Tag Archives: Security Guarding

Senior leadership promotions announced by guarding business SSGC

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.

Continuing ambition

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.”

*Further information is available online at www.ssgc-net.com

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Mary Jane Flanagan joins Ward Security in non-executive director’s role

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.

*Further information is available on the Ward Security website at www.ward-security.co.uk

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Trio of Incentive FM contracts for Shopping Centre services renewed by British Land

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.”

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Wilson James appoints Maya Jani as new director of business improvement

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.”

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First Response Group at heart of nation’s fight against COVID-19

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.”

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Security solutions provider Corps Security achieves ‘carbon neutral’ status

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.”

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Kings Secure Technologies awarded security guarding services contract by international courier Hermes

Security services and solutions provider Kings Secure Technologies has been awarded a contract by courier business Hermes for the provision of security guarding services across its entire UK property estate. 

Throughout an intensive tendering process, Kings Secure Technologies demonstrated its ability to deliver first-class security teams covering all of Hermes’ sites, in turn affording the client complete confidence in service delivery and management. As part of the mix, Kings Secure Technologies will be realising its commitment to continued innovation and improvement.

Commenting on the contract win, Carrie Eastwood (director of security personnel at Kings Secure Technologies) explained to Security Matters: “Hermes UK is an internationally-recognised company and we’re delighted to have been selected to work with them. We now look forward to building a strategic partnership with Hermes and delivering first class security services for the benefit of the company’s operations, personnel and assets.”

John Ferguson, head of loss prevention at Hermes, responded: “This contract award demonstrates that Kings Secure Technologies is continuing to strengthen its positioning the UK security services market. We’re pleased to work with a leading company that values safety and security and continually invests to protect its resources and people.”

Headquartered in West Yorkshire with satellite offices in Scotland, the Midlands, London and the South East, Kings Secure Technologies focuses on delivering cutting-edge innovative solutions that ensure a full end-to-end risk management approach for its clients. 

The company’s Technology Monitoring Centres work in tandem with the DYMENSION data and incident trend app to provide clients with round-the-clock monitoring and intelligence-led analysis and reporting, actively preventing criminal activity at myriad locations across the UK.

Disrupting child exploitation

In parallel, Kings Secure Technologies has recently joined forces with leading children’s charity Barnardo’s to help disrupt child exploitation in the city of Bradford’s night-time economy.

Child exploitation occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or otherwise deceive a child or a young person under the age of 18 into sexual or criminal activity. Offenders target children and use emotional, financial or physical power over the child in an effort to abuse them.

Given its extensive network of security officers operating across the UK, Kings Secure Technologies recognised that it could help to prevent child exploitation in Bradford and, on that basis, has linked with Barnardo’s to work the latter’s Trusted Relationship Group Work Programme.

The team from the Trusted Relationship Group Work Programme will be operating alongside Kings Secure Technologies’ security officers, initially in the West Yorkshire region, and teaching them how to look out for the signs of child exploitation, speak out on the matter and adopt a zero tolerance approach.

Kings Security Technologies’ Security Personnel division provides security guarding services on a 24/7/365 basis. Each of its security officers is Security Industry Authority-licensed and trained. They’re often the ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground, with an increased presence during the hours of darkness. It follows that developing the Kings Secure Technologies guarding team member to be fully aware of chiled exploitation is key to the company’s safeguarding efforts.

Tackling the issue

Marianne Wadsworth, who leads on the Trusted Relationship Group Work Programme for Barnardo’s, stated: “Exploitation is occurring. It’s an issue that we can all help to tackle just by opening our eyes and allowing ourselves to really see what’s happening before us and speaking up. The victims of exploitation often don’t recognise they’re being exploited so we should all know the signs to look out for and feel confident to report any concerns.”

Barnardo’s is the UK’s largest children’s charity. Established by Dr Thomas Barnardo, the charity celebrated its 150th Anniversary in 2016. Each day, the organisation works to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children and, every year, helps thousands of families to build a better future.

Last year, more than 300,000 children, young people and families were supported by Barnardo’s through upwards of 1,000 services across the UK.

The charity works with young carers, care leavers, young people at risk of child sexual exploitation, disabled young people, foster carers and adoptive parents and provides training, skills and parenting classes.

Bob Forsyth, CEO at Kings Secure Technologies, concluded: “Our partnership with Barnardo’s is an exciting development and demonstrates how, as a business working within the night-time economy, we can play an active role in safeguarding children and young people. The training provided by Trusted Relationship Group Work Programme initiates advice, support and guidance on how to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation, child criminal exploitation, county lines, modern slavery and human trafficking. It’s absolutely vital.”

*Further information on the work of Kings Secure Technologies and the breadth of services provided by the company can be found online at www.kingsltd.co.uk

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Magenta Security’s leader warns of modern day slavery “hiding in plain sight”

Abbey Petkar, the managing director of security guarding solutions provider Magenta Security, is advising businesses of all shapes and sizes that they might unwittingly be supporting modern day slavery through their use of low-cost security providers.

The Magenta Security team has recently lost tenders against low-cost security providers that charge workers out at less than £10 per hour, which Magenta believes is a commercially unsustainable position. When legally required taxes, pensions and other statutory requirements (such as holidays) are added to the National Minimum Wage, it’s then impossible to charge such low rates, yet some continue to do so.

By hiring these low-cost security providers, businesses are often unwittingly going against their own Corporate Social Responsibility and anti-slavery policies, while at the same time allowing “criminal” levels of pay to continue.

Abbey Petkar

Magenta is strongly advising business owners and directors alike to pay special attention to workers’ pay and check their own systems and processes thoroughly to ensure they’re not part of the problem by condoning this practice.

“There are any number of perfectly innocent reasons why this is happening, and people might genuinely be receiving a good deal,” commented Petkar. “Perhaps workers on the ground making decisions have seen a good price and not considered the consequences. Perhaps the security firm is providing officers as a loss leader for other services. However, in most cases low-cost traders are at fault, abusing their workforce, paying below the National Minimum Wage and getting away with it because the officers are desperate for work.”

In conversation with Security Matters, Petkar concluded: “Owners, directors and managers of companies need to be made aware of what’s going on within their businesses and they need to react accordingly. While the actual criminal behaviour in this scenario might lie at the door of the security provider, I think we can all agree that it’s morally criminal for organisations to knowingly use cheap solution providers who, in turn, violate the basic rights of their workers and are therefore complicit in modern day slavery.”

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Jodie Stevens joins Venture Security in compliance manager’s role

Hampshire-based security solutions provider Venture Security has bolstered its senior team with the appointment of Jodie Stevens as compliance manager. In her new role, Stevens will be responsible for overseeing all regulatory, privacy and compliance matters within the organisation and ensuring that the necessary British Standards are applied.

That process and procedure includes managing Venture Security’s many accreditations, such as its National Security Inspectorate Gold status, CHAS and ACS Pacesetters memberships and the business’ continued registration on the Security Industry Authority’s (SIA) Approved Contractor Scheme.

Prior to joining Venture Security, Stevens spent 11 years working at Heathrow Airport within airfield operations, safety and transformation. As such, she was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the airfield, maintaining safety processes and dealing with any accidents and incidents as required, more recently being focused on improving the efficiency of ground operations. This followed on from an 18-month spell in a similar role at Southampton Airport.

Commenting on her new appointment, Stevens said: “I’ve known the team at Venture Security for many years now. I actually hold an SIA licence myself and, in my spare time, have supported the team with guarding operations at Stonehenge, Salisbury Racecourse and for other regional events so I already have a lot of knowledge about the company and how it operates.”

Stevens continued: “Being furloughed due to COVID-19 and a recent restructure led me to reflect on my role at Heathrow Airport and it just seemed the perfect time to make the move to join Venture Security. It’s a great fit for my skills and experience and I look forward to the opportunity of making a tangible difference at what is an ambitious and growing company.”

Jodie Stevens

Upholding standards

Paul Howe, managing director at Venture Security, responded: “Jodie is exceptional at what she does and will be a valuable member of the team. As a company, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality of service possible and that comes down to employing the best people, organising the best training and investing in industry-leading systems and processes. We’re currently undergoing significant growth as a business and upholding standards throughout will be central to our success.”

Based in Andover, Venture Security is ranked within the top 1% of security providers in the UK. The award-winning company was founded in 2006 and works with both corporate and residential clients, providing services including security guarding, mobile patrols, locking and unlocking for premises, key holding and alarm response.

As well as working with businesses, the team manages security for a number of high-profile regional venues and events, also working with councils and BIDs to tackle anti-social behaviour in public spaces.

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Company boss found guilty of supplying unlicensed security staff to school

In a prosecution brought by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), a Lancashire security company director who provided unlicensed security staff to a school has had his case referred to a higher court for sentencing.

Martin Coe, the former director of Evolution Security Services NW, was found guilty following a two-day trial held at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 October.

SIA investigators discovered that unlicensed security officers had worked for Coe on numerous occasions at Baines School in Poulton, the Wyre Light pub in Fleetwood and at the Poulton Industrial Estate.

The District Judge presiding over the trial found Coe guilty of the supply of the two unlicensed security operatives. During the trial, the SIA had called three witnesses, whom the District Judge referenced as being “professional and credible”. By contrast, the District Judge noted in her summing up that Coe’s evidence was “not credible”.

The matter was adjourned to Preston Crown Court for sentencing and to start the process of recovering assets from Coe under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Coe had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to failing to provide information to the SIA despite being legally required to do so.

Serious matter

Nathan Salmon of the SIA’s criminal investigations team said: “Martin Coe refused to co-operate with an SIA investigation and has wasted court time by denying the charges against him. Providing unlicensed security staff to a school is a very serious matter. This is reflected in the fact that the District Judge in this trial has referred Coe’s case to a Crown Court for sentencing.”

Salmon continued: “The public rightly expects the very highest standards from those who protect them. There is reassurance that Coe will now be banned from working in the security sector. In addition, we will be pursuing the recovery of any profit he has made from his crimes.”

Neil Reddington and Gavin Macaskill had originally been found working at the Wyre Light in May 2019 by a licensing officer from Lancashire Constabulary who was following up on reports of unlicensed operatives being deployed at the venue. Both men were employed by Evolution Security.

Reddington was sentenced at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court back in February. The sentencing of Coe was due to take place at Preston Crown Court on Wednesday 4 November.

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