Tag Archives: Security Industry Authority

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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First Response Group listed in Sunday Times ‘10 Fast-Track Ones to Watch’

Yorkshire-based security and facilities service provider the First Response Group is featured in the latest Sunday Times ‘10 Fast-Track Ones to Watch’ listed. The business has been recognised as one of the companies set to grow rapidly and shows the potential to secure its place in the ‘Fast Track 100’ in the future.

Businesses are identified based on factors such as past sales, growth forecasts, international expansion and external investment. This summer, the Leeds-based company competed a £6 million refinancing agreement, allowing it to continue the strong growth it has experienced over the last few years.

A series of targeted acquisitions – coupled with recent high-profile tender wins in the insurance, corporate and construction sectors which accelerated the company’s growth – triggered the need to increase available working capital for business continuity and future investment.

Founded back in 2007 by directors Jamal Tahlil and Edgar Chibaka, First Response Group provides security, fire and facilities management services for customers including Aldi and the NHS. Sales this year have risen by 51% to hot a total of £18.6 million.

Simon Alderson, CEO at the First Response Group, said: “It’s an honour to be named as one of The Sunday Times’ ‘10 Fast-Track Ones to Watch’. The extraordinary growth we’ve seen over the past few years has firmly established the First Response Group as a rising star in the security industry, and this achievement recognises the dedication and hard work shown by our entire team.”

Alderson added: “This summer’s funding, coupled with our mission to provide the best service and innovation possible by cultivating a culture of employee inclusion and happiness, will continue to position First Response Group as a leader in the security and FM solutions markets.” First Response Group holds the coveted National Security Inspectorate Guarding Gold accreditation and, as an Approved Contractor Scheme Pacesetter, is ranked in the Top 15% of firms registered on the Security Industry Authority’s Approved Contractor Scheme.

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Door supervisor found guilty of working while SIA licence suspended

On Thursday 29 October at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court, door supervisor Jacqueline Taggart was found guilty of working while her Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence was suspended.

Prosecuted by South Yorkshire Police, Taggart was sentenced to 60 hours of community service to be completed within a period of 12 months. She was also required to pay court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £85.

Sheffield-based Taggart was supplied to the Foxwood Embassy as a door supervisor by JKL Leisure and Pubs Ltd. SIA investigators and South Yorkshire Police licensing officers visited the venue and reviewed CCTV footage (and the venue’s signing-in book) on 20 March 2019. They found that Taggart had worked illegally on five occasions between 18 November 2018 and 8 March 2019. The SIA had suspended Taggart’s licence on 10 April 2018 and eventually revoked it on 8 August last year. South Yorkshire Police took the lead on this prosecution with the support of the SIA.

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Nigel Davies, the SIA’s regional criminal investigation manager for the East Region, said: “We’re pleased to have worked with our enforcement partner, namely South Yorkshire Police, to prosecute Taggart. She was clearly told that it would be illegal for her to work in the private security industry while her licence was suspended. Nonetheless, she completely ignored this warning, lied to her employers about her licence and, subsequently, put the Foxwood Embassy’s patrons at risk. Actions such as this serve to undermine the integrity of, and confidence in, the SIA’s licensing regime. Taggart now has a criminal record.”

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Poole security boss prosecuted for deception and providing unlicensed security

On Friday 23 October, John Westwood (a Poole security boss) was prosecuted at Poole Magistrates’ Court for supplying an unlicensed door supervisor to a ‘pop-up bar’ for an event at Bournemouth’s The Square on 5 August last year.

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) prosecuted both Westwood and his business, namely One 2 One Security Ltd, for deception and deploying an unlicensed door supervisor. This prosecution is the culmination of the investigation of John Westwood, One 2 One Security Ltd and the unlicensed door supervisor, Lloyd Biggs, who worked for Westwood on that night.

Westwood was fined £250 and ordered to pay costs of £350 as well as a victim surcharge of £35, all to be paid within four months. One 2 One Security Ltd will be sentenced at a hearing to be held on Wednesday 18 November.

The SIA’s investigation began when a routine licence inspection by enforcement partner Dorset Police found that Lloyd Biggs had not completed the mandatory signing-in sheet. This raised the police licensing specialist’s suspicion and he asked to see Biggs’ SIA licence. Biggs said his licence had shattered and that he had contacted the SIA to request a replacement.

However, the police officer noticed that what Biggs had appeared to be an SIA licence in an armband displayed with the picture facing inwards. The officer asked to see the licence and discovered that the name displayed was J Westwood and that the licence had expired in July 2008.

Guilty plea

Dorset Police passed this information on to the SIA and, when the regulator questioned Biggs, he said he had only worked for Westwood on that occasion. When asked about displaying John Westwood’s expired licence, Biggs said that he didn’t tell Westwood he was without an SIA licence. He claimed that Westwood told him to collect an armband to avoid suspicion. Biggs then said he had accidentally picked up an armband with Westwood’s expired licence, but could give no explanation.

Biggs appeared at Poole Magistrates’ Court on 14 March this year when he pleaded guilty to working as an unlicensed door supervisor. He received a £140 fine and was ordered to pay £150 in costs and a victim surcharge of £31. He now has a criminal record.

Nathan Salmon, the SIA’s criminal investigations manager, said: “Both John Westwood and Lloyd Biggs broke the law. They’ve been successfully prosecuted and now have criminal records. They had no credible explanation for why Biggs was wearing Westwood’s licence and thought they could lie to the SIA and the police. The evidence was clear and they were found out.”

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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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Spring Bank Holiday security patrol team in Southend save man’s life

The Spring Bank Holiday on Monday 25 May witnessed a security patrol team from Approved Contractor Scheme-registered Stambridge Security Services save a middle-aged man who was suffering from a potentially life-threatening heart attack at Southend-on-Sea Pleasure Beach.

Security Industry Authority (SIA)-licensed door supervisors Jamie Spiers and Patrick Bourke were on patrol at the Pleasure Beach when they received a call from a colleague at around 2.00 pm stating that there was a male in distress.

It was a busy and hot day. Spiers and Bourke found the unconscious man lying on the beach fully dressed and breathing erratically. He was having a cardiac arrest. Both officers are qualified First Aid trainers and immediately called the Emergency Services who advised that they should start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ie CPR).

Spiers started chest compressions while Bourke alerted Southend-based Stambridge Security Services’ Control Room staff to ensure that CCTV was capturing everything. The two door supervisors also took it in turns to administer rescue breaths.

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Air Ambulance on scene

Spiers said: “Thankfully we were in the right place at the right time. We took turns in helping the man to breathe because it was so tiring. It took about 15 minutes for the paramedics to arrive. We were relentless, consistent and we did not stop. When the Emergency Services arrived they took over and used a defibrillator. The Air Ambulance also came to the scene.”

Once Spiers and Bourke had handed the man over to the Emergency Services, they cordoned off the busy Pleasure Beach. As it was a Bank Holiday, the traffic was very heavy so they directed cars away from the scene to enable the Emergency Services to transport their patient to Southend Hospital.

Three days later, a security operative at Southend Hospital called Spiers such that he could chat to the man whom he and Bourke had saved. He was very thankful.

On that note, Spiers stated: “I’ve been a door supervisor for 12 years and I was born and bred in Southend. Patrick and I have worked together in crowd control and always focus on making sure we can create a safe environment. I’m just glad we could help. Who would have thought that Patrick and I would save a man’s life?”

Critical and key workers

There are upwards of 400,000 licensed security operatives in the UK and, like Spiers and Bourke, many continue to work as critical and key workers in safeguarding and protecting hospitals and sheltered accommodation, supporting social distancing in supermarkets and transacting other essential operations.

Ian Todd, CEO at the SIA, said: “It’s important to remember that many individuals in the security industry are working as critical and key workers during this emergency period. The scenario in which Jamie and Patrick were involved is testament to the fact that, despite the challenges, many operatives and businesses are going the extra mile to serve their communities.”  

The SIA is actively promoting the industry’s dedication and commitment through the #SIAHeroes campaign. The Regulator is sharing inspiring stories of security operatives who are keeping the public safe and secure at this critical time.

*Read all of the #SIAHeroes stories online here

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New Security Industry Authority licence-linked qualifications postponed to April 2021

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) has decided to postpone the introduction of new licence-linked qualifications until April 2021.

The SIA has spoken to industry, awarding organisations and training providers who have outlined the difficulties they face during the current pandemic.

In view of these challenges, the September 2020 launch date for the new qualifications is deemed to be unachievable.

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The SIA has therefore set a revised target date of April 2021 for the introduction of the new licence-linked qualifications.

The SIA is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the UK, reporting to the Home Secretary under the terms of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. The SIA’s main duties are the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities and managing the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme.

*For further information about the SIA or to sign up for e-mail updates visit: www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk. The SIA is also on Facebook (Security Industry Authority), LinkedIn and Twitter (@SIAuk)

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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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