In the lead up to the prestigious Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs) awards ceremony and dinner, Infologue are going to cover the leading four nominations that have been shortlisted for the 2018 OSPA Lifetime Achievement Award, and as voted for by the judges. This prominent award recognises a senior member of the security community who has been working in the industry for over 30 years. It acknowledges an individual who has consistently shown outstanding performance and who has had a substantial impact upon designing and driving standards in the security sector. James (Jim) G Brown, Chairman and Founder of Selectamark Security Systems, has been shortlisted for this year’s OSPA Lifetime Achievement Award.
A tireless work ethic and relentless dedication to the company he founded over 30 years ago still drives Selectamark’s Chairman Jim Brown to come into the office several times a week at the age of 86 “to do some paperwork”.
Jim started property marking company Selectamark in 1985 full of enthusiasm, but little did he imagine that more than three decades later, that same company would be the global leader in forensic marking solutions, with big name clients including Tesco, Network Rail, Balfour Beatty, the Met Police and the Post Office.
Jim is now Selectamark’s Chairman, after handing the day to day running of the company over to his sons James and Jason Brown in 2014. Both sons have worked for the company for many years and are now Managing Director and Commercial Director, respectively.
Jim recalls the early years of the business. “We started to work with local police forces who were trying to reduce household burglaries and cycle thefts.
“Selectamark’s property marking system formed a key element of crime prevention campaigns, and it wasn’t long before the deterrent value of householders marking their household goods and cycles was being reflected in falling crime statistics.”
The company’s first ever police property marking campaign launched in 1995 in Darlington and resulted in an impressive 98% reduction in burglaries. As the system became better known, Selectamark expanded into providing property marking solutions for companies needing to identify and track their equipment and other assets for audit purposes, as well as to prevent losses and theft.
“In those early days we didn’t know how things would progress,” says Jim. “It was sometimes quite difficult to persuade some of the senior police officers to back the idea of property marking, but we continued to work closely with Crime Prevention Officers who had faith in the concept.
“After a while, it started to become pretty clear that the crime statistics were, at long last, starting to fall. It was not just the fact that property marked with the owner’s details is a deterrent for burglars – it makes the job of the police easier when a suspect is arrested with property that is easily traceable to its rightful owner.”
Selectamark, the company’s original permanent marking system is still a popular choice as a visible theft deterrent today. Jim played a key role in developing and launching the company’s SelectaDNA forensic marking solution in 2004 – the first true DNA security system in the property marking field. SelectaDNA has been used by all UK Police Forces to reduce and detect acquisitive crime.
In helping homeowners, businesses, local government, schools, shops and hospitals protect their property, Selectamark has marked approximately 100 million valuable items worldwide over the last 32 years.
By insisting on offering high quality and independently tested products at fair prices (with no hidden extras and no tie-in clauses), Jim has continually helped raise performance standards in the security industry.
Jim said: “Our products are patented and distributed to every Continent through a network of more than 40 distributors. We continue to research new technologies, which has helped us stay at the top of our field. We pride ourselves on top quality products, the best customer service and exceptional value.”
His high standing in the industry is highlighted by Jim’s active involvement with a variety of trade bodies. He was a founding member and Chair of the BSIA’s Property Marking Section, he served on the Operating Board and was a member of the Council. He was the first member of the BSIA to be awarded Exporter of the Year. He has also been a Council member of ANZTAC, and is a member of IAATI, APPSS, ASIS, and FIMI.
Selectamark also played a major role as the founder sponsor of The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals (WCoSP), which it helped set up and grow. The WCoSP administers the Security Benevolent Fund as well as supporting other worthwhile charitable causes.
Former colleagues were keen to praise Jim’s character and business qualities:
“Jim is one of the ‘old school’ giants of the security industry. He is an innovator, visionary, explorer and a very hard worker. He is a man of immense character and integrity who was always at the forefront of fighting for quality standards and promoting the UK Security Industry whenever he had the opportunity.” Andrew Knights, former MD of Selectamark and Treasurer of The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals (WCoSP).
“I have always considered Jim to be an extremely knowledgeable and accomplished businessman. He is a consummate professional within both the security and motor industries. More importantly, Jim is a gentleman who always has time to give the benefit of his worldly experience to anyone who needs it.” Dr Ken German, Vehicle Crime Consultant
“A man who laid the credible foundations for a unique style of asset protection, and who has devoted a great deal of his life to achieving safety and security for others, using his admirable talents and ability to formulate and devise innovative solutions.” David Seaborn Davies, former Operational Commander, Royalty Protection, the Metropolitan Police Service
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The presentation of the Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs) will take place on Thursday 1st March 2018 at The Royal Lancaster London. Please visit the UK OSPAs website to book and find out more information.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is sponsored by the Security Institute.