So, you think security is a waste of money?

A response to all those: “We don’t need security!……”; “Security do nothing!……”; “Security is a Waste of Money!….”, comments, I keep getting flagged up to have a look at on LinkedIn.

Ignorance is bliss I suppose, but let me take a moment to enlighten you. Just because we may be working ‘out of hours’ and not in front of you, it certainly doesn’t mean we have no use or do nothing. In fact, just the opposite.

Please let me introduce you to the most valuable service you will ever pay for, and in so many cases, the only reason many companies still operate!

I work in the Alarm Response and Mobile Patrol, field of the security industry, at the coal face, in the South East of London and Kent areas of the UK.

Nothing I say is made up or exaggerated, because I simply don’t need to do so.

I’m an ex Metropolitan Police Officer yet I genuinely feel the work I do now is as important and crucial to the local economy in general, and business continuity in particular.

On just one recent, not particularly busy, 12 hour shift, I encountered the following:

*** A break-in at a school, where the suspects knew to attack the external windows of the computer suite! I was close by, arrived within 12 minutes. (Police were too busy to respond.) Suspects appear to have been scared off as I pulled up, having only damaged the window unit they were removing, but failed to gain access. Speaking to the caretaker (I called out to re-secure the site), they failed to leave with over £8000 worth of PC equipment, I pads, projectors etc etc… Damage to the window was approx £200.

*** On my routine patrol, I found a major, Town Centre, Public Library, with the main entrance doors insecure, clearly ajar and with no alarm set due to a system fault! I entered, checked the site, sorted the alarm issue and properly secured the doors. Value of DVDs, Blu Ray Discs, CDs, and not to mention books, that could easily be removed by 3 people in one hit, was well over £3000.

*** Whilst securing a Dartford Office block I found, in the 2nd floor toilets, a blocked sink with a tap that had not been turned off fully and had just started to cause an overflow on to the floor. No big deal for me to turn off the tap properly, wipe the floor down and hook the discarded tissue out of the sink and let it drain. However… the toilet was above the computer suite on the floor below and if there was no security to sort it out, 11 hours worth of water would have been busy leaking through the floor, causing £thousands in physical damage, and untold loss of data, not to mention further business continuity issues.

*** With a known ‘traveller’ issue nearby, I found a Retail Park, with the vehicle gate padlock nearly sawn through, which would have allowed the customer car park to become a ‘gypsy’ encampment should access have been made after my inspection. I was able to replace the damaged padlock with a more robust lock and chain, and ensure that customers for the Halfords, Currys and Carphone Warehouse units could still utilize the car park without hindrance or unnecessary restriction. Cost saved to the businesses? £thousands.

*** I was called to respond to a Fire Alarm activation (Yes, we do that as well.) at a large school in the Bexley area, I was close and able to attend, investigate, and establish that it was a false alarm, caused by an automatic air freshener unit which sprayed a mist of lovely pine scented solution, DIRECTLY OVER A SMOKE DETECTOR, before 2 local LFB Fire Appliances arrived, (also called by the central station monitoring company), thus quickly briefing and freeing the Brigade to attend a serious residential call. Without my being there, a keyholder would have had to be called out by the LFB and may have had them tied up and unable to leave the site for, potentially, hours!

The rest of my shift was relatively uneventful.

This is simply routine for security. It doesn’t even warrant ‘a report’ in most cases as unblocking fire exits, locking doors that staff missed, sorting faulty alarm systems, turning off lights and copiers etc etc, is ‘bread and butter’ stuff.

Saves untold amounts of money for our clients however.

Security doesn’t sell stuff or make a nice big profit for the bottom line! But we are the most important and fundamental way to ensure the trouble free operation of a business! I can guarantee it.

I freely admit that I have come across lazy, useless, “uniform fillers” in the industry, more likely to sleep for most of a shift than actively protect your property. But you very much get what you pay for, and people paid not much more than the minimum wage really won’t be invested in your business.

Officers that are professional, with the training and experience to protect your multi million pound organisation properly, and ensure the safety of the valuable staff working for you, are not going to be working for you, when you beat the price down to the level of your contract cleaners!

If you just want a box ticked for your insurance purposes, then any SIA badged idiot will fit the bill. If you genuinely care about your company; really value the safety of your staff; have a fundamental understanding of the need to reduce loss through theft, poor practice or major incident, STOP AND THINK!

My salary isn’t great, but I estimate that I have saved the businesses and organisations I look after, over £750,000 just this year, in damage control and saved energy costs, but who knows how much in business continuity and lost data expenses? Quite possibly £millions!

HOW’S THAT FOR VALUE FOR MONEY?

Pay a decent company, top dollar for the best, most experienced and well trained SECURITY PROFESSIONALS, that will care about your business like it is their own. They are out there, but certainly NOT AT BARGAIN BASEMENT PRICES!

I give a damn about the businesses I have to protect.

If you own a business, unless you think as I do, sooner or later you will be faced with a disaster that may just ruin you.

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