Security – What are you buying?
Who is that member of staff in your guard room/on your reception desk/patrolling your building?
Do we think he has the correct training? Back ground checks? company induction? Is aware of standard operating procedures?
In most cases unless you purchase your security from a SIA Approved contractor, the answer is……. NO
Businesses spend hundreds of millions of pounds on something that they have no knowledge of and in all likely hood don’t wish to have the knowledge, it’s a scary thought!! Thinking all your sensitive material, your physical building and infrastructure could be being guarded by somebody who answered a Facebook post only a few hours before the shift began…….
The Approved contractor scheme
This was instigated by the governing body of the security industry, a government department set up to clean and regulate the whole industry, with only limited powers over the individual guards and no legislation over the companies themselves.
This led to the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) being introduced on a voluntary proposal which has been taken up by ONLY 5% of the industry, while the other 95% of the industry is completely unregulated and many behaving in a completely unprofessional and dangerous manner…. putting their staff, your staff, and your building at massive risks, all because when you put out your tender you had no real knowledge on what you were buying and possibly bought on price as a tick in the box for your insurance cover.
In any other aspect of your business when you purchase a service or product do you go with the cheapest or do you do your research and get the best value for money?
In that case why not security?
The problem has become so worrying that Scottish parliament has instigated legislation that all council and government contracts have to be ACS approved contractors…..
Legislation was brought about because of the incredibly worrying consequences of buying from one of the many rouge companies who openly advertise your security on social media. Putting un-regulated, unvetted operatives into your business, are they even a trained licenced security officer?
The questions you need to ask yourself:-
Will they be vigilant on your site or will they find a cosy corner to have a sleep if working the night shift?
Will they go through your systems to find sensitive data they can sell or will they fill their pockets with stock or valuables?
Very sadly only last year did a gate house guard die on site in the poor weather due to completely inadequate welfare facilities, and no checks were done on lone working staff….
Another recent case that effected a number of large high profile events where up to 50 so called security officers were to found have no SIA badges, with many being barred from working in the industry due to previous criminal records
It’s not just the cost of an intrusion or a break in to your secure facility that can be damaging and detrimental to your company. Something as low level as an argument between one of your security and a client or member of the public, while the security officer was attempting to do their job but it hitting social media in a negative light and due to poor training and the lack of soft skills its handled inappropriately and does untold damage to your business profile…..
And the final, and although least likely, what about the internal terrorist threat, with no compliance to British standards, who is really guarding your property? Event, club or festival…..
We all need to be a little more aware and do your research on who your buying from. An ACS company is the best place to start and really your only option………