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BSIA hosts National Shred Day this October

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has announced it will be hosting its inaugural National Shred Day on behalf of its Information Destruction members, in partnership with independent national charity Crimestoppers.

National Shred Day, which will be held at multiple locations across the United Kingdom on Saturday 2 October, is an opportunity for small businesses and members of the public to safely dispose their confidential waste for a nominal donation.

The BSIA’s Information Destructions members will be providing their disposal units at regional sites which will be advertised locally over the summer and will be based in the car parks of large commercial parks in regions stretching from the West Country to Scotland.

All donations given on the day go towards the regional projects carried out by Crimestoppers. The charity supports people who have crime information and want to do the right thing, but feel they’ve nowhere else to turn. Crimestoppers guarantee 100% anonymity to everyone who contacts them online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling freephone 0800 555 111.

Crimestoppers takes over 1,000 calls and contacts each and every day with information that helps stop crime. Once anonymised, vital intelligence is passed on to police and other UK law enforcement agencies. Crimestoppers information prevents bomb and acid attacks, gang violence, murders, illegal drugs, child abuse, domestic abuse and modern slavery. Anonymous information is also used to catch dangerous fugitives who are on the run both here and abroad. It also helps police investigators solve difficult cases so that families can get the justice they desperately seek.

Kristian Carter, Chairman of the BSIA’s Information Destruction section and Commercial Director at Shred Station, said: “Over lockdown many small companies and independent traders will have stored up a considerable amount of confidential waste and often small shredders will not be sufficient enough to dispose of it safely. It is essential now more than ever that confidential documented information on people and businesses is destroyed securely to avoid the possibility of fraud occurring, and our Information Destruction companies play a crucial role in maintaining confidentiality with all kinds of paper data.

“National Shred Day is an opportunity for us to assist in making sure that any confidential waste in your home and small office can be destroyed in a safe and environmentally positive way.”

Mark Hallas, Chief Executive of the charity Crimestoppers, said: “Protecting your information is a priority to both our charity and BSIA. We are delighted that BSIA recognises the huge value of our work in supporting people and communities to speak up anonymously about crime.

“I’d like to thank BSIA for using this opportunity to help raise vital funds for our charity and I encourage you all to fully support the first ever UK National Shred Day.”

The confidential paper waste that is collected on the day will be securely shredded on-site before being baled and recycled into paper and tissue products.

For more information on National Shred Day please visit www.bsia.co.uk/national-shred-day.

British Security Awards winners revealed

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The British Security Awards, presented by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), has recognised security officers and companies working to keep people, property and places safe during the last 18 months. 

Held online for a second year due to continued COVID-19 restrictions, the show also featured the Chairman’s Award, dedicated to Skills for Security Chairman and long-time BSIA associate Tony Allen, who sadly died at the beginning of the month.

The awards also featured presentations from West Midlands and Greater Manchester Police as part of the Association’s SaferCash initiative, announcing the bravery awards for the Cash & Valuables in Transit members and its inaugural Police Partnership Initiative Award.

The awards were presented by broadcaster Sue Hill, with the SaferCash awards being presented by Assistant Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police, Jayne Meir and Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Nicky Porter.

The 2021 winners are:

Best Newcomer: Katelyn Gordon – Mitie

Service to the Customer: Anthony Chell – Mitie

Outstanding Act: Denzil Whathen – Securitas UK

Security Manager of the Year: Graham Rouse – Mitie

Best Team: Beacon Shopping Centre Security Team – G4S

Apprentice of the Year: Jessica Goodson – ADT (Johnson Controls)

National Partnership: Network Rail: Protecting the public, managing risk – STM Group

Installer of the Year: nmcn

Innovative Security Project: GradeShift Pro Radio/Radio (All IP) – CSL Group

Business of the Year: MAN Commercial Protection

SME of the Year: Corsight AI

Environmental Project of the Year: Frontline Faceshields Project – Shred Station

Best Use of Technology: ID Ultra – Reliance High Tech

Contribution to the Industry: Jason Towse – Mitie

Industry Bravery: Rory Middleton & Mr David Paynter – Loomis

Police Partnership Initiative: DCI Christopher Mossop – Greater Manchester Police

Chairman’s Award: Tony Allen

Details of the achievements of the winners and finalists can be found on the British Security Awards website at www.britishsecurityawards.co.uk/winners-2021

Mike Reddington, Chief Executive, BSIA, said: “Once again in 2021, the security industry has demonstrated its commitment to keeping people, property and places safe by presenting us with some fantastic examples of the immense wealth of talent, innovation and best practice on display in both our membership and the wider industry.

“The scale of achievement in 2021 is remarkable, and today we were able to recognise these forward-thinking and professional self-starters who represent our industry on a day-to-day basis. Congratulations to every one of you on your success today.”

In announcing the Chairman’s Award, Simon Banks, Chairman, BSIA, said: “As we were putting the show together at the beginning of June, we received the very sad news that one of the Association’s most ardent supporters and industry leaders for over 40 years, Tony Allen had passed away after a long battle with Leukaemia. Most recently Tony held the post of Chairman of Skills for Security, playing a crucial role in steering the company out of the poor financial position, and relentlessly driving quality improvements to course content and delivery.

“In fitting tribute, the 2021 Chairman’s Award posthumously goes to Tony and to his family as the Association’s – and my own personal – thank you, for his invaluable contribution to an industry he clearly loved.”

The full event can be viewed on the BSIA’s YouTube page, www.youtube.co.uk/user/theBSIA

School Security

BSIA survey highlights public perceptions of security personnel

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The current public perception of security officers seen as playing an ‘essential role’ in the United Kingdom, both prior and during the COVID-19 pandemic, is ranked only ‘slightly ahead of traffic wardens’, according to a survey conducted by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA).

Perceptions of the security officer, carried out by YouGov with support from the Security Institute (SyI) and the Security Commonwealth (SyCom), as part of the ‘Hidden Workforce’ campaign, the survey’s objective was to understand the current perception of security officers amongst the British public and to understand the extent of the key issues they face, namely potential lack of respect, recognition and underestimation of their role.

While 31% of those polled believed that security officers are fundamental to keeping the UK safe and secure, with 41% indicating respect and a feeling of safety due to the work that security officers carry out, the role of the security officer ranked 9th out of 10 essential services, behind postal workers and pharmacists, and just ahead of traffic wardens, who were ranked 10th. When asked about these roles during COVID-19, security officers were not mentioned at all as an essential service.

The Top 3 were NHS workers, nurses and care workers.

When asked about which characteristics describe the personality of a security officer, the highest scores were ‘honest’, ‘alert’, ‘trustworthy’, ‘brave’ and confident, but some respondents looked at officers as being ‘authoritative’, ‘rigid’, ‘burly’, ‘threatening’ and ‘unintelligent’. Respondents also felt that the crimes that security officers help prevent are shoplifting, anti-social behaviour and petty crime, and that officers should only work closely with the police if asked.

Mike Reddington, Chief Executive, BSIA, said: “The results of the YouGov survey, Perceptions of the Security Officer, highlight that, whilst a good level of the general public feel safe and reassured in the presence of a security officer, they do not see their services as essential and even less so during the recent pandemic. Although security officers were recognised by the UK Government as key workers during this time, it seems that the perception of the role they play in our daily lives is still at a low level and this needs to be addressed urgently.”

Rick Mounfield, Chief Executive, the Security Institute, said: “The public seem unaware of the critical role security officers play in supporting the Police in deterring crime and terrorism, let alone their intervention when theft, robbery and attacks occur. The survey demonstrates that the average citizen in the UK pays little to no attention to what a security officer is doing. 

“However, this is not all bad, because a good security posture should be low key until crisis hits.  The important aspect is that the public should at least, recognise what security officers provide, ensuring their safety. These are the people they will look to in a crisis.” 

The YouGov survey is part of the campaign that the BSIA is running with the Security Institute and the Security Commonwealth, ‘the Hidden Workforce – resetting the perceptions of the security officer’, which aims to change this perception of security officers in the long term and to reset the perception of the security officer as a respected, valued, professional service provider, contributing to and creating a safe and secure environment that is critical to protecting people, places, and property – a key worker that is acknowledged and embedded in our daily lives.

To reflect a modern inclusive and diverse security workforce, the BSIA has also introduced new terminology across its communications platforms. The Association will be discontinuing the use of the terms ‘security guarding’, ‘manpower’, ‘manned guarding’, ‘security guard(s)’ and ‘security guarding section’, replacing them with ‘Security Officer Services’ and ‘security officer’.

The YouGov survey was commissioned in September, with over 2000 respondents aged between 18 and 55 from the ABC1 and C2DE backgrounds. 

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…

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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 industry.” 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