Over the last two decades, the role of security officers has shifted. Where once it was simply a case of guarding a door or location, years of upskilling and diversification have transformed the role to be something more. Security Officers are now required to possess higher levels of training and assume more responsibility than they did in the past. The advent of the Coronavirus Pandemic made this fact even more self-evident.
While the public clapped for healthcare and supermarket staff, little attention was given to their security colleagues who stood shoulder to shoulder with them, making their jobs possible.
When the government announced its list of critical workers, the vagueness of the list prompted action from organisations around the country who lobbied to have security officers recognized. This action has continued with entities such as the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) and the Security Commonwealth (SyCom) working together with UK Security Companies to ensure that this status is not forgotten after the pandemic is over.
In aid of this, Securitas recently put out a series of interviews with security officers talking about their experiences during the pandemic. The aim of this project, to further illustrate the hard work and sacrifices made by security officers during lockdown. These videos are available here, here and here.
Of the project BSIA Chief Executive, Mike Reddington says “It is vital that the work of our industry members showcase the importance of this critical industry, especially as more people are moving around now thanks to some venues across the UK beginning to reopen. The Securitas UK videos and their work on resetting perceptions is commendable, not to mention giving the public a first-hand view from a security officer’s point of view. We are pleased to promote this with the Securitas UK team and incorporating this into the wider campaign.”
Securitas UK, Mobile Patrol Officer, Ian McCulloch said of the experience, “Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, our roles have been even more demanding. We’ve had to be even more vigilant and carry out extra duties with added responsibilities.
“As critical workers, we are essential in helping to prevent the spread of the virus. COVID -19 is on my mind, all the time and I’m proud of the work I do. I feel a huge sense of pride knowing that I’m helping prevent the spread of the virus and keeping people safe,”
Securitas UK, Chief Operating Officer, Danny Williams, added,“From the outset we have worked closely with our clients to proactively manage the risk of infection on-site. We’ve completed detailed security and risk assessments and provided expert guidance and advice, to make sure every aspect of our clients’ unique security and safety provision are met. And as our officers interact with clients and the general public at sites across the UK on a daily basis, it is very important they understand what they need to do to avoid any transmission risk.
“Many procedures have changed and there are lots of new guidelines so clear instructions, training and regular updates are essential in helping our officers interact safely with colleagues, clients and the wider general public.”
The UK’s largest security company, Mitie, is also in favour of this push. Of this project, Mitie Business Services Managing Director, Jason Towse says that their, “security teams continue to work tirelessly on the frontline. In hospitals and test centres, through to supermarkets and distribution centres, our collective priority during the pandemic has been keeping the British public safe and to keep the Country running. This dedication and professionalism deserves both respect and recognition. We’re proud to support the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), the Security Institute and the Security Commonwealth in raising awareness of the professionalism of the security industry.”