020 8514 0861

     

CCTV And Dumbbells



 

 

A conversation with an employee provided us with stronger reasons for the benefits of having CCTV


 

Recently I was at the gym and was slugging away at the punching bag, readying myself for the day's pressures. I noticed in a corner, and barely detectable, a small circular camera.  My initial reaction was to train harder so anyone watching would be amazed by my gym abilities! But this feeling wore off as I pondered just why my personal space was being invaded.


 

When I got downstairs I made a joke with the manager about peeping-Toms among his staff members and he explained that gym equipment and members' personal belongings like mobile phones had been stolen recently. To prevent this they decided to put in CCTV! Since installing CCTV guess how many items have been taken? None absolutely zero.


 

The human psyche is interesting.  Some unscrupulous individuals, believing they are clear of the watchful eye, will use any opportunity to break the law.  Lack of security protocols allows such individuals to plan or act instinctively without restriction. Don't believe me just look at the difference between children at play when a parent/guardian is in attendance and compare that to when unsupervised. Somehow the children will end up on the top shelf of your book cupboard! moreover they will proclaim their innocence! And for some of these children the transition to adulthood results in no perceived difference.


 

So ultimately the uncompromising gaze of CCTV helps greatly in keeping the misbehaving inner child from breaking free and taking or destroying stuff, that will cost you greatly in the long run.


 

If you would like us to install a watchful eye alternatively known as CCTV you can contact us on info@aasecurity.co.uk or give us a phone call on 0208 514 0861


Read More

Cleaning Away The Rain



 

 

Another rainy day in London know surprise there! but the warm smile from A.A.securities head cleaning manager James brings a warmth to a wet and cold Tuesday.


The construction site of Kier is what you expect of a typical well run construction site men and women with hard hats hard boots and some with harder facial expressions work efficiently in turning hollowed blocks of flats and brown earth into something that in a few months times will have children running around and there out of breath parents running even faster after them as they chase them into the park.


I follow James and his team into a block without an escalator and so I have to walk up 6 flights of dusty floors each of our steps echoing around the premises. As I reach the 6th landing expecting to see more of the grub and dirt in the actual flats I'm pleasantly surprised to see empty rooms with sparkly white walls and grey floors.


On entry James quickly tells the rest of the team "we need to have this whole floor finished by the end of today they have given us two days but we will have it done today!"


A few team members have a wide eyed look as they listen to this but this is soon broken into laughter as they talk on the days events and there plans for later. Within a moment all five of them are each working tirelessly in creating rooms that look almost habitual aside from the missing furniture and missing bath panels.

 

I quickly find myself being in their way and so decide to make an exit before one of them trips over my idle feet.


Though the weather is cold and rainy and the building is dusty landing 6 is a spot of sunshine in the rising behemoth.


If you would like to hire our cleaners than please contact us on info@aasecurity.co.uk or on 0208 514 0861

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Read More

CCTV is like your BFF (Best Friend)



 

 

CCTV is the equivalent of a best friend.

Now reading this you may be asking yourself why and how come.

So lets give you a scenario, you're out with your friends and you spot your significant other's best friend, now while you exchange mutual pleasantries you go about the rest of the night enjoying yourself. However your partners best friend quietly and silently is observing all of your antics they watch as you swing your top over your head after one drink too many and they watch with narrowed eyes as you talk with 'long black hair' for a little longer than needs be. The next morning when you wake up with a throbbing headache you also wake up to a complete account of your night's events in extreme detail and how the couch will now be your home for the next few nights.  All courtesy of your partner's best friend.

CCTV is the ultimate best friend. When people notice CCTV many will refrain from making a nuisance of themselves but there are those few who will see the CCTV and later on in the day or night will forget all about it's presence, but CCTV will not forget them. It quietly records all that Mr or Ms Nuisance is getting up to. The thing with CCTV is that it works tirelessly 24/7 and has the added benefits of night vision and recordings that can easily be accessed. Mr or Ms Nuisance will soon find themselves having to face Mr Judge.

For all CCTV enquires please contact us here.

Read More

Is Black Friday as brutal as MMA?



 A Battle Of Wills!

In Martial Arts it's often taught that if possible, walk away from a violent confrontation rather than walk into it. Fighting is a last resort. Obviously some of the shoppers who took part in Black Friday were unfamiliar to this philosophy, because as soon as the store doors were opened they instantly threw elbows, knees and a few low blows on their fellow man.  With a ferociousness that would have given a Legend like Bruce Lee something to think about, before he dispersed the crowd using his prized one inch punch

Wilson Chowdhry Director of A.A. Security, reflects on what went wrong during the Black Friday mortal combat melee.

"The primary concern was the lack of security in these stalls. Competent uniformed officers trained in dynamic risk assessment, customer service and of course conflict management should have been there in numbers. This would allow people with concerns to take them up with visible uniformed personnel rather than getting themselves into personal arguments through frustration that un-policed, culminate in violence."

He added;

"An accurate risk assessment should have been carried out prior to the sale. This should have taken into account, local demographics, numbers of potential customers, safe maximum customer intake, numbers of staff required, emergency procedures, crowd management procedures and previous history."

He further added;

"Too often profit is placed before safety and Britain's reputation has taken a battering as a consequence. Moreover, many retail companies simply do not have the expertise to produce an adequate method statement and this is where companies such as A. A. Security Ltd, with our long history should be approached for guidance and a more professional approach."

We hope the events of Friday that were broadcast globally, will be a trigger for a more measured approach in future.

 



Read More

In Defence of the realm





AA Security has provided security solutions for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) across the last three years now, including protection regimes for the North Luffenham and Abingdon Barracks.

We seem to have done pretty well, too, if this quote from Major K D Radwell (Second in Command, 16th Regiment RA) is anything to go by… “AA Security has continued to meet the stringent requirements of its current MoD contract in North Luffenham. The fact that we selected the company over and above a strong field of competitors was proof of its flexibility to adapt and willingness to improve. The staff are highly motivated and, with the support of the company, keen to further their professional and personal development.”

Major Radwell continued: “At all levels of management there’s open and honest dialogue resulting in speedy conflict resolution and a proactive response to feedback. Based upon the company’s performance to date, I would have no hesitation in recommending them for further work in this field.

The most difficult of public sector contracts to secure

Contracts of this type are among the most difficult to secure within the public sector, as the MoD branch responsible for the tender process ‘Commercial: In Confidence’ undertakes a very stringent investigative analysis of all who approach the organisation for contracts.

The mandatory finance audits, quality assurance testing and Health and Safety analyses required for most public sector contracts are only part of a process that’s elongated by specific requirements and meticulous in terms of detail.

For instance, when service providers come to complete the tender documentation for these contracts, the MoD makes it compulsory that organisations endorse a commitment to professionally develop all potential employees to be deployed on site to a full NVQ Level 2 standard.

Some might say that’s no real landmark. However, this learning stipulation surpasses many other commercial and public sector organisations, and sets a rather refreshing precedent (something that I have been championing for our industry in its entirety).

Moreover, it could be argued that an opportunity to incorporate this training practice in the first cycle of re-licensing has been overlooked by our industry Regulator, the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

Environmental and CSR credentials

The contract also required organisations to demonstrate their environmental, innovation and technology and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices. This recognition of the need to reduce the collective carbon footprint is an element of the MoD’s tendering process that’s worthy of some accolade. This from an organisation not conventionally expected to be concerned with miasma.

The MoD is taking a lead role in filtering out insouciant companies and cascading a message of responsibility.

This need for commercial accountability is echoed in the MoD’s elucidation of organisations with a strong CSR ethic, and quite commensurate with the strong local focus that has made MoD units participative – if not to say intrinsic – to large community events, while at the same time emitting a palpable charitable presence.

AA Security is also an organisation with a tangible community image. We organise the local Redbridge Carnival, and our management team is now indispensable to many local police, Council and community initiatives. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why we won the ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ category at the 2007 Docklands Business Club Awards.

With regard to innovation and technology, private sector security companies now find themselves in a position whereby they must be able to provide integrated security solutions if they are to survive. Many are now also using GPS tracking systems functioning through mobile telephones or real-time patrol manager systems, workable through online Control Centre software that’s accessible to clients by way of pass-coded secure access.

Yes, these technologies and systems empower clients and contractors alike. However, few if any other companies other than ourselves have installed photovoltaics (otherwise known as solar panels) that provide 75% of their annual general electricity consumption and are all linked to a UPS. Is this unique in the industry? It’s certainly a reflection of our organisation’s ethical green stance, and a commitment to long term strategy and contingency planning.

Environmental and CSR factors have become a stronger and more welcome focal point within the much improved and continuously enhanced SIA Approved Contractor Scheme. This is, however, a voluntary accreditation, and our industry practitioners are still unclear in respect of the term CSR.

At a recent SIA public meeting, I remember an officer from a leading security organisation talking of supervisory visits, internal audits and BS EN IS0 9001 when he was asked to present on the subject. I have offered my services to the SIA, and hope the Regulator will give me an opportunity to readdress and highlight the more advanced concepts of ‘sustainable development’ practice.

In the meantime, we’ll rely on organisations such as the MoD and a number of local councils to push forward the agenda to our industry in a more forcible manner by dint of setting a ‘Good Practice Demonstration’ criteria for tendering companies.

Counter-terrorism checks and Baseline vetting

One other important factor relating to MoD tendering is the need to undergo counter-terrorism checks and Baseline vetting for all employees. This is an involved and rather detailed process that’s undertaken by the MoD and throws many hurdles in the pathway of potential contractors.

The Baseline application researches immigration status, Right to Work and three personal references. Two of the references can be from anyone who doesn’t reside at the same address, while one must be a professional reference from either an educational establishment or an employer.

There’s a catch, however. The applicant must have been residing in the UK for at least three years. This process is to be facilitated by the awarded security contractor, irrespective of screening practices deployed within the requirement for BS 7858:2006 and BS 7499:2007, and must be approved by an authorised MoD on-site representative.

The CTC application is significantly more stringent than the Baseline checks, and requires a history check on relatives of potential recruits (ie parents and children, etc). It limits certain travelling (ie to countries with a proclivity for terrorism) and also incorporates a deeper financial analysis.

The process is very intensive, and security contractors that have been through it will be well aware of the logistical burdens placed on their Human Resources function. If you think the SIA requirements are tough you really will find this too much to take, and should probably steer clear of a process that could become unfruitful.

This process is undertaken by the Defence Vetting Agency and its decision is final without recourse to appeal. It can take up to two months, and late rejections may cause serious recruitment burden. Hence, it would be advantageous and rather astute to ensure that the potential candidates for deployment are in excess of logistical need and that an approved reserve force to cater for unforeseen and planned absences is calibrated from the outset.

Lifelong training and the MoD

Finally, I should remark on the extremely laudable lifelong training practices undertaken by the MoD. We are aware that its military staff are frequently up-skilled and have access to a wide range of courses external to the organisation. If the MoD decided to hire out its security services to the commercial sector, many organisations in our sector would not have a chance!

Too many of our lead protagonists have a ‘minimise costs’ perspective rather than a more encompassing focus on training. As I say, we’ve been working in tandem with the MoD, and ensured that our staff have been rostered in a manner that compliments cross-pollination training. This flexibility has resulted in several military-specific training courses in searching and operational practices, culminating in a more integrated and collaborative effort to reduce breaches of security

The SIA definitely missed a trick when it came to the recent re-licensing of security operatives and management. Although the Regulator has covered some ground in the potential physical intervention requirement for door supervisors in the third round of licensing (with the potential for panic ensuing before the Olympics?!), it has still to set any new targets for other security disciplines.

Personally, I hope the modular training routes proposed at various SIA meetings will come to fruition as I can see no better way to proceed with the future training remit for our industry.

The Institute of Leadership and Management

In the meanwhile, as an organisation we have now attained Institute of Leadership and Management status to provide leadership and management training for our potential and deployed supervisors and members of the holistic senior management team. I know for a fact that this development impressed the MoD at tender stage. We are also unique in the security sector in terms of our attainment of a Leadership and Management Accreditation hosted by Investors in People.


Read More

UK terrorist threat raised - A.A. Security already poised to do our part!




 

The UK's secret service the MI5 raised the terrorist threat to Britain from "substantial" to "severe."  The increased threat level means that an extremist attack is now highly likely to occur here in our own country.  The 7/7 Bombings and the awful attack on Lee Rigby are examples of the type of threat we now face on our Island.  Learn more of the raised threat level (here)

In the wake of 9/11 A.A. Security worked with the UK Police force to train all our officers in counter terrorism, under "Project Griffin" an police operation that explained tell-tale signs of terrorism, reporting mechanisms and established a network of partner agencies including a few conscientious security companies who chose to fund the training of their workforces.   A later programme "Project Argent" ensured a more comprehensive and in-depth training was provided to managers for organisations within the original programme.

In 2012 our commitment to Project Griffin paid great dividend, as two of our eight deployed security officers at the North Luffenham Barracks, based near Leicester caught two perpetrators acting suspiciously around the perimeter of the military site.  Effective use of CCTV evidence, immediate reporting to military police and eye witness accounts led to the arrest, detainment and eventual prosecution of two terrorists.  So there you have it!  A.A. Security is protecting the realm.

The heightened terrorist threat in the UK is in response to extremist Islamic ideology that has permeated some parts of our society.  Our Director Wilson Chowdhry - Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association has been working on a number of projects promoting interfaith harmony.  In the wake of the killing of Lee Rigby, he held a televised Peace Memorial concert for the slain military drummer.  The ITV feature can be viewed here:  

http://www.itv.com/news/london/update/2013-06-16/inter-faith-concert-in-woolwich/

Our offices were also used as a location for a series of interfaith harmony meetings with local faith leaders, and for art workshops for children that led to the creation of a Lee Rigby Memorial painting:

http://www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk/news/news/children_pay_respect_to_lee_rigby_in_park_memorial_board_1_3135847

Our focus on community safety and security, evidences our commitment to sustainable development and corporate social responsibility.  Moreover, it proves that A.A. Security has a stake in national security!

For more details of our work at the North Luffenham Barracks (click here)


Read More

Wilson's Way: Security guard incidents



 

Continuation from "Our Measures for security guards."

 

Video Transcript (Sic)

 

David: so you seem to have very strong measures in regards too knowing the whereabouts of your security guards what's the reason for that


Wilson: Many years ago when we first started the company this is 20 years ago now we use to have issues with officers lacking an understanding off the need for punctuality and also often they would skive of site and we would catch them in the act during our site visit. Obviously this is many years down the line obviously now 20 years later over that period we have organically proved our mechanisms introduced electronic software ensuring we have supervisors to prevent such lapses happening. 


In a worse case scenario that I remember, I remember we assigned an officer to a construction site in Luton and the officer kept ringing up confirming with our control center manager of the time he was on site. But when the supervisor visited we couldn't gain access to the gate we kept calling him and saying why are you not opening the gate unfortunately the client didn't provide a landline telephone number so we couldn't check his whereabouts we could only call his mobile to confirm he was on site and he kept telling us he was in the toilets when he actually lived quite local to the site. He was disappearing home we found that, our supervisor just kept on channeling around the site trying to look for him and we saw him drive back and sneak over the fence. Which we took pictures of. It was a real moment of realisation for us that the system had to be a bit more effective. 

That's when we started investigating the potential for electronic systems to prevent such recurrences and we invested heavily we originally bought something by a company called Mytech which was quite useless because it kept crashing unfortunately. We now have this new system which works in real time its backed up by independent server we subscribe too the company that are providing this for us. We are one of the very few companies in the country that are now able to allow access to that particular service too our clients for passcoded access to that software program. More to the point as well the software allows us to monitor security officers patrol in real time too because it has an electronic time clock device which has an electronic type tagging system ensuring we know exactly where the officer is patrolling when's he's undertaken those patrols and are alerted to any missed patrols or missed check calls able to protect the officer ensuring his safety is paramount. Ensuring that his duties are carried out properly, but also although its not so important nowadays because we know guards that are really compliment because of the software it enables us to know that the officer is based on site. 

But I must add we haven't had an incident of an officer not being on sight when he's reported to be since maybe 19 years.


Read More