Reliance seminar offers businesses an arsenal of security tactics

London’s impressive Emirates Stadium provided the venue for the latest Reliance Security conference on 18th March. Catered to a diverse range of business environments and security requirements, the seminar was chaired by Mark Gilbert, Reliance Security’s Area Director for London. Presenters included a range of security industry experts, offering their advice and knowledge and a detailed insight into their experiences with a selection of security projects. A brief summary of speakers and themes from the seminar is provided below.

Demonstrating the value of security

Ken Livingstone from security industry consultancy and training provider Perpetuity Group (and board member of SyI) spoke about the need to consider security as an integral part of any business, acting as a product of the organisation’s mission and vision. Livingstone stated that this approach is in contrast to the perception in many businesses that security must be an added-on feature, which tends to impede business processes and can have a negative effect on business agility. Livingstone went on to state that organisations have to ensure that they make sure their security function goes hand in glove with the aims of their organisation, whilst helping to achieve these aims.

Remote Monitoring: Smart Solutions

Reliance’s security risk expert and proud Yorkshireman Peter Speight, together with John Hall from BMW, explained the successful security partnership that Reliance has developed with BMW during the last four years. With an emphasis on addressing identified security failures and providing solutions which are designed with “suitability for purpose” in mind, Reliance worked closely with BMW to design and install a range of remote security management technologies at BMW sites. CCTV and intruder detection systems are monitored from a custom-built onsite control room, which in combination with Reliance’s own Remote Monitoring Centre (RMC) provides 24-hour alarm monitoring and rapid mobile responses or manpower support whenever required. Many security systems at BMW sites can be controlled and monitored online by security personnel or BMW staff at any remote location, using a secure internet connection.

Speight summarised Reliance’s approach to improving security at BMW, which began approximately four years ago. The project team identified key security problems and expanded on their understanding of BMW’s operating environment through risk assessments and risk audits. This process identified five main reasons for security losses at BMW:

  • Failure to recognise vulnerabilities
  • Failure by senior management to disseminate security culture
  • Failure to use the right counter measures
  • Failure to implement effective policies and procedure
  • Failure to consider change

Correcting some erroneous perceptions

Despite excellent internal BMW policies, the risk assessments and a detailed evaluation of BMW sites identified a fragmented and uncoordinated approach to security, with a perception amongst some BMW management personnel that security offered little value or return for the business. Following the development of a systematic business plan offering major forecasted cost savings, Reliance was given the go-ahead to implement a ‘Security by Design’ model providing protection against intrusions and vehicle theft; integrated reception and access control services; postal services and deliveries; crisis management; and business continuity planning. Each property in BMW’s UK portfolio has different security requirements, and Reliance’s involvement included the successful delivery of a custom-built solution to BMW’s Bracknell site with electric perimeter fencing, automatic number plate recognition systems, improved signage and vehicle tracking capabilities. An initial investment of £344,000 has yielded annual year-on-year cost savings for BMW of approximately £684,000.

Speight stressed that the development of successful security remote monitoring strategies for businesses is only possible by conducting thorough research into the business, its aims, and the specific risks it faces at each of its sites. John Hall, who has been closely involved in the implementation of Reliance’s security improvement strategies for BMW, confirmed that the results achieved continue to provide excellent value for the company. “For us, the customer is king, and customer perceptions are fundamentally important to our business. We needed to make sure that security at our sites provided an accurate representation of the BMW brand.”  Recognising that the delivery of quality security services at site level is the responsibility of personnel on the ground, Reliance and BMW actively up-skilled on-site security personnel and increased pay rates to assist with employee retention and motivation. “Security now runs like a piece of software,” said Hall. “They are a part of the BMW team, and they really do add value”.   

Lone workers within the NHS arena

Susan Frith from the NHS Security Management Service provided seminar delegates with an overview of the partnership Reliance has developed with the NHS to supply a full-service protection solution for lone workers. Many NHS employees work alone in the community and face the threat of assault on a daily basis. After a competitive dialogue procurement process, over 10,000 NHS staff have now been provided with training in Reliance’s lone worker service. Reliance provides not only the alarm devices themselves, but also an integrated device monitoring service, which together with support from police is already improving the safety of NHS staff. Frith said the solution is steadily gaining the confidence of NHS employees, with positive feedback received from many users of the service. “From our point of view, this has been a good example of a national programme reducing costs for the NHS,” she said.

An update on London 2012

Reliance’s Specialist Services Director, Fraser Halliday, presented seminar attendees with a summary of the vast security and logistical challenges London will face in preparation for – and during – the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Halliday detailed Reliance’s involvement in the event, and the company’s strategic approach to the challenges that will arise. The issues discussed included:

  • UK-wide limitations on resources, trained security personnel, facilities and infrastructure
  • Space and transport impacts
  • Assessing the risks
  • Reliance’s commitment to supporting all of the company’s existing customers
  • Maintaining employee loyalty
  • Planning of executive movements, protest management and business continuity
  • Working with Police and local authorities to support their 2012 Olympics management strategies

Operation Fairway: counter terrorism measures

Detective Inspector Parkes from Counter Terrorist Command at the Metropolitan Police offered seminar delegates a useful outline of police approaches to combating local terrorism threats, with the active participation of the security industry. The attendees were informed on the role of Operation Fairway, the umbrella title given to various workstreams which feed into an intelligence database designed to counter terrorism in its earliest stages of planning. These individual work streams consist of three operations:

  • Lightning – Intelligence gathering surrounding suspicious activity (such as hostile reconnaissance).
  • Trammel – profiling of offenders and a range of false documentation.
  • Camion – gathers intelligence pertaining to acts of terrorism involving vehicle explosives

Alert to the constant threat of terrorism

Police officers and those with a responsibility for security are asked to be on alert to the theft of industrial vehicles which could gain easy access to sites targeted by terrorists, for instance shopping centres, stadia or other large public spaces. The programme asks police officers to be aware of the constant threat of terrorism and feed any gathered intelligence, including any concerns regarding individuals’ behaviour, to their local Special Branch for inclusion on the database.  This suspicious behaviour can be anything from employee failure to disclose details of higher education, discrepancies in dates of work history or gaps in employment, supplying forged paperwork such as P45s, the purchase of commercial vehicles that are sign-written or parked for periods in residential areas, individuals taking photographs of public places, entrances to car parks or service areas to name but a few.

Reliance Security Services Website