Tag Archives: The Shield Group

‘Christmas crime bonanza could cost the UK’s economy over £1 billion’ states The Shield Group

While the current trend is for general crime rates continuing to fall, shoplifting is on the rise. According to Home Office figures, the number of shoplifting offences in 2013-2014 has risen by 6.7% when compared to the previous year.

The Christmas period usually sees very little crime in most business sectors, but there’s one great exception: the retail industry. Since the recession in 2008, the holiday ‘free-for-all’ has become considerably worse with the increased footfall during the festive season something of a double-edged sword for UK retailers.

True, an influx of customers does cause sales to skyrocket, but it also leads to overcrowded shop floors, in turn providing the perfect cover for shoplifters.

Shoplifting is often considered a victimless crime. However, research shows this isn’t the case. The economic effects of shoplifting during the Christmas period are massive, with thieves stealing an average of £37.04 from every family.

In addition to these costs, for the staff working in shops and stores who are threatened with or subject to physical violence when confronted by thieves, this can have dire psychological effects.

The majority of retailers will encounter some form of security threat over Christmas, but it’s the large department stores that are targeted the most. This is due to them stocking those products most commonly found on the thieves’ wish lists. Items such as tablets, game consoles, perfume, women’s clothing and jewellery are most popular.

This doesn’t mean smaller shops shouldn’t watch out, though, as the thieves often approach smaller and more vulnerable retailers because they stock alcohol, Christmas decorations and, in some cases, high value food items, etc.

John Roddy: CEO at The Shield Group

John Roddy: CEO at The Shield Group

Being aware of the issues

John Roddy, CEO at The Shield Group, said: “Dramatic increases in shopper numbers creates the potential for serious problems. There are also some consumers who derive a thrill out of stealing. They typically pocket a ‘free’ gift during an otherwise legitimate shopping trip. However, traditional criminals also get in on the act as shops become so packed that it’s much harder for security teams to be aware of the issues. Add to this mix a thriving black market and the lure of swift financial gain is potentially all it takes to motivate the criminally inclined.”

Threats to retailers are not just external. During this time of year figures consistently show an increase in employee theft. This type of theft alone cost the UK economy over £300 million in 2013.

Temporary staff are often employed over the Christmas period, of course, and research recently conducted by First Advantaged shows that significantly more inaccuracies can be found in the CVs of seasonal workers when compared to those of their permanent staff colleagues.

Nearly 50% of education verification tests carried out on seasonal workers uncover discrepancies, while a third of employment history verifications turn up inaccuracies and discrepancies of some form.

According to Roddy, the solution to this issue lies with the retail owners themselves.

“Security should be every shop owner’s number one priority,” asserted Roddy, “not only to ensure that nothing is stolen, but also to guarantee the safety of both customers and staff alike.”

In conclusion, Roddy added: “By implementing appropriate security measures and reviewing the temporary staff that are being employed, there ought to be no reason why crime should be allowed to ruin the Christmas holidays.”

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Paul King joins The Shield Group as regional director

Paul King has been appointed regional director at The Shield Group, the UK’s largest independent Total Security Solutions provider.

King brings with him 25 years’ security sector experience to the role, the last 15 years having been spent in senior management positions which have contributed to exceptionally strong leadership and expert client relationship skills.

King will be based out of The Shield Group’s Manchester office and looking after the group’s Northern portfolio. His commitment to customer service and officer welfare will ensure that The Shield Group’s standards are maintained at the very highest level, and that back-up and support are always available to onsite teams by way of ensuring consistent service delivery.

Paul King: new regional director at The Shield Group

Paul King: new regional director at The Shield Group

For the last eight years, King has been a dedicated member of the Manchester City Crime Prevention Panel. Indeed, King was duly appointed chairman of this Panel at the end of last year.

Following King’s appointment, The Shield Group’s CEO John Roddy commented: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Paul to The Shield Group. Paul’s reputation has preceded him and his achievements, both in his previous role and with the Manchester City Crime Prevention Panel, have been nothing less than impressive. He will make for a great fit within our team.”

Commenting on his new role, King stated: “The opportunity to join The Shield Group gives me great pleasure, and I happily look forward to embarking on this new chapter in my security career. The Shield Group enjoys a great reputation within the industry, and I’m pleased to be able to contribute further to the company’s already long list of achievements thanks to my own personal experience and networks.”

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Stuart Pizzey MBE joins The Shield Group as police liaison and commercial risk advisor

Former police officer Stuart Pizzey MBE has been appointed police liaison and commercial risk advisor at The Shield Group. Pizzey’s remit is to develop relationships with businesses across Greater Manchester and throughout the North West and advise on business risk-based solutions.

52 year-old Pizzey served with the Greater Manchester Police for over 30 years and was awarded a Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in Her Majesty The Queen’s 2003 Birthday Honours List for his services to policing.

Indeed, Pizzey played a crucial role in saving the lives of over 80,000 people during the 1996 IRA bombings in Manchester, with his evacuation Master Plan allowing the police force to usher shoppers and staff to safety. He subsequently received the Community Police Officer of the Year Award in 2000.

Stuart Pizzey MBE

Stuart Pizzey MBE

Pizzey was also instrumental in establishing a radio network alert system which covered nearly 600 pubs, clubs and stores across Manchester such that businesses and the police service are now engaged in 24-hour dialogue to prevent trouble.

In addition, before ASBOs were introduced, Pizzey helped to set up exclusion orders aimed at deterring prolific thieves and criminals from targeting Manchester.

Stuart Pizzey retired from Greater Manchester Police in 2010 and then worked with a number of private security companies in a police liaison role.

Now, Pizzey will be based at The Shield Group’s Manchester offices where he’ll be working in tandem with the company’s Special Liaison Unit (headed up by Ken Stewart QPM) to identify and sustain partnerships with the police service throughout the UK, in turn supporting non-front line duties and responsibilities.

Key working relationships and advisory skills

Speaking about Pizzey’s appointment, The Shield Group’s CEO John Roddy stated: “We’re delighted and very proud to welcome such a distinguished individual as Stuart Pizzey to The Shield Group. Stuart has made a significant and lasting impact on his community through his role at Greater Manchester Police.”

Roddy continued: “For some time now we’ve been fully aware of Stuart’s key working relationships and advisory skills, and we’re very pleased that he has decided to join The Shield Group to both enhance our overall capability in the North West region and at the same time offer support for our programme designed to further develop growing relationships with the police service.”

Referencing his appointment, Stuart Pizzey commented: “The chance to join The Shield Group presents a great challenge and an opportunity to use my skills and experience to better serve our customers nationwide. I’m particularly impressed with the company’s efforts to foster a working relationship with the police service and provide support for non-front line duties and responsibilities. I look forward to working with what is an innovative and ambitious team whose commitment and services to security are testament to the company’s continued growth.”

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Brady and Roberts take key roles at The Shield Group

Gordon Brady has been appointed Chief Operating Officer at The Shield Group, while Eric Roberts takes on the role of managing director for the company’s Monitoring and Systems Division.

Brady, who joined the company back in 2012 as managing director for national accounts, boasts more than 23 years’ security industry experience. As Chief Operating Officer, he will be responsible for The Shield Group’s manpower operations across the UK and Europe, ensuring customers continue to receive first class service and that they benefit from The Shield Group’s Total Security Solutions (TSS) model.

In addition, Brady will be responsible for fostering employee alignment with clearly defined corporate goals and strategies.

The announcement comes at an important juncture for the company. Brady has been an integral part of The Shield Group’s recent success and exponential growth, leading it to become one of the UK’s largest independent TSS providers with a portfolio that encompasses major clients such as the Imperial War Museum. Recently, The Shield Group also launched four strategic verticals, in turn combining traditional manpower and innovative technology to deliver intelligent, risk-based TSS to its customers.

Management of national account portfolio

John Roddy, CEO of The Shield Group, said: “We’re delighted that Gordon has accepted the role of Chief Operating Officer with The Shield Group. We have been very impressed with Gordon’s management of our developing national account portfolio and, in particular, his high standards of customer service and communication. We’re keen to ensure that our service maintains the highest level of performance, and we’re very confident that Gordon’s leadership will ensure this occurs in conjunction with our full Total Security Solutions service capability.”

Dr Richie Nanda, global chairman of The Shield Group and Topsgrup, added: “Making Gordon Brady The Shield Group’s Chief Operating Officer was an easy decision to take. His experience and time with the organisation makes him the ideal candidate. Judging by Gordon’s contribution since joining the company, we’re confident in his ability to lead The Shield Group to even greater heights.”

Gordon Brady: Chief Operating Officer at The Shield Group

Gordon Brady: Chief Operating Officer at The Shield Group

Speaking about his new role, Brady said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed Chief Operating Officer at The Shield Group. Since joining in 2012, I have seen the company transform into one of the UK’s leading security providers. The company’s innovative culture and commitment to excellence promote a progressive and co-operative environment. The company is in a position to lead the way in the industry, and I’m delighted to be a part of that. I look forward to working with the team to grow and enhance our reach in the UK and Europe.”

Prior to joining The Shield Group, Brady spent 16 years with Rentokil Initial as UK retail director and six years with a national FM provider in the role of group operations director for the UK and Ireland.

From 2006 to 2012, Brady worked in the FM sector where he was responsible for a number of key divisions including retail and commercial security guarding, overseeing account growth and development in both areas.

At Initial Security, where Brady worked from 1990 to 2006, he served as national account director specialising in the retail sector and managing a UK portfolio worth over £10 million as well as supporting 16 branches in five different regions.

New managing director for Monitoring and Systems Division

Eric Roberts is the new managing director of The Shield Group’s Monitoring and Systems Division. Roberts, who was previously business development director for Corps Security’s monitoring operation, joined The Shield Group on 1 August to manage the day-to-day operations of the Monitoring and Systems Division. He’s based in the company’s headquarters at Austin Friars, London.

Roberts brings with him a wealth of experience, having started his career over 28 years ago as a security engineer, securing and monitoring CCTV systems for several blue chip companies in the UK. He then progressed to become a sales director at Emizon where he managed business units valued at over £20 million.

Eric Roberts: managing director of The Shield Group's Monitoring and Systems Division

Eric Roberts: managing director of The Shield Group’s Monitoring and Systems Division

Roberts will now oversee The Shield Group’s new state-of-the-art Monitoring Centre based in Preston and covering the North of the UK. He’ll also be developing the company’s portfolio in Europe. Roberts’ role will further include managing the company’s expansion through planned acquisition and business development.

Welcoming Roberts’ appointment, John Roddy said: “Eric joins the company at a time of dynamic transition and growth for our business, reflected in our rapid expansion and ability to attract and recruit talented individuals at all levels of the organisation. Eric’s industry-recognised experience in CCTV and monitoring systems will further enhance our Total Security Solutions service to customers in both the UK and Europe. I’m delighted to welcome someone of his calibre to the team and the unique perspectives he will bring with him to the role.”

Eric Roberts commented: “I’m pleased to be joining one of the UK’s leading security providers and look forward to being part of an outstanding and vibrant team. The company’s constant drive for innovation complements my determination to deliver continued success and world class security solutions to all of our clients. It’s my aim to see The Shield Group continue to lead the way in excellence and professionalism.”

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The Shield Group hosts Summer Security Conference 2014 aboard HMS Belfast

Corporate security, technology, manpower and business leaders from across London attended the recent Summer Security Conference hosted by The Shield Group, the UK’s largest independent Total Security Solutions provider.

The event, which aimed to address key issues facing the security industry, was held on Wednesday 11 June on board HMS Belfast, now a museum ship but originally a Royal Navy light cruiser now permanently moored on the River Thames and operated by the Imperial War Museum (IWM).

Chaired by Ken Stewart (The Shield Group’s corporate risk director and a former Detective Chief Superintendent at the City of London Police), over 100 senior customers and guests joined The Shield Group’s team of experts for an afternoon of networking and presentations delivered by dynamic speakers from the public and private sectors. Presenters spoke on a wide range of important and prominent themes in the business security sector.

Tony Porter (Surveillance Camera Commissioner for England and Wales at the Home Office) discussed the importance of surveillance cameras and the challenges in using such technologies.

Porter began his career at Greater Manchester Police and was subsequently appointed head of CID for South Manchester. In 2008, he was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in the New Year’s Honours list for distinguished service to policing.

Tony Porter: the UK's Surveillance Camera Commissioner

Tony Porter: the UK’s Surveillance Camera Commissioner

Porter moved from policing in September 2012 and took the role of vice-president and head of physical security intelligence for Barclays Bank.

In his new role as Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Porter is currently responsible for encouraging compliance with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice, reviewing the effectiveness of the Code and providing advice on the appropriate and transparent use of surveillance camera systems (all of which he discussed at the Summer Security Conference).

Using CCTV for tackling crime and terrorism

Detective Chief Superintendent Jeff Davies (head of crime and counter-terrorism at the City of London Police) spoke about the importance of CCTV surveillance in tackling crime and terrorist threats.

In his current role, Davies provides briefings and advice on a range of topics including personnel, employment screening, cyber security and protective security against terror and domestic extremism.

Jeff Davies (head of crime and CT at City of London Police) addresses the audience

Jeff Davies (head of crime and CT at City of London Police) addresses the audience

During his presentation, Davies shared details of the Project Griffin scheme. Introduced in April 2004, Project Griffin was established to strengthen the partnership between the City of London Police and security chiefs within the City’s business community. It’s a revolutionary initiative aiming to co-ordinate the resources of the police, the emergency services, local authorities and private sector security.

The Shield Group’s CEO John Roddy is also a member of the Project Griffin Committee.

Tim Strofton: head of museum services and security at IWM

Tim Strofton: head of museum services and security at IWM

Pressing security issues facing the UK

Speaking about the event, The Shield Group’s Ken Stewart said: “The Shield Group Summer Security Conference was yet another fantastic opportunity to emphasise the most pressing security issues currently facing the UK and territories overseas. As The Shield Group is the leading independent Total Security Solutions provider in the UK, we are able to organise such an event which brings a real focus to protecting people, property, assets and brands.”

Ken Stewart of The Shield Group (left) with Jeff Davies on board HMS Belfast

Ken Stewart of The Shield Group (left) with Jeff Davies on board HMS Belfast

John Roddy added: “I’m proud of the quality and quantity of our guests as it reflects our reputation in the industry and interest in our business. It demonstrates that we are changing as a business and that we’re ready to reshape the industry with our unique position in the market.”

The decision to host the event on board HMS Belfast was also directed by the fact that The Shield Group was recently awarded the visitor services and security contract at IWM. That contract includes IWM’s flagship branch that’s transforming with new First World War Galleries and Atrium space opening on Saturday 19 July 2014 to mark the Centenary of the First World War.

It also embraces IWM North (housed in an iconic award-winning building designed by Daniel Libeskind), IWM Duxford (a world-renowned aviation museum and Britain’s best preserved wartime airfield), the Churchill War Rooms (housed in Churchill’s secret headquarters below Whitehall) and the Second World War cruiser HMS Belfast.

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The Shield Group named UK’s ‘Security Solutions Specialist of the Year’

The Shield Group – the UK’s largest independent Total Security Solutions provider – has been named ‘Security Solutions Specialist of the Year’ at Acquisition International’s prestigious M&A Awards 2014.

Now in its third year, AI’s M&A Awards recognise and celebrate the stellar achievements of financial advisers, financiers and service providers pinpointed for demonstrable expertise in their specialised fields, with each award category being nominated for by clients and peers.

The awards are bestowed solely on the basis of merit to commend exceptional service over the last 12 months.

Acquisition International is a popular monthly financial magazine with a global circulation positioned to reach influential deal makers and senior financial professionals.

Leading national security provider

The Shield Group is an award-winning total security solutions company which has been at the forefront of the industry since its inception 25 years ago. The group has been recognised following a successful acquisition by India’s largest security company, Topsgrup, which was led by executive chairman Dr Richie Nanda.

Dr Richie Nanda: executive chairman at The Shield Group

Dr Richie Nanda: executive chairman at The Shield Group

In July 2012, Dr Nanda completed a £19.5 million acquisition of The Shield Group, initiated with a 51% controlling stake in 2008. The acquisition enabled the company to make vital in-roads into the regional UK security market, in turn transforming The Shield Group into a leading national security provider.

The company has since launched several new offices across the UK, including its regional headquarters in Manchester, increased staffing numbers to 2,500 and the number of customers it serves to 400.

In addition, The Shield Group has hired seven managing and regional directors, invested over £1 million to realise an NSI Gold certified Alarm Monitoring Centre in Preston and launched new business divisions – Shield Guarding and Shield Strategic Solutions with sub-verticals Shield Consults, Shield Monitoring Services and Shield Vetting – to offer bespoke security services to clients.

Furthermore, under Dr Nanda’s leadership the business has secured a number of high-profile contracts, including The Imperial War Museum and Bournemouth University.

All of these changes helped increase revenues from £61 million (2013) to £81million (projected for 2014).

With a growth in EBIDTA of 67% from the last financial year, the combined turnover for Topsgrup and Shield this financial year is expected to be £170 million.

Increased growth, new business wins

“We are truly excited to have been named the Security Solutions Specialist of the Year,” said Dr Richie Nanda. “We have had an exceptional 12 months with increasing growth and new business wins. This award is testament to the team’s remarkable work ethic and our world class services and products. Though this award brings great pride to The Shield Group, it also brings a lot of responsibility and we endeavour to uphold the trust and loyalty that our clients place in our services.”

John Roddy: CEO at The Shield Group

John Roddy: CEO at The Shield Group

Also speaking about the award win, John Roddy (CEO of The Shield Group) added: “This is great news. I’m pleased for everyone at The Shield Group. We place a lot of emphasis on our specialised security model, Total Security Solutions (TSS), which is paying dividends. The acquisition from Topsgrup has allowed us to combine expertise and innovative knowledge to better our offering to clients while at the same time benefiting from economies of scale. This is further endorsement of our benchmarking security solution offering, and we look forward to the challenge of continuing the tradition of pushing innovation within the sector.”

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ACS Pacesetters recognised at inaugural Achievement Awards Luncheon

The inaugural ACS Pacesetters Achievement Awards Luncheon was held at Royal Windsor Racecourse on Wednesday 4 June. Scheme members in attendance received engraved plaques commemorating their achievements during 2013-2014.

Security companies present included Advance Security, Axis Security, Contract Security (United Kingdom), Corps Security, Danhouse Security, Equinox Security Management, First Response Group, GBM Support Services, Hard Hat Logistics, Incentive Lynx Security, Interr Security, Kingdom Security, Oakpark Security Management, Octavian Security, Shield Security Services, Sodexo, The Specialist Security Company, The Keyholding Company, The Shield Group, TSS Security UK, Ward Security and Wilson James.

Left to Right: Anne Wheeley and Allen Parton (Hounds for Heroes), Terry O’Neil and Lynda Moore (ACS Pacesetters)

Left to Right: Anne Wheeley and Allen Parton (Hounds for Heroes), Terry O’Neil and Lynda Moore (ACS Pacesetters)

The event was kindly sponsored by Cobia, Eurotech Monitoring, the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB), Sutton Specialist Risks, The Security Watchdog (part of Capita plc), Interr Security and Wilson James.

Security Officer of Distinction Awards

The event also witness the launch of the new ‘Security Officer of Distinction Award.

Bill Butler, CEO of the Security Industry Authority, agreed to present individual awards to ten very worthy security officers.

Winners of the Security Officer of Distinction Awards pictured with Bill Butler (CEO, SIA) and Lynda Moore of ACS Pacesetters

Winners of the Security Officer of Distinction Awards pictured with Bill Butler (CEO, SIA) and Lynda Moore of ACS Pacesetters

Each officer was nominated by their client company. Nominations were endorsed by individual employers and the final selections made by the sponsors of the ACS Pacesetters Achievement Awards.

In 2014, the winners are as follows:

• Sophie Cook (Axis Security Services)
• Paul Hodgson (Equinox Security Management)
• Muhammad Butt (Interr Security)
• Stuart House (Kingdom Security)
• Stephen Newall (Oakpark Security Systems)
• Nicholas Jansen (Shield Security Services)
• Christopher Lowe (Sodexo)
• Dumitru Didu (TSS Security)
• Douglas Johnson (Ward Security)
• John Taylor (Wilson James)

A charity raffle took place at the conclusion of the event, with all proceeds going to Hounds for Heroes. Over £1,400 was raised on the day for this very worthwhile cause.
Generous prizes were donated by the Hindhead Golf Club, the Royal Windsor Racecourse, Sodexo and FM Contract Watch.

There was also an extremely moving speech delivered by Gulf War veteran Allen Parton, whose long-held dream and partnership with his Labrador, Endal, formed the basis for the foundation of Hounds for Heroes.

The purpose of Hounds for Heroes is to provide specially trained assistance dogs to injured and disabled men and women of both the UK Armed Forces and the Emergency Services. Through this provision, the organisation’s key aim is to provide help and practical support leading to an enhanced quality of life for its clients.

*If you’d like to find out more information on Hounds for Heroes please visit: http://houndsforheroes.com/

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