BSIA’s national winners represent the best of the security industry

Samantha Robinson, of Advance Security UK Limited - Best Newcomer
Samantha Robinson, of Advance Security UK Limited - Best Newcomer

The hard work and achievements of 15 outstanding security professionals have been recognised in the national round of this year’s British Security Industry Association (BSIA) Security Personnel Awards, which were presented today (16th July) at the Association’s exclusive annual lunch held at the London Hilton on Park Lane.

Commander Steve Rodhouse, Commander for Gang and Organised Crime for the Metropolitan Police, presented the prestigious awards, which provide an exclusive platform to showcase the excellence and outstanding performances displayed by employees of BSIA member companies.

Currently in their 15th year, the awards are presented in five key categories: Service to the Customer, Outstanding Act, Best Newcomer, Best Use of Technology and Best Team. A full list of winners and their achievements can be found below.

“The BSIA is always keen to ensure that the efforts and talents of personnel who make invaluable contributions towards maintaining high standards in our industry are not overlooked,” comments James Kelly, Chief Executive of the BSIA. “The awards give us the opportunity to recognise and reward individuals and teams that continue to exceed our expectations year upon year.

“This year in particular we received a large amount of exceptional nominations, making the appointment of this year’s winners even more difficult than usual. Our 15 winners encompass the value of the security industry, demonstrating intelligent and innovative uses of technology, teamwork, unrivalled customer service and commendable acts of bravery and we are extremely proud to have them working within our industry.”

The awards would not be possible without the support of Camberford Law PLC, specialist insurance brokers to the BSIA and the private security industry, who have sponsored the awards since their inception.

David Ottewill, Managing Director of the company, comments on the value of the awards: “So often good work goes unnoticed by the public and industry at large, and we want to recognise the hard work and achievements of these high calibre professionals. We are very proud to be associated with the BSIA Awards and the talent displayed by the winners.”

BSIA National Security Personnel Award winners 2013

Service to the Customer

Joe Harrigan – Joe from The Westgrove Group has been demonstrating his assertiveness and dedication at the Frenchgate Shopping Centre in Doncaster for over four years. He not only cares about the wellbeing of tenants and visitors to the shopping centre, but also the wider community, using his knowledge acquired as a Police Officer to support his duties within the centre. He regularly attends various crime partnership meetings on behalf of the shopping centre and has initiated a number of projects for the benefit of the centre and the officers on site. His star quality has been said to be his ‘can do’ attitude, which never fails to impress.

Helen Stevens – Helen, from Advance Security UK Limited, has been committed to her contract at Arla Foods, turning the site into a smooth and streamlined operation since her arrival. Helen’s extensive knowledge of security and the premises means that she has been able to make a number of recommendations that have provided real benefits to the site. She is very much seen as the site supervisor and provides essential leadership for the rest of the team, even taking responsibility for the training of the security team. Helen’s dedication meant that she quickly became the pivotal link on site for the client and the rest of the security officers.

Shaun Spurway – Shaun, of Corps Security, has been fulfilling his role as Senior Site Supervisor at a large site, home to over 1400 staff and running to 633 acres. In his role, Shaun is responsible for providing security to the entire premises, along with managing 24 security officers, all of which he carries out to an extremely high standard on a daily basis. He is notorious for his commitment and attention to detail, with colleagues knowing that any projects he takes on will be carried out in a logical, concise and prompt manner. His hard work and determination have earned him respect from his fellow officers, along with his customer.

Outstanding Act

Mark Cooper – Mark works for The Westgrove Group as a Security Officer at the Podium Shopping Centre in Bath. One afternoon, Mark was faced with a serious situation when he came across an agitated young woman pacing up and down a walkway by a river well-known for its strong undercurrent. It soon became clear that the young lady was planning to jump into the river; luckily Mark’s quick reactions meant that he was able to grab hold of her backpack and pull her to safety. During the incident, Mark was also able to notify other members of his team for assistance. Had Mark not been on duty, a life may have been lost.

Michael Smyth – Michael, from Vision Security Group (VSG), works at a hospital and one day he was called to attend a routine incident involving an unruly patient who had locked themselves in a room. The incident soon became severe, as the patient had managed to open an exterior window on an upper level of a multi-storey building and was proceeding to climb through it. Michael quickly assessed the situation, kicked the door open and rushed to grab the patient who was balancing dangerously on the window sill. Luckily, Michael was able to pull them back to safety and restrain them until the window was secured by ward staff, saving their life.

Ahmed Akinjobi – Ahmed works for Incentive Lynx Security on a contract for More London. One evening he was out on patrol when he came across a young lady standing on a wall facing the river Thames. Ahmed approached the situation with caution, quickly realising that the female was planning to jump into the river. As she attempted to do so, Ahmed was able to pull her back to safety, saving her life. He was also able to alert other security members onsite who contacted the emergency services, allowing them to attend the scene and assist. Throughout the entire time, Ahmed remained calm and in control, utilising his training in order to save the young lady’s life.

Best Newcomer

Ethan Hanley – Ethan, from VSG, was chosen to head up the operation for the mobilisation of an EMEA ROC. He hit the ground running, and his ‘can do’ attitude and innovative ideas proved invaluable to the mobilisation of 21 local receiving centres. He utilised his intuition to quickly identifiy any missing information or processes and design new work flows, demonstrating determination, adaptability and a calm nature in the face of ever-changing requests. The hard work and commitment of Ethan and his team ultimately meant that the project was amazingly eight months ahead of schedule.

Samantha Robinson – Samantha, of Advance Security UK Limited, has been excelling in her role as a front of house receptionist for a multi-purpose building in Manchester. Despite it being only her second role since leaving education, she has been unafraid to take on multiple responsibilities and utilised her strong administrative experience to ensure the smooth running of the building. In just 12 months, Samantha grew her own role to incorporate the security and management of the entire building, even taking on additional hours so she could be the pivotal point of contact for the various tenants, contractors and other service providers.

Rob Bowker – Prior to his role at Tweedale Industrial Estates, Rob, of Advance Security UK Limited, had not worked within the security industry and was originally recruited as a support officer on a temporary basis. However, his colleagues were so pleased by his work at the estate that he was made a permanent officer to the site, and more recently, has been promoted to Security Supervisor – all within an outstanding ten month time period. Rob has been noted for his positivity and enthusiasm, working hard to quickly get up to speed on the site and his duties, identify where the issues lay and work with on-site tenants to tackle them head on.

Best use of Technology

Murshed Mohammed – Murshed, from VSG, works as a Safety and Security Team Leader at an IKEA store in Essex. After a distressed customer reported her handbag as stolen – with her car keys, house keys, iPhone4 and cash inside – Murshed quickly came up with an effective plan of action. Utilising a tracking application on his own iPhone to link with the customer’s tracking application, he was able to combine the technology with Google map software in order to view and follow the precise movements of the customer’s phone. This led to the safe return of the customer’s belongings and the conviction of a female, who had previous offences, who was sentenced to two months prison for the theft.

Colin Robertson – Colin, from G4S, has been lending his technical expertise on a contract for The Glenmorangie Company, for over seven years. Alongside his day-to-day duties as a Security Officer, Colin demonstrated a keen interest in, and an apparent aptitude for developing, the sites security systems and Building Management System (BMS). Following the move of Glenmorangie to a new purpose built bottling plant, Colin, without any prompting, began to assess how well the site was working, and what security arrangements were being employed. He demonstrated a passion for technology and a capacity for ensuring that the systems were utilised as best as possible to secure the customer’s premises.

Gareth Stead-Clark – Gareth, from VSG, took a leading role within the team at the Mall Blackburn, working alongside Mall management on several technology based projects. These included appraisals and enhancements for the CCTV system and internal security database management and improvements. He took an extremely proactive approach to his position, spending time getting to grips with new technology, which has allowed him to apply his expertise across various initiatives. The Mall management, CCTV operator colleagues and visiting CCTV engineers have all benefited from Gareth’s knowledge.

Best Team

The Volkswagen Group Team – The Volkswagen Group Team, from VSG, consists of 21 dedicated officers who offer their dedication and high calibre customer service across four Volkswagen sites. The commitment and dedication of the team is second to none, holding the lowest absenteeism record within VSG since 2008. The team have also managed a near 100% Service Level Agreement (SLA) score since 2008. The officers are described as selfless and dedicated to the client, regularly thinking of new ideas in order to ease the workload of the client’s staff. The team exhibit a secure, polite and professional manner at all times, making visitors feel welcome at the sites.

The Priory Shopping Centre Team – The Priory Shopping Centre Team, from SPS Security Ltd, have been working at the shopping centre since last April and have been working tirelessly with the local police force to help drive crime down by 19%. Alongside this they have also helped the centre raise over £1000 for local and national charities and have even saved the lives of two customers within a six month time period by working together to perform CPR. The team have become a significant part of the wider community, extending their services beyond the tenants of the shopping centre to high street retailers, who have come to rely on their outstanding service.

The Mobile Support Team – The team of Mobile Support Officers from VSG have been contributing their skills to their retail client across the North West region. The delivery, mobilisation and introduction of regional Mobile Support Officers was launched by VSG in 2012. The aim of these officers was to help reduce organised crime and formulate close working crime prevention partnerships across the catchment area, alongside building partnerships with local constabularies. This new venture proved to be successful, with the crime rate reducing and a higher number of arrests being made. Since their deployment, the team have managed to successfully recover stock to the value of over £125,000.

Companies interested in BSIA membership can find out more about the many benefits of belonging to the Association – including the annual award presentations – by visiting

BSIA Website