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School Security

BSIA pressures government over key worker status

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has called on the Government to clarify the status of its members in light of the possibility of a lockdown and the closure of UK schools.

BSIA members cover a wide range of security services, from manpower and key holding services, security guarding personnel, cash couriers, technology centre monitoring and alarm critical management, fire and systems category 1 response, CCTV operators and security systems installation and operators.

It says all of these roles contribute to the safe and secure day to day running of British business as well as public spaces and institutions. BSIA member companies members employ a significant number of personnel in these critical roles and the Association believes these roles fall within the ‘critical workers’ classification.

The BSIA is therefore calling first for clarification on the following:

  • Whether workers who have school aged children in mainstream education from security services such as cash couriers and ATM providers, security guarding companies, security systems and CCTV operators can be classed as critical workers and therefore able to operate on a ‘business as usual’ case – meaning their key workers are exempt from their children being sent home.
  • Whether security companies who provide services such as cash couriers and ATM providers, security guarding companies, security systems and CCTV operators can be classed as critical services under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and be exempt from any relevant restrictions placed upon transport and travelling, office working and property guarding, remotely and physically.

Mike Reddington, Chief Executive, BSIA, said: “Our members provide security services critical to the UK infrastructure on a day to day basis, and in the current climate, these services become even more essential. It is vital that these organisations continue to have access to their critical teams and infrastructure to support the wider variety of clients, including the Police, schools, banks, supermarkets, pharmacies, and critical supply chains.

“We are therefore calling on the Government to urgently clarify the status of our industry members as critical services and the status of their employees as critical workers.”

School Security

Westgrove Group personnel recognised at BSIA awards

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Facilities management company the Westgrove Group has scooped a number of industry awards for its security personnel work.

Six colleagues won regional awards in this year’s British Security Industry Association (BSIA) awards. There was further success in the ACS Pacesetters Security Officer of Distinction awards where the company scooped one of only 13 UK awards.

The BSIA award winners were recognised by the trade body representing the UK’s private security industry, in four categories. Winners of the regional awards are put forward to the BSIA’s panel of national judges.

The BSIA holds awards both regionally and nationally to celebrate some of the outstanding personnel within the industry who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their everyday work.

The ACS awarded Steve Brooks one of only 13 Security Officer of Distinction Awards in relation in response to his contribution at Templars Square Shopping Centre in Oxford. Steve was praised after he bravely calmed a woman who was threatening to jump from the roof then went to put out a fire started by two homeless men.

Approved Contract Scheme Pacesetters membership is made up of Contract Security Guarding Companies who are in the top 15% benchmarking and achievement levels set by the Security Industry Authority Approved Contractor Scheme.

Steve will receive his award at an event at Royal Windsor Racecourse in Berkshire on May 22.

Mike Reddington, Chief Executive of the BSIA said: “It is vital as the voice of the professional security industry that we recognise the great lengths security personnel go to in keeping the public and property safe.

“More often than not, these security professionals are first on the scene when incidents and emergencies occur and they demonstrate true quality and professionalism in their actions. This year’s regional winners are no exception and have shown remarkable achievements throughout the past year.”

Westgrove Group Managing Director Claire McKinley Smith said: “As always, we are very proud of our security officers for their dedication, loyalty, team work, customer service, use of technology and their bravery. 

“It is a remarkable achievement and a testament to how our people go the extra mile for the company and our Partners.”

The Westgrove BSIA regional winners are:

Service to the Customer: Steve Allen, Haymarket Shopping Centre, Leicester

Dual Service Manager Steven was instrumental in achieving the Westgrove Aspire Six-Star award for the Centre and gained ROSPA’s silver award for the second year running. He was part of the Green Initiative for his work to help reduce the Centre’s environmental impact, slashing power consumption by 35% and introducing the Lotus Pro chemical free cleaning system which has cut the team’s chemical use by 95%. Steve, 57, won praise for his ‘consistently high performance and improvement in staff morale which gives great value to the client and demonstrable results’.

Service to the Customer: Paul Ogden, Market Place, Bolton

As part of the service to Market Place shoppers the centre was keen to ensure that they identified a mental health first aider, something which is being called for by many companies in the UK to be mandatory as part of the ‘Time to Change’ campaign. Paul Ogden is Westgrove’s first site based Mental Health First-Aider. Paul is now available to offer support and advice to vulnerable customers visiting the centre as well as to the centre’s tenants. Paul, 49, was praised for his outstanding customer service, his positive outlook and his extreme reliability. 

Best use of Technology: Vijay Odedra, Haymarket Shopping Centre, Leicester

On top of his job as a security officer, Vijay, 27, used his initiative to introduce a comprehensive Health and Safety online log which is now an essential part of monthly Health & Safety meetings. It helps to track maintenance issues which may have otherwise been overlooked and caused a danger to public and staff. Vijay received an internal accolade from the shopping centre for his work as well as a Quarterly Service Excellence award from the Westgrove Group. 

Outstanding Act: Gavin Jones, 50, Matthew Lamb, 48, and John Wallbank, 47, Ropewalk Shopping Centre, Nuneaton

The team, who have each worked in the industry for over 14 years, worked together to prevent an intoxicated man with a drink driving conviction from driving too far after leaving the car park. Their quick thinking and instinctive skills were praised by the police for ensuring that the public were not put in danger due to the actions of the driver.

Outstanding Act: Steven Travis, Arcades Shopping Centre, Ashton-under-Lyne

Steve, 56, bravely dealt with a gang of teenagers running amok in the shopping centre throwing bottles and armed with a knife. He kept a clear head, radioed for help, calmed the situation down and removed the youths from the premises.

Best Newcomer: Matthew Bray, Concourse Shopping Centre, Skelmersdale 

Security Officer Matthew, 30, won praise for his ‘infectious personality and drive to help others’ after just four months in the job. He was recognised for helping an elderly man who was unsteady on his feet to do his shopping and also for quickly resolving an issue with a children’s vending machine for a customer.

Two extra dates confirmed for BSIA’s apprenticeship framework breakfast briefings…

800 450 Jack Wynn

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has added two extra dates to its ‘Apprenticeship Breakfast Briefings’ series following the success of the first meeting held in Birmingham on December 7. 

Hosted in partnership with Skills for Security, the free-to-attend briefings will be held in January 2017 and plans to discuss the apprenticeship levy in detail; providing advice on how Skills for Security and the BSIA can help employers adapt to these changes due to be funded from April next year. 

Simon Banks, founder of the Apprentices for Fire and Security Programme and one of the featured speakers at the Birmingham event, commented on the success of the meeting: “It was great to see such a fantastic turn out at the briefing, with delegates keen to find out more about the new apprenticeship framework and how they can bring apprentices on board their business.

“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to build on the skills of the younger generation and pave the way for a positive career, ultimately contributing to the overall success of a business; therefore, it’s vital that employers understand that a service industry without skilled engineers is restricting their business and the entire value chain. These breakfast briefings provide vital information about changes to apprenticeships, how new funds can best be utilised and the wide array of training available to the

The dates and venues for the additional briefings are:

  • Tuesday, January 10 2017, 8:30am– 10:30am – The Atrium, UBM, 240 Blackfriars Rd, London SE1 8BF. 
  • Thursday, January 19 2017, 8:30am – 10:30am – The Holiday Inn Runcorn, Wood Ln, Runcorn WA7 3HA.

Register for one of the 2017 briefings here 

BSIA to host breakfast briefings on new apprenticeship framework…

800 450 Jack Wynn

A series of free-to-attend and informative breakfast briefings hosted by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) are set to bring crucial information to employers in the fire and security sectors ahead of important changes to the way apprenticeships are funded in England and Wales. 

In partnership with Skills for Security, the first is scheduled to be held in Birmingham, with two further briefings are planned for early January 2017 in London and the north of England.   

Peter Sherry, interim director general at Skills for Security said: “At the end of 2016, the government’s funding framework for apprenticeships is due to change, with the introduction of a new ‘trailblazer’ operating model and apprenticeship levy. With many employers within the security and fire sectors set to be affected by these changes, the BSIA and Skills for Security wanted to provide valuable advice to help them understand how these changes will affect their business.” 

David Wilkinson, director of Technical Services at the BSIA, and Simon Banks, group managing director at CSL Dualcom and founder of the Apprentices for Fire and Security programme will join Sherry as speakers for the briefings; with topics under discussion include an introduction to the apprenticeship levy, how the BSIA and Skills for Security can help employers adapt to these changes, an explanation of what’s changing, and insight into the value of apprenticeships and the benefits for business.  

Delegates will have the opportunity to ask questions and seek advice from the expert panel on issues specifically relevant to their business.    

Registration to attend the event is free-of-charge and can be completed here

To download a full programme, click here