Tag Archives: Security Industry

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.

BSIAFlyTipping

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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Nortech recognised for quality management standards compliance with ISO 9001 re-certification

People and vehicle access control system solutions specialist Nortech has recently been recognised as complying with the latest ISO 9001 standard. Nortech is proud of its approach to solutions engineering that’s designed to ensure quality and reliability in both its products and services.

The updated 2015 version of the ISO 9001 standard recognises businesses for their effective quality management and requires them to demonstrate that they can meet the regulatory requirements and apply the system effectively to benefit their customers. Receiving re-certification shows that Nortech is prepared for any current and future challenges.

The company’s managing director Steve Blackler commented: “I would like to express my thanks to our fantastic team and to our loyal customers. Nortech continues to thrive and it’s our job to make sure we satisfy our customers’ expectations and that we’re doing what we should as a business such that we continue to grow.”

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Nortech’s technical director Amer Hafiz with the ISO 9001 certificate

Nortech has also recently started an apprenticeship scheme and just welcomed its first new addition to the technical production team.

As an independent British company, Nortech has supplied products and solutions to the security industry for over 25 years. The business uses extensive experience and expertise to create new security products designed to fit its myriad clients’ needs and designs everything with the customer very much in mind. 

New product catalogue

Nortech has also recently introduced a new 24-page product catalogue to help specifiers find the right products for their projects. The catalogue has been divided into four product categories: Access Control, Readers and ID Devices, Long-Range Identification and Vehicle Detection and Parking.

The Access Control section covers all of Nortech’s best-selling access system ranges including standalone control devices for managing one or two doors, plus the fully-online Norpass access management system.

NortechProductCatalogue

The Readers and ID Devices section highlights an extensive choice of 125 KHz proximity, 13.5 MHz smart card and 865 MHz UHF technology readers, whereas the Long-Range Identification section features Nedap’s popular Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), ANPR HD, uPass Reach, uPass Target and TRANSIT Ultimate readers.

The final section covers vehicle detection and parking. This includes Nortech’s popular inductive loop detectors range, FeeMaster Smart and the NorParc Counting system (including VMS counting signs).

*The new catalogue can be downloaded by visiting the company’s website at https://www.nortechcontrol.com/media/39014/2018-product-catalogue-1802.pdf

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New service director introduces raft of customer services initiatives at STANLEY Security

To maintain a high level of customer service and product quality for the business going forward, Stephen Hodgkinson-Soto (STANLEY Security’s new service director) is concentrating on raising customer support levels, efficiency and Health and Safety practices at the same time as driving forward product development within the company.

Hodgkinson-Soto has worked at STANLEY Security since 2015, previously serving as an installation manager in the US. After moving back to the UK where he was born, Hodgkinson-Soto joined STANLEY Security’s British operation last year in the role of service director.

Recognising the “large learning curve” engendered by this promotion, Hodgkinson-Soto embraces the challenge and brings with him considerable skills and enthusiasm which are already beginning to bear fruit.

“Earlier in my career, I worked within the hotel industry and learned a lot about customer service,” stated Hodgkinson-Soto. “I’m looking to bring some of these aspects to the security industry which appears to me to be lacking in excellent customer service across the board. With the backing of the full STANLEY team, including our new general manager Matthew Marriott, it’s my intention to ensure that we lead the way here and stand out from other players in the market.”

StephenHodgkinsonSotoSTANLEYSecurity

Stephen Hodgkinson-Soto

Hodgkinson-Soto is working closely alongside Leanne Taylor, head of customer service, to achieve these goals. The duo have already introduced the Customer First programme which moves away from traditional reactionary models in customer service to a more advanced proactive approach. Customer First is a wide sweeping programme addressing all areas of STANLEY’s customer service, from a Customer Discussion Guide aimed at maintaining positive contact with customers throughout their contract period right through to a Bespoke Management service for those customers that require more focused attention.

With responsibilities for a field service team comprising 110 engineers and associated regional managers across Britain, Hodgkinson-Soto is also concentrating on improving efficiency among that team by ensuring constituent members have the right equipment to perform their tasks and meet customers’ expectations.

As part of this, Hodgkinson-Soto has introduced an engineer training programme, which will instil engineers with additional knowledge via courses paid for by STANLEY. Hodgkinson-Soto is also looking to create a more formalised career path for engineers to recognise and reward their skills and experience.

Investing in the employees  

“Investing in our employees is a priority,” stated Hodgkinson-Soto, “as they not only undertake the work on the ground, but are also our company ambassadors who have the most direct contact with customers. We want them to be the best in the business and fly the flag for STANLEY Security.”

Hodgkinson-Soto’s remit as service director at STANLEY Security also includes overseeing Health and Safety, training and technology, in addition to quality and compliance for the business.

With all of these activities initiated in a relatively short time, Hodgkinson-Soto has plenty of plans for the future, including the formation of a remote maintenance team to specialise in resolving system issues without physical proximity. This will save resources and time for both STANLEY Security and its customers. He’s also working with the product team to develop new cutting-edge solutions for security and beyond.

“Since joining,” concluded Hodgkinson-Soto, “I’ve been working towards internal developments which aim to uphold STANLEY’s position in the market and also to set us apart as a true forward-thinking leader. It’s only by continuously strengthening our core internal practices that we can raise our game to excel at serving our customers. We believe in the necessity of constant improvement to stay ahead. It’s challenging and demanding, but we have the right team in place, the right attitude and the capability.”

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Reliance High-Tech achieves further growth within integrated solutions market

Reliance High-Tech has realised strong year-on-year growth by way of the company’s focus on advanced security and IT solutions specifically designed for mission-critical projects involving end users across the corporate and Government sectors.

The strategy of delivering sophisticated, IP-based solutions for high end customers has resulted in an increase in profits, sales and revenue, with a number of important contract wins contributing to this growth.

“By focusing on both technology and delivery we are winning new business,” commented Terry Sallas, managing director at Reliance High-Tech. “Our workbook has grown significantly through strong sales in core markets with new customers in addition to organic growth derived from our existing client base.”

Reliance High-Tech has proven itself particularly capable in providing solutions for the police service, the utilities, the pharmaceuticals sector and customers in the critical infrastructure space, with integration and remote monitoring as well as specialist solutions such as lone worker protection and digital interview recording all coming to the fore.

Over the past six months, the company has won significant new contracts across its core markets and also in the manufacturing, financial and water sectors, in turn delivering major security solutions for QinetiQ, Thames Water, SGN and the Metropolitan Police Service.

Last month, Reliance High-Tech also announced that it was opening an additional Business Centre in Leicester designed to be a new hub for solutions development, product testing, system demonstration and training. Terry Sallas has confirmed that further investments will follow.

Reliance High-Tech specialises in the design, delivery and management of electronic security and remote monitoring solutions

Reliance High-Tech specialises in the design, delivery and management of electronic security and remote monitoring solutions

“Our performance over the last twelve months has been very strong and we’re already building on that success,” affirmed Sallas. “We’re investing in our processes, IT infrastructure and people as we focus on increased capability and, most important of all, customer satisfaction.”

Reliance High-Tech: the Partner of Choice

Reliance High-Tech’s Mission Statement is: ‘To be the partner of choice for organisations where security is mission critical’. The company works with many large organisations across the corporate sectors, the utilities, the custodial and criminal justice sectors, healthcare and higher education, in all cases providing end users with security solutions that protect people, property, information and physical assets.

The security industry has changed almost beyond recognition in recent years. The continued convergence of security with IT, the proliferation of disruptive technologies and threats that continue to evolve rapidly has seen the requirement for a new type of security integrator.

Reliance High-Tech is at the forefront of helping customers benefit from that convergence of physical and IT security solutions. Whether it’s through leveraging the power of IP systems across the corporate network or delivering integration and the management of a unified identity across physical and logical systems, Reliance High-Tech helps its customers establish a consolidated and more manageable view of their organisational assets and security provisions.

Terry Sallas: md at Reliance High-Tech

Terry Sallas: md at Reliance High-Tech

Reliance High-Tech defines the security agenda by realising a multi-dimensional approach to the subject that addresses the full spectrum of security issues for its customers, from the protection of physical and logical assets right through to the monitoring and remote management of critical systems and the protection of lone workers. This multi-dimensional approach to security is something the company refers to as ‘720Security’.

Through the development of a strong understanding of its end user customers’ unique security challenges, the company is readily able to identify the right technology for delivering security solutions that can both reduce cost and add value back to the business as well as minimising risk and optimising protection regimes.

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BSIA: “Security’s an ideal ‘second career’ for ex-forces personnel”

With the UK observing Remembrance Day in memory of those who have been affected by war and conflict, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is highlighting the career challenges often faced by those leaving the Armed Forces and the opportunities presented to them by the UK’s private security industry.

More than 20,000 skilled and experienced individuals exit the Armed Forces each year. For many, leaving behind the unique structure of forces life can be a challenge, particularly when it comes to making the move to a new career.

A study commissioned last year by the BSIA revealed that roles within the private security industry are popular among ex-Armed Forces personnel, whose skills and experience can bring many benefits to security employers.

Indeed, the BSIA’s research showed that 92.6% of BSIA members considered ex-Armed Forces personnel to be suitable candidates for security roles, with self-discipline, motivation, an awareness of security challenges and an ability to deal with conflict situations cited among the key reasons as to why this is the case. 100% of respondents also felt that candidates would transition well into a supervisory role, while 95.7% agreed that managerial roles would also suit individuals with a military background.

The BSIA employs its own fair share of ex-Armed Forces personnel, including Trevor Elliott (the Trade Association’s director of manpower and membership services, who served in the Scots Guards for a decade during which time he saw active service in the Falklands War).

Speaking about his own experiences, Elliott commented: “When I left the Army in 1987 there was a career choice to make. What did I want to do? Following a lot of soul-searching, a career in the security industry seemed like the logical choice for me given the wide variety of opportunities available. Very quickly, it became obvious that by working hard, approaching my work in a disciplined manner and with a willingness to learn new skill sets, I would be able to progress and develop a successful second career in ‘Civvy Street’.”

Trevor Elliott: director of manpower and membership services at the BSIA

Trevor Elliott: director of manpower and membership services at the BSIA

Elliott continued: “For me, one of the main attractions of the security industry is the constantly evolving face of security as a discipline. There’s always a buzz and a level of anticipation which keeps me interested and looking for the next challenge.”

Transitional support and training

For some, transitioning into a career in the security industry can be a difficult adjustment. However, there are organisations available to provide transitional support or training and thus ensure that personnel are completely ready for their new roles.

The Career Transition Partnership (CTP) is the official provider of resettlement support for Armed Forces leavers. Discussing the opportunities for service leavers within the industry, David Duffy (the CTP’s managing director) stated: “Careers within the security industry are suitable for service leavers who wish to build on the experience gained throughout their military careers and move to a sector that offers opportunities matching their own transferrable skills and employment aspirations.”

Duffy added: “The CTP offers a wide range of security courses at all levels. A number of accredited training providers on the CTP Preferred Supplier List offer industry-related courses. Feedback from the organisations within the security industry who use the no-cost recruitment solution the CTP provides reflects that the skills gained in the military, along with personal qualities service leavers have in abundance, make them a natural fit for the various career paths on offer in the security sector.”

For those about to leave the Armed Forces, members of the BSIA’s dedicated Training Providers Section can offer expert guidance on the basic training requirements for those wishing to work in security. They can also be a great source of advice for both security companies and individuals looking to procure training for their roles.

Courses can be taken in subject areas including CCTV, intruder alarms, access control, door supervision, Control Room operations and management training. There’s a comprehensive range of state-of-the-art equipment on which to learn and professionally qualified tutors with real world experience of the industry.

Speaking about the Remembrance Day commemoration on 11 November, Trevor Elliott continued: “This year’s Armistice Day is particularly poignant, with 2014 marking 100 years since the outbreak of World War One. Thankfully, those involved in conflict in the modern age have access to a wide range of opportunities on leaving their active service. I’m pleased that the private security industry is playing an active part in facilitating the transition to civilian life for many of our country’s brave servicemen and women.”

*To find out more about the courses offered by members of the BSIA’s Training Providers Section visit: http://www.bsia.co.uk/training-providers

**For more information about the Career Transition Partnership visit: https://www.ctp.org.uk/

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