John Clifford, the Director of Operations of the National Security Inspectorate (NSI), who died suddenly whilst on holiday in Brazil, had recently announced to colleagues his intention to retire at the end of July and that he was looking forward to enjoying more time with his family and on trips abroad.
John started his career in the police force in Liverpool where he quickly rose to the rank of Sergeant prior to a move to the West Midlands Constabulary. John was to spend the rest of his police career with the West Midlands Police rising to the rank of Chief Inspector. During his time with the police John received a number of commendations; one was for bravery and another for helping to redraft divisional football contingency plans following the recommendations of the Hillsborough Disaster Enquiry. The document was later adopted as police policy.
After leaving the police force in 1997, John joined the Inspectorate of the Security Industry (ISI), the UK’s Guarding Inspectorate. John’s breadth of experience in the police force served him well and he soon become respected as a very effective inspector at ISI. It was not long before his exceptional management and leadership skills came to the fore, propelling John up the tiers of management at ISI/NSI. John’s considerable planning skills were another of his strengths and these were capitalised on when he was seconded for over a year to the Security Industry Authority (SIA). Here he was instrumental in helping the Authority meet the requirements of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. On his return to NSI, John was appointed Operations Manager of the Services Division where he prepared the successful bid for NSI to be appointed as one of the SIA’s assessing bodies He was also on the very first SIA course for ACS assessors.
By 2006 John was by now pivotal to the success of NSI and he made his final move to become Director of Operations with responsibility for well over half of the NSI workforce. In this final role John became established across the whole fire and security industry as an approachable and effective individual. John dealt with many challenging situations and throughout he was always fair but unswerving when it came to the application of standards.
John’s contribution to the Security industry cannot be overstated. His commitment to public service had taken him right through his life. No matter how challenging the task John’s sensible, pragmatic and friendly demeanour ensured that a resolution was always found. He was recognised throughout the industry as a true gentleman who was a master at resolving difficulties and misunderstandings. He was a great man who will be sorely missed by all.
John Clifford – 30th September 1945 – 15th June 2010