Manned Guarding And Its Place In The 21st Century
It’s an unfortunate fact that businesses, premises, and assets are always going to be under threat from crime, now and in the future. But the question is: how can you best protect them, and how does technology play its part?
At Crown Security Solutions we have experience in placing individuals on a site to protect assets or to control access points or flow of traffic, and to provide a general highly visible deterrent.
But with the traditional role comes a new hybrid which makes our services pretty unique.
We chatted about the service with the Operations Manager, Clint Duggan, to find out how the service works and what tech is doing to make things even safer.
How do you choose the guards that work for you?
We are very careful about who we choose to work with us at Crown Security.
We aim to have a well-balanced, well-qualified professional team that are as comfortable with customer relations as they are with keeping our clients safe.
We employ men and women at Door Supervisor Qualification standard or above, although the minimum standard for some companies is a Security Guard Badge.
But depending on the nature of the job or how high profile it is, we will also use our guards that have their Close Protection Badge – different obligations, different experiences, different skillsets.
The sort of places we protect include industrial parks, gatehouses, stadiums, construction sites.
We are always inundated with applications for security posts but our rejection rates are high.
We want our clients to know that they can place their trust in our staff at all times, so we only employ the best.
We also regularly assess training needs and are careful to update staff regularly, especially as we are also a training provider.
It’s not necessarily just about the qualification, it’s the individual.
The qualification adds knowledge, the qualification adds to experience, but it’s the mindset and the situational awareness of the guard that is the big thing. And, I suppose, it’s knowing how to focus for that period of time.
We believe in prior preparation.
Any security guard is only as good as their last job.
That’s why we choose people as individuals – not just on the qualifications they bring to the table, because a lot of manned guarding work is a customer service-facing role.
They have to manage people often in situations like trespassing, attempted access to restricted areas, or traffic management.
This is why it’s so important to train security officers in the law.
How long does a guard work on-shift for?
We would recommend a guard never exceeds a 12 hour shift, unless there were extenuating circumstances.
The reason for this is that with extended hours people lose focus and concentration.
What is is the Guard Tour System and how does it work?
The Guard Tour System is a 21st century addition to manned guarding.
It’s a way of optimising our security workforce management through a single software solution that allows clients to follow the progression of guards, reduce manual tasks and lower costs.
It connects our frontline, back office, management and clients in one place to bring fluidity to security operations.
A client wants quality assurance and our quality assurance is through innovation.
Real time, 24-hour-a-day monitoring with all bells and whistles on.
We can set up a security management system, the KPIs etc, and the system then helps us monitor all the different sites.
It allows us – and the client – to GPS track the guards on patrol.
We can send daily reports straight through to the client, or if there’s an incident report, or a maintenance issue, it will also send it directly through to the client in real time, so that they’ve got that in their inbox ready to be actioned.
When we go out into a site and do our security consultation, we’ll look at weak points, we’ll look at the tasks that the guards are going to do and we look at the patrol routes.
We then individually set them up in the system and each guard will log in via the app on their phone to tell us they’re on site and the GPS confirms it.
So if we ever get any client that questions, “Where was your guard?” we can go back and look at the GPS system and say,
“He was on site. This is where he was and this is what he was doing at that time.”
It also provides our guards with extra back-up, including an emergency button and a ‘man down’ alarm, as well as an application where they can convert the device into a body cam, which can be quite handy for evidence-giving as well.
What makes Crown Security’s Manned Guarding Service unique?
One thing, I think, is the ability to move into the 21st century with the tech innovations and integrations. It’s the consultancy knowledge of our managers.
We haven’t been just turning up on the site and sitting there checking cars in.
Two of our area managers are qualified trainers.
So we’re actually teaching the subject matter as well.
Davey Elder, our North West Area Manager, was previously in the Royal Navy.
He worked assessing the counter-terrorism threats to all the Navy properties, looking at hard measures, soft measures, procedures, and advising on them.
That skill is incredibly special to us here at Crown Security.
I’m a qualified security consultant.
So that makes us stand out against our competitors.
Many will offer consultancy and services that they have no idea how to do, because they’re not qualified or experienced. I‘ve been doing security for 20 years and I’ve developed a good network and an excellent reputation.
Between the four senior managers we have more than 90 years’ combined military and security experience.
That’s the difference.
You’re only as good as your last job and the security network is so small.
So it is important to leave a good impression on people, you have to do the jobs and prove that is the case.
If that’s the case then you’ll always have work.
That’s why we ensure that our security personnel is the best we can have.
We practise what we preach.
Every single client gets a consultancy service thrown in as part of the service, which a lot of companies don’t; they just stick guards and bricks on the ground, and bums on seats, and that’s it.
We’re proactively looking to improve the integrity of the security on our sites via recommendations, ongoing meetings, CPD, constantly updating our staff’s knowledge and training.
We are also very active in crime-reduction initiatives.
We take an active role in liaising with local authorities, police, council bodies, emergency services, and mental health-assisted units.
How much does it cost to employ your manned guarding services?
You get what you pay for.
You don’t pay for a Mini and expect to get an Aston Martin. Security guards are exactly like that.
They’ve got different skillsets and those skillsets are employed for different types of job.
We aren’t the cheapest security firm. Clients can definitely go elsewhere and get cheaper.
But you get what you pay for and in the long run a high quality security company will save you money, because you get a much more intelligent and efficient service.
Unlike some companies, Crown will never encourage you to have anything other than what is best for you.
We are incredibly proud of what we do.