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Met Police awards recognise private security industry

The important contribution private security providers make to maintaining public order and safety was recognised at a special event organised by London's Metropolitan Police this month.

Hosted at Scotland Yard in the heart of the capital, the Police and Security Awards was the first official event to mark the outstanding work of private security firms and other people and organisations operating in London.

 

 

Mark Rowe, editor of Professional Security magazine, described the occasion as "the plainest sign yet of the appreciation and recognition for the industry at Scotland Yard".

Accolades were presented in five key subject areas: partnership engagement, intelligence sharing, innovation, volunteering and outstanding acts.

More than 20 individuals, groups and businesses received awards, all of whom had been nominated by Metropolitan Police officers.

The honours were handed out by Chief Inspector Roy Smith, Lambeth Borough Operational Commander and Strategic Lead for Business Crime, who sat on the board of judges helping to decide some of the winners.

He said: "I was frankly really impressed by the depth and breadth of activity by security teams across the capital."

One of the characteristics that made Chief Inspector Smith the ideal choice to present the awards was his background in private security, something that is fairly unusual in the Metropolitan Police.

He previously worked with Chubb when it was a guarding provider and was responsible for security at Eurostar.

Addressing the audience gathered at the event at Scotland Yard, the chief inspector recognised that there are some occasions when private security agencies can be more effective than the police.

"There are things you can do faster, more efficiently and effectively," he said.

"In your world, in the domains you operate, you are the expert … You are our eyes and ears, you support us, you give vital intelligence, you know the areas that you work."

The award recipients included a number of representatives from high-profile betting and gambling companies like Ladbrokes, Betfred, William Hill and Paddy Power.

They were recognised in the intelligence-sharing category for their collaboration on best practice to prevent robberies against bookmakers.

Accolades were also presented to volunteers such as the Westminster 'street pastors' - a group of workers from various churches in central London who go on night-time patrols in busy areas to help people who may be in distress or in need of assistance.

In the business world, the advantages of private security providers can prove particularly important for firms that own high-value assets or specialise in handling valuable goods.

Companies that operate in the manufacturing, construction, retail and logistics sectors, for example, are likely to benefit from professional security services to protect the items they are producing or distributing.

A visible security presence can also be invaluable when it comes to deterring criminals and providing peace of mind for workers, managers and clients visiting commercial premises.

 

Posted by Andrew Miller

 

Image Courtesy of iStock. 

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