David Dickinson – Comedy at the BSIA Awards – no laughing matter?

David Dickinson

David Dickinson, former British Security Industry Association Chief Executive, who led the security industry through the crucial regulatory transition phase from 2002 to 2006, writes for Infologue.com and discusses the BSIA Annual Luncheon. David writes: “Each year there are ‘recognition and awards’ events in the security industry calendar, writes regular Infologue.com contributor, David Dickinson. No one will be surprised if I say that the BSIA Annual Luncheon is, for me, the outstanding gathering. Not only do members of the Association have the opportunity to attend the Annual General Meeting and, if they so wish, ask sometimes awkward questions, but they also invite friends, colleagues and customers to the Luncheon that follows.

“Since the late nineties, the event has been used to showcase, recognise and make awards to some outstanding industry people. Security officers receive awards in five categories; outstanding act, service to the customer, best newcomer, best use of technology and best team. Apprentice installers have their own awards along with CVIT awards for outstanding service. The BSIA Chair also presents their personally selected awards. Not only do the winners receive the awards themselves, but part of their day is that they have, traditionally, received them from some very important people. In my time at the BSIA, we were honoured by the presence of HRH the Princess Royal, by two Home Office Ministers of State, one HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary who arrived at the luncheon and another who was called away at the last minute and whose place was taken by Sir Ken Knight, HM Chief Inspector of Fire Services, who filled in magnificently, especially in awarding the SIA- sponsored commendations for bravery the officers who showed such courage on 7/7. Admiral Lord West of Spithead, when Security Minister came to lunch, as did Sir Paul Stephenson when Met Commissioner and yet another Minister, Lynne Featherstone.

“So, the awards are important, but so is the ambience, the general feeling of an industry quietly celebrating its’ people and their successes in the presence of a Guest of Honour. It is surely crucial that this tradition is maintained and even, where possible, improved upon. The popularity of the event was undoubted. It moved to progressively larger venues and even then, sometimes sold out well before the day. If ever the rule ‘if it’s not broke don’t fix it’ should apply it is to this event.

“It was therefore with disbelief that I read a recent press release from the BSIA, telling us that ‘the BSIA’s flagship event returns to the London Hilton on Park Lane this July’. It goes on to mention all the awards, and then comes the reason for my disbelief. It goes on to say, ‘this year’s guest speaker is a stand-up comedian and serving police officer, Alfie Moore. Leave aside the stand-up comedian for a moment, what’s happened to the Guest of Honour? And going back to Alfie, (billed as a Detective Sergeant with Humberside police) whilst what one can see of him on YouTube is very funny (in an ‘all blokes together’ sort of atmosphere), is it really the image that our industry wants to convey at its’ ‘flagship event? I think if I were to be an award winner, I might just feel short-changed!

“Another question I would like to ask is “how much is the fee”? I’m sure Alfie doesn’t come cheap!”

David is a security industry specialist managing a relatively orderly transition during the implementation of the Private Security Industry Act 2001 and established the BSIA as a trusted partner of the SIA. Introduced the ‘Safercash’ initiative (with the fullest cooperation of the CVIT industry) and changed perceptions of the nature of CVIT crime with both senior police officers and Home Office Ministers resulting in important changes in police response and support. David’s career highlights includes:

1988 – 2000 Director, Group 4 Total Security Ltd. Initially as Sales and Marketing Director and then with additional responsibilities as media spokesman and with operational responsibility for special (ie ‘sensitive’ assignments such as Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference (Edinburgh) European Summit (Cardiff) and GB Summit (Birmingham) and from 1996, the annual Labour Party Conference. During some of this time he served as a member representative on the BSIA Council and the (then) Manned Guarding Section committee,

2000 – 2002 Director and General Manager of Immigration Services, Global Solutions Ltd (Group 4 subsidiary).
April 2002 – December 2008 Chief Executive of British Security Industry Association. Managed relationships with Government ministers, civil service, The SIA and the police service and provided expanded services to BSIA member companies.