ rise to the top. Very few of us experience 1,500% year-on-year growth where we work and, while the last year has been challenging, it has been the most rewarding of my life. I’m pleased that the Board has afforded me the managing director’s post.”
Staples went on to comment: “Probably the most exciting part for me is the fact that SSGC has already continued with its winning ways. There are a number of really positive announcements to be made at the start of my journey in the managing director’s chair.”
In conclusion, Staples informed Security Matters: “Through our commitment to the veteran community and the Continuing Professional Development of all our employees, we’ve managed to build a highly-skilled team to support our growth programme. I’m delighted to be taking on the managing director’s role and thank the owners of the business for offering me this fantastic opportunity.”
Ward Security has announced the appointment of Mary Jane Flanagan as a non-executive director on the company’s Executive Board. Flanagan boasts over 30 years’ operational and Boardroom experience in customer facing industries including hospitality, facilities and consulting.
A Fellow of the Institute of Occupational Learning and a recognised member of the British Psychological Society, Flanagan has often served as a keynote speaker focusing on customer service and leadership excellence.
Commenting on the appointment, Kevin Ward (managing director at Ward Security) said: “I’m delighted to welcome Mary Jane to Ward Security. Our business is about people and customers and Mary Jane is an expert in both. We are focused on being the best possible business we can be, not just the best security business. Mary Jane brings diverse expertise and adds a different insight into our key areas of working. Her global experience will be invaluable as we continue to strengthen and grow.”
In response, Mary Jane Flanagan commented: “I’m excited be joining the Ward Security business as I feel we have aligned values. The company genuinely believes that its people and clients matter. We must ensure that we keep that focus while at the same time continuing to grow, prosper and be identified as the partner of choice. I look forward to helping Ward Security build an even stronger culture that demonstrates solid employee engagement, exceptional standards and customer-centric behaviours.”
Ward Security is a national provider of risk management and security solutions with a turnover of more than £45 million per annum and employing upwards of 1,000 members of staff.
Facilities management company Incentive FM has been boosted by the renewal of three of its Shopping Centre contracts forged with British Land, one of the UK’s leading property companies, and has been awarded an additional contract for a retail development near Manchester. The news builds on the long-term partnership that has seen Incentive FM drive value for its prestigious client while delivering high standards to sites nationwide.
Under the new deals, Incentive FM will continue to be responsible for providing a range of security, cleaning and associated services at Drakes Circus in Plymouth, SouthGate in Bath and at the Inverness Shopping Park. These solutions have necessarily been revised of late to include some COVID-related changes and introduce new technology and equipment to support further financial efficiencies.
The Crownpoint Shopping Park in Denton, Manchester consists of 36 units with retailers including TK Maxx, Boots, River Island, Flannels, Tesco and JD Sports on the premises. This development now joins the Incentive FM portfolio. Twelve staff have transferred under the TUPE Regulations. Services at this site include security and cleaning with an emphasis on the customer experience.
Last year, British Land awarded Incentive FM contracts to provide a range of soft facilities services for Ealing Broadway in London, the Beaumont Shopping Centre in Leicester and the Crown Wharf Retail Park in Walsall. The company also renewed Incentive FM’s contracts to provide similar services at the Whiteley Shopping Centre in Hampshire and at the Old Market in Hereford.
Richard Nield, head of retail operations at British Land, commented: “Incentive FM has proven to be a highly supportive partner, adapting quickly to our changing needs that have been brought about by the pandemic. The company has helped to ensure that our visitors and retailers alike are able to enjoy a safe, secure and clean environment.”
Glenn Wilson, director of the retail and distribution sectors at Incentive FM, added: “Each of these sites has different needs based on variables such as footfall, demographic and location which demonstrates our ability to successfully deliver value with our flexible partnership approach while also ensuring the British Land ‘Places People Prefer’ strategy is at the forefront of everything we do. Our portfolio of Shopping Centres and retail parks has grown significantly. Indeed, we’re now responsible for over 40 sites across the UK.”
Wilson James – the provider of specialist security, construction logistics and aviation services – has appointed Maya Jani to the newly created role of director of business improvement. Jani will aim to further enhance standards across all areas of the company (including taking responsibility for its procurement and quality management functions) in line with the strategic growth plan.
Jani brings over 25 years of experience to Wilson James having begun her career with the BMW Group in the UK and then moving to Munich as a member of its technical purchasing team. At the beginning of the millennium, Jani moved back to the UK to join Heathrow Airport where, for almost 20 years, she held a variety of procurement-based roles culminating in the position of expansion procurement director.
During her time at Heathrow Airport, Jani was closely involved with the construction of Terminal 5, where she honed an engaging and inclusive approach towards the procurement function.
Wilson James has been a partner of Heathrow Airport for over 27 years, which meant that Jani was able to witness first-hand the values, ethos and working methodology that would eventually lead her to join the company.
Commenting on her new role, Jani explained: “I’ve always been enormously impressed by the way that Wilson James’ core values of honesty, respect, safety, responsibility and communication have helped the company to stay true to its vision and provide an unrivalled level of service for its clients. This year, the company celebrates 30 years in business and, as it embarks on an exciting new chapter, I’m looking forward to helping improve its offer still further through the values by which it operates.”
Agility in business
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to alter the business landscape, companies need to be as agile as possible. Across the last 12 months, Wilson James has stayed ahead of the curve by continually analysing and maximising the effectiveness of its activities. As such, the business considers the current situation to be a platform for long-term performance improvement, identifying where specialisms are required and acting upon them in order to drive the business forward.
Jani’s appointment is a fundamental part of this objective, which will also enable the company to combine highly-skilled people and cutting-edge technology to cement its position as the business solutions provider of choice.
Welcoming Jani on board, Mark Dobson (CEO at Wilson James) stated: “I’m absolutely delighted that Maya is now part of the team. She joins us at what is a very exciting time for the company. Her meticulous and forward-thinking approach, combined with a proven ability across diverse sectors, will make us more operationally efficient, open up new opportunities and empower us to be the best we can possibly be. I look forward to working closely with Maya to realise our growth and investment plans and build upon what we’ve already achieved over the last three decades.”
First Response Group has been at the heart of the nation’s fight against the Coronavirus having been brought in by the University of Oxford to bolster security at the latter’s COVID-19 research facility.
The company was recommended for the highly important security detail after successfully demonstrating its expertise and reliability to the University of Oxford during the first national lockdown.
Founded in 2007 by directors Jamal Tahlil and Edgar Chibaka, First Response Group provides security, fire and facilities management services to a wide range of clients in the public and private sectors.
The COVID-19 Oxford Vaccine Trial has been run by the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group clinical teams. It has been conducted in collaboration with multiple study sites across the UK and internationally, including a temporary research installation on the University of Oxford’s grounds.
After a full site risk assessment, First Response Group recommended a 24/7 security guarding detail consisting of three security officers on the premises during the day and two at night to ensure robust protection for the trial patients, research staff and the sensitive clinical data.
First Response Group’s Security Industry Authority-licensed security officers control all entrances and exits through the facility day and night. While safeguarding the safety and integrity of the project, the officers also ensure that distancing measures are followed, challenge anti-social behaviour and monitoring the area for suspicious activity.
Dedicated site supervisor
To ensure fast and consistent communication with the University of Oxford’s management, First Response Group allocated a dedicated site supervisor to provide a senior level presence at the site from Monday to Friday. The site supervisor acts as the main point of contact for the University of Oxford’s management, dealing with any issues as and when they arise in real-time.
Oto Velička, senior buildings and facilities manager at the University of Oxford, informed Security Matters: “I would like to thank the First Response Group for the outstanding quality of service the company provides for our COVID-19 Oxford Vaccine Trial at the University of Oxford. When we approached the company asking for support, the management team immediately engaged with us on a highly professional level and was able to scope, suggest and implement a made-to-measure solution perfectly suiting our needs.”
Velička continued: “The on-site team members are highly competent, professional, co-operative and have a comprehensive understanding of our business needs and the sensitivity of our activity. They’ve proven over and over that we can rely on them for all of our security needs, bringing complete peace of mind to our operation 24 hours per day, seven days a week.”
Simon Alderson, CEO at the First Response Group, added: “Without question, this has to be one of the most high-profile security operations with which we’ve been involved in. Indeed, it’s one of worldwide importance. Being chosen to support the University of Oxford in this clinical trial is a ringing endorsement of the First Response Group. It’s an honour to have played a part in ensuring the security of the vaccine, staff and trial patients in the lead-up to its national roll-out.”
Corps Security, the specialist security services business and a Living Wage Recognised Service Provider, has been awarded carbon neutral status after working hard to reduce its carbon footprint and offset unavoidable carbon.
‘Carbon neutral’ is a term used to describe the state of an entity, such as a company, service, product or event, where the carbon emissions realised have been balanced out by funding an equivalent amount of carbon savings elsewhere in the world.
In the past year, Corps Security has cut its carbon usage through a range of measures including reducing its diesel fleet, reducing air travel and cutting back on the use of paper in its offices, particularly so for tender documents.
At the same time, the organisation has funded several projects to offset the 477 tons of carbon it produced in the prior year, among them a wind-based power generation project in India. The project in Maharashtra is helping the country to reduce its reliance on coal, while also creating jobs as wind power is labour intensive. The project was recommended by Carbon Footprint, which provided Corps Security with its carbon neutral certification.
Corps Security is also working towards rolling out more electric vehicles and installing electric charging points at its London and Glasgow offices.
The move to ‘carbon neutral’ status was part of Corps Security’s drive to ensure that the company meets the requirements of the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting Scheme.
“We wanted to go one step further and demonstrate that we’re a carbon neutral business,” said Mike Bullock, CEO at Corps Security. “As a company with a 160-year history, we take a long-term view. It’s hugely important to us to ensure that our world is around for a long time for future generations to enjoy.”