New Year’s honour for Aberafan Shopping Centre Security Manager

Security manager Chris Morgan was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list in recognition of his work reducing crime in and around Aberafan shopping centre and tackling anti-social behaviour in the town centre. Chris has worked for OCS’ security team since 2002, joining the company as a temporary security guard in 2002 and quickly becoming a permanent security guard with promotion to security manager in 2003.

“This is the proudest moment for me professionally.  I’m over the moon,” said Chris.  Since 2003, he has helped the shopping centre win several national awards, including BSIA Team of The Year for 3 consecutive years, for providing a safe and secure environment for visitors tenants and staff.  Under Chris’ management the Aberafan team is acclaimed locally for its proactive and good humoured approach to dealing with incidents, as well as helping shoppers and shopkeepers with day-to-day problems.  Chris also works with the local young offenders team to tackle shoplifting.  “I talk to them and explain how their behaviour has a negative impact on the town and how their offices affect the businesses and the people who work there.”

Working with the ambulance service, Chris has also helped recruit and train more than 40 First Responders to deal with medical emergencies in Port Talbot.  The OCS security team at Aberafan are also supported by Chris in becoming trained volunteer ambulance responders with the ability to use a defibrillator and the potential to help save lives at the shopping centre.

The Aberafan OCS security team and the Centre management team headed by Steve Redmore were involved in setting up a scheme called the Business Crime Reduction Partnership which had such a positive impact that it is now a national initiative run in conjunction with police, local authorities and the Home Office. This partnership has been used to tackle problems such as anti-social behaviour and has seen a 75% reduction in crime at the Centre.  A photo-sharing system was also established so that intelligence and images of potential trouble-makers can be shared and people who have committed a criminal offence in the Centre or in the premises of a retail partner can be positively excluded.

Chris was recently promoted to operations manager for OCS in Wales and, in addition to Aberafan Shopping Centre, is responsible for a number of commercial contracts which include over 40 mobile key holding and alarm response teams and 20 manned guarding contracts.  OCS’ regional operations director Malcolm Dacey congratulated Chris saying, “We are extremely proud of Chris and delighted that he has been recognised for his outstanding achievements.  He is an inspiration to us all.”

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