During the Covid-19 pandemic, security officers have been performing critical roles in hospitals, food distribution warehouses, and supermarkets around the country without the wide-recognition afforded those they have been working shoulder to shoulder with. They have also been protecting the closed stores, empty office buildings and factories against would-be looters ensuring that we have something to reopen when the time comes but this has largely gone unrecognised by the public at large.
At least three of the UK security industry’s most recognised organisation believe this is unacceptable and have committed to changing this perception.
“The recognition of security officers as key workers is the start of a re-appraisal of what service they provide to the community in keeping the public safe and secure. As we exit lockdown and have to navigate public spaces again, they will have a crucial role in supporting public confidence. We are working closely with the Police and all other public bodies to find the best way to achieve this,” said British Security Industry Association (BSIA) Chief Executive, Mike Reddington.
Security Institute Chief Executive, Rick Mounfield added, “The security sector is vast with specialisms from Cyber and Engineering to protective services including both technical measures and security officers. The latter engages with society more than the rest but is often overlooked and unappreciated. Great effort has been invested in the professional standards and capabilities of frontline officers and they have proven their worth during the Coronavirus crisis in the UK. They, along with the wider security sector deserve to be recognised, respected and appreciated for the safety and security they provide across the UK.”
“SyCom is comprised of some 40 organisations from across the security landscape all of whom share common objectives. These include building professionalism, raising standards and sharing best practice in order to help develop a more effective security response to keep people safe and secure. I hope that this campaign can make more people recognise the changes we have all made and continue to make,” says Security Commonwealth Chairman, Guy Matthias.
The BSIA will be working with the Security Industry Authority (SIA), as part of the #SIAHeroes campaign to help promote the unsung heroes of the security industry to the public. Additionally, they have made decision to broadcast the annual British Security Awards online to the public in the hopes that it will shine a broader spotlight on the achievements of the industry and individual officers. Every year, the British Security Awards celebrates the best that our industry has to offer including those officers who go above and beyond what is expected of them.
Security Officers are no longer just guards. The breadth and depth of the services that they provide warranted the shift away from the traditional nomenclature, which is why term guard used so infrequently in the modern-day and age. The standard service description, Manned Guarding, however, has persisted. The BSIA believes it is time to redefine the terminology of the services they provide to match this designation and as such, they have launched a consultation into what these services should be called.