Tag Archives: Security Guarding

Axis Security and The Axis Academy nominated for 2020 OSPAs

Integrated security, Front of House and cleaning services business the Axis Group starts 2020 as a finalist in the UK Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs) with nominations in two categories: Outstanding Contract Security Company (Guarding) for Axis Security and Outstanding Security Training Initiative for The Axis Academy, Axis Group’s learning and development division.

The OSPAs recognise and reward companies and individuals across the security sector. Axis Security has been recognised as an outstanding security business which is making a positive difference, successfully motivating and up-skilling staff, making the most of technologies and forging new approaches and thinking around security guarding.

This nomination comes off the back of Axis Security’s most successful year of organic growth, turning over £24 million in new business alone, which represents a 140% increase on last year’s business results.

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The Axis Academy, the training division for Axis Group, has been nominated for the Outstanding Security Training Initiative for its Mental Health First Aid course, which was launched in the summer of 2019 and has already trained 220 people across three levels including mental health awareness, mental health First Aid and supervising mental health.

The course supports Axis’ aim to raise awareness of mental health in the workplace, with specific training to equip people with the required knowledge and skills to act as workplace mental health First Aiders. It has been designed to help participants understand why people develop mental health conditions, and how a First Aider for mental health can provide advice and practical support for an individual presenting with a suspected mental health condition.

David Mundell, managing director of Axis Security, believes that the company’s dedication to customer service continues to underpin its success. “We see ourselves as one of the outstanding performers in the security sector, doing our utmost to support our talented people and deliver top quality customer service to our clients.”

Mundell added: “Giving the right kind of support to employees remains key to everybody’s success so we’re especially pleased to see the response to our new training initiatives, notably so around the area of mental health. The course also helps people to recognise and manage their own stress, and how to implement a positive mental health culture in the workplace, so it’s a really beneficial addition to our learning offer.”

The 2020 OSPAs Ceremony takes place at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in central London on 26 February.

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NSI supports World Accreditation Day 2019

The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) offered its full support to World Accreditation Day 2019 (#WAD2019). A global initiative celebrating accreditation, the event (which took place on Sunday 9 June) focused on accredited bodies like the NSI adding value in supply chains. 

From a security and fire safety sector perspective, installers and service providers of security and fire safety systems and security guarding solution are a vital ‘link in the chain’ with their expertise at the point of delivery, keeping people safe, ensuring security solutions harness suitable technology and that they’re fit for purpose.

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Whether it be in the design, installation and commissioning of intruder alarms, access control systems, fire detection or suppression systems and CCTV or the monitoring of myriad guarding services, Best Practice in service provision by NSI-approved companies ensures that quality solutions are delivered to customers.

World Accreditation Day marked the work underway to launch ‘IAF CertSearch’, a website designed to provide buyers with the ability to verify management systems certificates such as ISO 9001 (itself a key component of NSI’s Gold approvals). This facility will help to distinguish certificates issued by accredited conformity assessment bodies (CABs), such as the NSI, from certificates issued by non-accredited CABs and to check the authenticity of a certificate.

Richard Jenkins, CEO at the NSI, commented: “World Accreditation Day plays an important role in promoting the value of accreditation and accredited conformity assessment. As an accredited certification body, the NSI conforms to ISO 17021-1 and ISO 17065 in the delivery of Certificates of Approval to over 1,800 approved companies operating in the UK and Eire. The worldwide system of accreditation spans economies accounting for 96% of global GDP*. The NSI is proud to play its small part in this ecosystem underpinning Best Practice, competency and consistent quality within our sector, as recognised by, among others, the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the Security Industry Authority, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, BAFE and industry and insurer stakeholders.”

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Richard Jenkins

NSI Gold Approval combines Quality Management Systems approval ISO 9001 with specific product standards pertinent to services provided, in addition to NSI Quality Schedules and approval criteria specifically designed for the security and fire systems and guarding services sectors. The NSI adopts a ‘treat recommendations as mandatory’ stance with regard to all standards and Codes of Practice, affording buyers confidence that NSI-approved companies adhere to the latest Best Practice at all times.

For full details of the range of NSI approvals to international and British Standards and industry Codes of Practice visit www.nsi.org.uk

*Source: World Economic Forum

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Ward Security adds poppy stickers to patrol vehicles in marking 100th Anniversary of First World War

A fleet of Ward Security vans are displaying poppy stickers in support of the Royal British Legion’s annual Remembrance Sunday Appeal and to show respect for the 100th Anniversary of the First World War. 

The national security provider is proudly displaying the poppy logos on its fleet of vehicles, while also making a financial donation to the Royal British Legion’s local Chatham branch.

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David Ward, CEO at Ward Security, said “The Royal British Legion does an incredible job of supporting Armed Forces personnel past and present and their families. Like many people, we had relatives who fought in the First and Second World Wars and we continue to have close connections to the military and those currently serving. Many of our employees are also former military personnel. We believe that it’s both right and important to continue to support the appeal and, by putting the poppy on our fleet of vehicles, we help to keep the campaign visible and in the public eye.”

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Ward Security was founded in 2000 by brothers David and Kevin Ward. Today, the business employs over 900 people and provides security solutions to companies nationwide. Originally based on the Medway Trading Estate, the company’s new headquarters was officially opened earlier this month in the Fitted Rigging House at the Historic Chatham Dockyard in Kent.

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Fly-tipping costing UK’s security industry “thousands of pounds” in clean-up and insurance claims

According to the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), the illegal dumping of waste by criminal gangs is costing the UK’s security industry thousands of pounds in clean-up costs and insurance claims.

The costs, which might be borne by the landlords of fly-tipping ‘hotspots’ if they’re not covered by insurance, can routinely reach hundreds of thousands of pounds. Indeed, claims have been known to regularly exceed this figure.

Companies who fail to adequately protect their assets, or have been victims of fly-tipping in the past, could find their insurance cost rising. Some of these costs are met by taxpayers. According to the Local Government Association, the cost to taxpayers of clearing up fly-tipping rose to £57 million in the past year. That’s up 13% on the previous 12 months.

Restrictions on the tipping of waste and the inevitable dumping to avoid paying for waste processing are key factors underpinning this unlawful behaviour. In recent times, a far larger and more costly crime is occurring on an almost daily basis. This involves the unlawful occupation of land followed by large-scale collection and disposal of waste. There have also been many cases of industrial units rented on short leases which have then been filled with illegal waste and left for the landlord to clear up.

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The recent surge in fly-tipping is put down to an influx of organised gangs offering cheap disposal services to businesses and then simply fly-tipping the waste to avoid the payment of landfill tax which is currently set at £88.95 per tonne*. More sophisticated fly-tippers have also been setting up dummy companies advertising cheap skip rentals. They take out short term leases on warehouses then fill them from floor to ceiling with waste before moving on ahead of the landlord realising that rent hasn’t been paid.

Focus on serious crime and terrorism

Tony Cockcroft, chair of the Security Guarding Section at the BSIA, said: “This activity is being conducted on an enormous scale and involves the tipping of hundreds of tonnes of waste. The waste is collected from building sites and garden and house clearances. It’s a criminal activity netting large amounts of money for those involved in the process.”

Cockroft continued: “In most cases of land tipping, the perpetrators are evicted from the site only to move on to another close by and repeat the same activity again and again. The police and other agencies seldom make arrests, prosecute individuals or confiscate vehicles largely due to their already overstretched resources having to be focused on serious crime and terrorist threats.”

Gideon Reichental, chair of the Vacant Property Protection Section at the BSIA, told Risk Xtra: “Fly-tipping isn’t just an unnecessarily expensive eyesore. It can also be dangerous. Tipped rubbish has been known to include specialist and clinical waste which may be hazardous. Mixed waste can spontaneously combust. This harms the environment through airborne pollution and contaminated fire-water run-off, which is why it has never been more important to tackle the problem head on.”

Reichental added: “The BSIA’s Vacant Property Protection Section has had a keen interest in this problem as it affects many of our clients in the public and private sectors on a day-to-day basis. They’re working closely with the Association’s lobbying team to see what additional Government support or legislation might be provided in order to help address this issue.”

Protecting large areas of land

Protecting large areas of land can prove difficult, but there are a number of fairly simple and inexpensive measures that should be considered as it’s far better, and ultimately cheaper, to deter a person from entering land rather than having to subsequently evict them and restore the site.

As a minimum, the BSIA recommends the installation of strong metal gates with toughened steel padlocks and anti-lift hinges. If the site is vacant, block all vulnerable access points with concrete barriers. Secure the perimeter with strong fencing, posts, earth mounds or trenches and frequently check the site and the perimeter.

The BSIA also advises landlords of industrial units to put in place robust procedures to identify if the persons looking to rent a property are fit and proper to do so.

It’s also worth contacting the police on 101 if there’s a suspicion that land is being illegally occupied, though police officers harbour only restricted powers to deal with people who breach civil law by trespassing. In certain circumstances, a direction to leave may be made and, in the event of non-compliance, arrests may follow.

However, the powers to remove trespassers are discretionary and will not be used by the police unless considered absolutely necessary. If trespassers don’t leave a site when requested to do so then landowners should go through the normal channels of civil recovery as quickly as possible to mitigate the potential damage and resulting costs.

*All figures quoted in this release have been provided by Dougie Barnett, head of mid-market and customer risk management at AXA Insurance

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Axis Security picks up record five nominations for 2018 Security and Fire Excellence Awards

Axis Security, a leading provider of bespoke security services, has been shortlisted in five categories at the 2018 Security and Fire Excellence Awards, including the prestigious Security Guarding Company of the Year, an award that the business has been nominated for across seven consecutive years and has won on three occasions.

Five nominations in the Security and Fire Excellence Awards, which are organised and hosted by UBM, marks a record achievement for the company, with the remaining nominations being for Contribution to Standards in the Security Sector, Security Training Initiative of the Year (with ‘Security Masterclass’), the Inspiration in HR Award and the ACS Champion of the Year (an award the company won last year).

Jonathan Levine, Axis Group’s CEO, stated: “The company’s employees are its most important asset, while its key focus is in customer service. By prioritising training and employee welfare initiatives, our officers in turn prioritise excellent service for our customers’ customers. These nominations are testament to this focus.”

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Axis Security’s nomination for the Contribution to Standards in the Security Sector Award recognises the company’s proactive use of training and site audits, internal employee awards and its development of a contract management and performance measurement software platform. Specifically this year, the nomination is a result of Axis’ critical role in one of its customers achieving the ISO 22301 business continuity standard for its flagship building. The award was achieved one month ahead of schedule and is the client’s first property to achieve the accreditation.

The Inspiration in HR Award acknowledges those companies demonstrating that HR is a fundamental part of their business and invest in their people. It’s bestowed by SSR Personnel and adjudicated by a prestigious panel of industry experts.

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“To have picked up this number of nominations is evidence of the hard work of all employees from HR, training and operational personnel through to our security officers,” explained Levine. “I’m extremely proud and grateful for all the hard work that has been integral to our successes this year.”

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National Security Inspectorate appoints new auditor in Northern Ireland

The National Security Inspectorate (NSI), the UK’s independent certification body specialising in the security, guarding and fire sectors, has appointed Clare McIntyre as security and fire systems auditor and lead auditor for ISO 9001 in Northern Ireland.

Having spent over 20 years in the sector within quality and operations management and system design, McIntyre brings a wealth of experience to the NSI’s expert auditing team. She previously worked for NSI approved companies, transitioning from one of the few female-nominated fire alarm designers to become a fully-integrated security and fire design engineer.

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Clare McIntyre

Having realised her passion for developing and improving standards within the industry, becoming an auditor for NSI was a natural progression in McIntyre’s career.

Richard Jenkins, the NSI’s CEO, commented: “We’re committed to recruiting auditors with practical experience, knowledge and understanding of our sector. Currently, the UK has the lowest percentage of females on the engineering register in the EU at only 7%. Therefore, Clare’s appointment may also serve to embed some change in what has, traditionally, been a male-dominated sector in the UK. ”

NSI to sponsor ‘Outstanding Security Installer/Integrator’ category at 2019 OSPAs

The NSI is proud to sponsor the ‘Outstanding Security Installer/Integrator’ category at next year’s Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs), which take place in London on 28 February.

The UK OSPAs is part of a global awards scheme currently running in eight countries and designed to recognise outstanding contributions and achievements within their respective security sectors. Following extensive research in 2014 by Perpetuity Research and Consultancy International on what constitutes outstanding performance, the OSPA categories and criteria were then standardised, providing an opportunity for countries to run their own evidence-based OSPAs, while also maintaining the ability to compete on an international level.

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Professor Martin Gill CSyP FSyI, founder of the OSPAs and director of Perpetuity Research, commented: “I’m delighted that the NSI is continuing its Installer/Integrator category sponsorship of the UK OSPAs. Since its formation nearly five decades ago, the NSI’s focus has been to raise standards in the UK security sector and those companies securing its approval, across all disciplines of security, are instrumental in helping to achieve this goal. The OSPAs provides a global stage for security excellence so it’s fitting that the NSI is a key player in these awards.”

Richard Jenkins added: “We’re committed to supporting initiatives that celebrate excellence and innovation in the UK’s security sector. The OSPAs are highly respected among the security and buyer communities for their core values and ethics. Gaining recognition with an OSPA is a significant achievement and we’re delighted to be associated with this prestigious event.”

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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.

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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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Barry Dawson joins Wilson James to head up expanded Southern Region

Security solutions provider Wilson James has amalgamated its City of London and Southern business regions to create a £65 million operational ‘powerhouse’ spearheading a targeted expansion of its specialist security services.

The move signals the company’s increasing focus on offering clients a high level range of technology, cyber and intelligence-led security solutions to complement its industry-leading security guarding offer.

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Barry Dawson

The new Southern Region will be led by Barry Dawson, who joins the business with 30 years’ experience in the security industry encompassing Board level roles at VSG and Advance Security. Dawson is joined by risk management expert Gavin Wilson, tech expert Don McCann and Marc Bannister, working with Crawford Boyce to create and deliver ‘strategic journeys’ for each client in the region.

“The strategic journey is a tailored approach that allows us to offer clients a range of services including not just excellent security guarding, but also Front of House, counter-terrorism, intelligence reporting, global travel risk and social media monitoring,” commented Dawson.

Reporting directly to Dawson are Allison Fraser, Mark Jones and Shai Zach who become strategic account directors, all of them pivotal within the region to ensure Wilson James continues to lead the security sector and deliver service excellence.

Managing director Gemma Quirke observed: “This hugely experienced team means we can offer even better bespoke services to all our clients in this region. It’s an approach that will power the expansion of our security services across all of our operations.”

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Cougar Monitoring and BT Redcare to run joint Roadshow for fire and security installers in Midlands region

Led by Cougar Monitoring, the Roadshow will be hosted on Friday 6 October at one of BT’s key buildings in Birmingham city centre near to Birmingham New Street Station. In addition to presentations from representatives of Cougar and BT Redcare, there will also be representatives from the technical departments of both companies available for advice, guidance and training.

Eric Roberts, CEO of Cougar Monitoring, said: “BT Redcare has been in the alarm signalling market for over 30 years. The company is tried and tested and the majority of its products are third party certified. Having met with the new BT Redcare management team recently, it’s abundantly clear that they have a renewed focus and intention to work closer with both ourselves and installers. We’re delighted to join them to reinforce that message to our installers.”

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BT Redcare sits at the heart of home and business security, bridging the gap between customers, installers and Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs). Backed by BT’s trusted technology and the largest R&D budget in the UK, the business has been leading the way in reliable alarm signalling. Having recently undertaken a refresh of its brand and approach to the market, the company has now pledged to work closer with ARCs and installers to help grow their businesses.

Cougar Monitoring was established in 1996 and holds a number of nationally-recognised accreditations. The business is registered by the Security Industry Authority as an Approved Contractor for key holding, security guarding and Public Space (CCTV) Surveillance and has also received the National Security Inspectorate’s Gold standard EMS and Health and Safety accreditations.

Cougar Monitoring is part of the Prime Interaction Group that also includes Securenett and Kings Security, making it one of the largest independent security groups in the UK. The company invests heavily in cutting-edge technology to provide clients with an “innovative and inclusive” security service. Its high specification alarm receiving and monitoring set-up enables the company to keep response times enviably sharp and to provide reliable and professional assistance.

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Going forward, Securenett will be recommending BT Redcare alarm signalling products to its customers.

Commenting on the Cougar initiative, John Ware (general manager of BT Redcare) said: “I met personally with the senior leaders of Cougar Monitoring recently and it’s clear that they, like us, are looking to the future and wish to expand their operation. We’re perfectly placed to help them do this. The combination of our expertise in the market and Cougar’s reach to installers means attendees at the Roadshow will receive the best advice, value and support from both companies.”

*Details of the Roadshow will be issued soon. In the meantime, installers wishing to register an interest in attending can do so online at www.formwize.com/cougarroadshow

 

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Trigion offers streamlined lower capital expenditure 24/7 security solution

Deciding between electronic security, security guarding or a combination of the two is one that has just been made easier thanks to a new streamlined solution introduced by security specialist Trigion.

The company has always offered a ‘technology plus people’ approach as it feels this combination usually satisfies its clients’ needs most successfully. However, until now they have operated as two services and been managed and invoiced separately.

Recognising that investing in security equipment means high capital expenditure at the outset, Trigion’s new offer combines a technical and manned security solution that spreads the cost over the length of the contract. This means that clients benefit from immediate savings from the commencement of the integrated security contract.

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Unlike standard security contracts which are based on hourly rates for guarding and equipment costs, the single solution price means that the overall costs are reduced. In one case, Trigion estimates it has saved one of its clients upwards of £2 million over two years, while still providing 24/7 security coverage.

Neil Ricketts, technical services director at Trigion, explained: “While some companies opt to only supply one form of security, we’ve always felt it’s best to be able to offer our clients a more joined-up approach, matching the levels of technical security and guarding according to their needs. The next logical step was to integrate them so that clients really are receiving an ‘all-in-one’ solution that can protect their premises 24/7, and for which they pay less with lower up-front costs as well.”

Following a period of investment in its commercial department and supporting structure, Trigion has reported a largely stable turnover for the past fiscal year as it gears up for accelerated growth in 2017. Security guarding and the electronic security offer delivered by the business both maintained previous margin levels, but a change in the proportion of turnover in favour of the electronics division has led to a 39% improvement in Trigion’s operating margin.

The security industry is seeing a continuing trend away from manned security towards electronics or a combination of the two. Trigion offers all security services in-house and has its own Control Centre. The business has also developed a consultative approach to ensure solutions designed to meet the client’s individual needs and combining all relevant security elements. This means the client receives increased security at a reduced rate. In addition, a new financial model means they can see a return on investment from the first day without the need to apply for capital expenditure.

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Jan-Hein Hemke, Trigion’s managing director, stated: “We’re looking to accelerate our growth in the coming years and have made substantial investments in our commercial department and supporting structure to help achieve this. We’ve also refreshed our service offer. We believe these actions should lead to a substantial growth in 2017.”

The development of the National Living Wage has had a significant influence on the security industry. In the period from October 2015 to April 2016, the National Living Wage went up by 10.7%. The outlook for the coming years is considerable further increases in the pay rates. Trigon remains a strong supporter of the Living Wage Foundation. The company firmly believes the trend in wage rates is desirable from a social point of view. However, it also feels that the increase in the cost of labour will further enhance the move away from security guarding to electronic security.

Despite this trend, Hemke stressed: “Skilled and highly competent colleagues remain important in our desire to be client focused and act as a professional partner for our customers. We have an extremely strong focus on training and development.”

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