Tag Archives: Security Guarding

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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Security guarding specialist SSGC appoints Haines Watts to manage “rapid growth trajectory”

One of Britain’s fastest-growing specialist security businesses has appointed a leading national accountancy firm as part of its planned expansion strategy that has so far seen a substantial turnover increase to over £60 million per annum.

Robust systems and bespoke technology has enabled SSGC, a niche provider of fully-vetted security officers, to deploy hundreds of individuals to secure and marshal the COVID-19 testing programme at centres right across the UK, building on the significant growth already achieved by the company throughout 2019.

Further, the business has now appointed Haines Watts, the accountancy firm with more than 50 offices nationwide, to manage its financial affairs as it draws up its long-term expansion plan after securing contracts which have underpinned the aforementioned robust and rapid growth in turnover.

Swindon-based SSGC has demonstrated its ability to rapidly provide hundreds of guarding personnel within very tight time windows, many of them former military personnel returning to front line duties as part of the national Coronavirus effort.

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Mike Lloyd, a partner at Haines Watts (left), with Guy Dungworth (a shareholder in SSGC) and David Stubbs (managing director at SSGC)

Reinforcing the front line

“Reinforcing our front line in the fight against COVID-19 has meant making some sound decisions as we rise through the ranks of security firms to be part of the top flight of specialist businesses,” said David Stubbs, managing director of SSGC, in conversation with Security Matters. “Appointing an equally top flight accountancy firm was always part of our long-term planning.”

Stubbs continued: “Growth has always been a major part of our strategy, but our ability to demonstrate a robust response to the Government’s needs during the COVID-19 lockdown suddenly accelerated those plans. We had already established a good relationship with Haines Watts, so a complete move to take advantage of a strategic finance partner that complements our own direction of travel will definitely help us when it comes to shaping our future direction.”

Mike Lloyd, partner with Haines Watts, responded: “We provide services to thousands of businesses, many of which, like SSGC, are going through a phase of significant growth in a short time. Expansion presents new and exciting challenges and secures a spot for SSGC as a major corporate player. This is a target the business was already heading towards before current events arose.”

Lloyd continued: “Accountancy services fall broadly into two distinct areas, namely compliance and planning. From the compliance side, we can make sure that SSGC meets all of the necessary legal and tax requirements. With planning, we can help optimise areas such as tax management, financial modelling and scenario forecasting in order to maximise the financial fluidity of the company under growth. We are already working with the directors on both fronts at this key time in the company’s evolution.”

Armed Forces Covenant signatory

A signatory to the Armed Forces Covenant, SSGC is an ethical business committed to supporting the military community through remobilisation projects and is also being supported by other key partners in Skipton Business Finance and Squire Patton Boggs Solicitors in delivering on the Government’s call to action.

SSGC is a Security Industry Authority Approved Contractor Scheme registered business that was formed by MBO back in 2014

David Stubbs, himself a former military policeman, concluded: “This is a very exciting time for the business as we transition into the next phase of our development. Working with Haines Watts provides seamless access to the financial services and expertise we will be leaning on this year as we execute the next phase of our growth.”

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Magenta Security celebrates 25 years of service to dedicated client base

Security company Magenta Security is celebrating 25 years of business. The firm’s commitment to providing security services and its constant advocation for positive changes to be made across the industry has helped the business to prominence.

Magenta Security has grown from a small security team in Hounslow to become a nationwide, award-winning company. Over the years, Magenta Security has expanded its offer to provide a range of services from security guarding and access control through to international private security. The business very much hopes to continue its expansion in the years to come.

The security company has demonstrated its dedication to green initiatives by becoming a zero-carbon business and being the first security company in Europe to achieve ISO 14001, which sets out the criteria for Environmental Management Systems.

AbbeyPetkar

Abbey Petkar

Magenta Security’s offices run on renewable energy sources, including solar panels, and the business is focusing on phasing out low efficiency vehicles such that they can be replaced with hybrid or electric models, while at the same time educating all staff on the principles of reduce, re-use and recycle. By making these conscious efforts, Magenta Security has become increasingly successful and something of a greener alternative to other security companies.

Abbey Petkar, managing director of Magenta Security, stated: “I am extremely proud to be celebrating our 25th Anniversary after the hard work and dedication we have put into the company for so many years. We believe our success is due to our commitment to improve the security industry and providing top quality customer service, while still managing to be very eco-conscious. My priority from the day I started this business was to never say no and find a solution for any client request. Continuing that philosophy has meant that we have substantially expanded our offer and are able to cater for all of a given client’s needs. I am really happy to see how far we’ve come as a business and I look forward to seeing us progress and succeed for another 25 years.”

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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.

AxisSecurityOSPAs

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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