Businesses are facing a perfect storm this winter. Rising costs, reduced consumer spending and labour shortages across many sectors remain issues that many are still addressing. When looking to cut organisational costs, FM – specifically soft services – are typical areas many will be driven to review.
Security is one of those areas. However, much of the need for security stems from required assessments based on industry or the organisation’s requirements, alongside insurance companies’ demands to ensure the total value of property and assets are covered.
But times have changed. In fact, security advancements can sometimes change quickly. It has been slow, but the move to technology-led solutions has allowed insurance companies, local authorities, and regulators to provide more flexibility and ingenuity to save time and money for a business. In recent years, what began as a slow adoption of technology, has accelerated dramatically.
Tackling the labour shortage
Since the pandemic and Brexit, the UK has been seeing skilled labour shortages across many sectors, with security being one of the most prominent. Highly trained and experienced workers left in their thousands and have yet to return. Therefore, our sector must adjust and look for efficient and effective ways to secure your businesses.
Technological advancements have provided new solutions that work alongside manned guarding, sometimes as a safer alternative. A typical two-man contract can easily be supplemented by technology that will reduce the requirement to just one officer on site at a time. These new technologies reduce the need for an officer to engage directly with assailants, improve the possibility that a criminal is caught, and collect practical data a human would find hard to recall when faced with a dangerous situation.
Protect Duty increases need for officers
To add to the perfect storm for businesses, a new piece of legislation will be enshrined in Law in 2023 and will increase the number of companies which will require a manned security presence. Martyn’s Law, more commonly known in the industry now as Protect Duty, is a new piece of legislation which has been campaigned for since the Manchester Arena terrorist attack. You can hear more detail of this from Figen Murray, mother of Martyn (who the Law was named in honour of), who was killed in the attack, here.
Whilst many companies, like Corps Security – our parent company – have already begun recruitment drives to attract more people into the industry, this takes time when efficiencies can be researched immediately. With public spaces of 100 or more people requiring new risk assessments and potentially new or higher security provisions, this will only compound the labour shortage. Without the guards to perform the roles, many of these businesses will find it extremely difficult to find the services they need when they need it – to be within the Law.
Efficiency, but with a ‘People First’ approach
Firstly, we are not advocating the wholesale removal of manned guarding and replacement with technology as being the panacea. After all, a security threat assessment that has established a need for a physical security presence has generally done so for good reason. All security assessments should always have a ‘People First’ approach. People are vastly more important than any building or asset, so their safety remains paramount.
But that doesn’t always require putting someone else at risk to protect another. You are simply doubling the risk. In a not-too-distant past, as an example, a four-man guarding team on a large site would have been a minimum requirement by an insurer. However, since that last review or when renewing insurance, it could be that modern and reliable technologies could handle some of the work undertaken by that team. Monitored camera systems – that alert external monitoring services to support a reduced onsite team; or vehicle recognition software that can operate entrance and exit points, reducing the requirement for a permanently positioned officer. These technologies already exist and allow officers to concentrate on other impact areas.
Review now, before it is too late
Many businesses are educating themselves on Protect Duty right now, and before long, security providers will be inundated with enquiries in preparation for the law change. In turn, if the labour shortage does not improve, officers will become hot property, and competition will strengthen between companies to offer better pay and benefits to entice them over.
All this at a time when we all need to be reducing costs. So now is the time to act.
We are inviting our clients to review their security right now. Would you like one too? You do not have to be a Corps customer to get some initial advice. As one of the UK’s only private security companies to offer Manned Guarding and our own Alarm Receiving Centre, our unique experience and guidance could provide efficiencies you have never considered or ever thought possible.
With just one call or email, you could have found yourselves the Perfect Guardians through the Perfect Storm.
To discuss your concerns or for some expert initial advice, please call us on 0141 847 2026 or email email@example.com
Corps Monitoring is a division of Corps Security – the UK’s longest running security company. Corps Monitoring offer a range of technology solutions including CCTV Monitoring Services, CCTV Sensor Activated Monitoring, CCTV Live Surveillance, Fire Alarm Monitoring, Intruder Alarm Monitoring, Personal Protection Services, Key Holding, Call Centre Monitoring, Lone Worker Monitoring and more.