We Will Remember Them

As we pause this week to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, we should try and remember the reasons why we recognise this day. We should ensure it doesn’t become a politically correct ‘box ticking’ day where we feel obliged to wear a poppy or we use remembrance day as a tool to promote ourselves or for commercial gain. Buying and wearing a poppy is a great way of contributing financially to the Royal British Legion, but it is equally important to actually take the time to think about those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Whatever your views on individual conflicts and their politics, the men and women of our Armed Forces have no choice which conflicts they fight in - they go and fight because they are ordered to go and fight. The poppy is not a symbol of war glory and it is not a sign of your approval or any particular conflict, but it is an important tool in the complicated process of our long term safety and security in our country. If you don’t approve of certain conflicts then fine, but don’t not approve of the concept of brave men and women who are prepared to protect us from danger - to protect us from terrorists blowing up our children in our streets, or to protect us from fires and floods when called to do so, or to protect us from invasion by an evil occupying force by being an important deterrant.

This year marks 100 years since the armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany, marking the end of the First World War. This signing at Compiègne in France took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning - the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918.

Whilst remembrance day will continue to be recognised in our country, it is anticipated that the horrors of the First World War will start to be slowly erased from the minds of future generations as the next 100 years are lived out. Whilst that is a normal process and one which is probably necessary in order to move forward in history, we should never forget the ferocity of the First World War. It was a war fought by civilians who had received very little training as most of the professional army of the day were killed in the early stages of the conflict. Normal everyday men signed up and went to the battlefields to fight for our country with so many killed or maimed. We have to ask whether as individuals, if we would make that sacrifice again today, should it be required? For those who have never served in the military, please try and imagine what it might be like to leave your family, your home, your job, your hobbies and your friends behind and go overseas to fight in a war which may result in you never coming home.

SRX have a strong military connection with over 90% of our personnel having served or still serving in the Armed Forces. Many of our personnel will be taking the time to remember friends and colleagues who have died during active service in modern conflicts such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, the Balkans and as part of the Global War on Terror. Remembering those who you knew is easy and that process occurs all throughout the year, not just on Remembrance Day, but we should try and give our thoughts and prayers to those who we didn’t know - to the parents grieving for their children killed in battle or for kids who will grow up without a mum or dad.

The term ‘fighting’ is associated with war and conflict so we often assume this is a soldier firing his gun at the enemy. But the concept of fighting a war is far more than just infantry soldiers in close combat. The fighting process might involved a medic who is fighting to save the life of someone who is injured (friend or foe), or a truck driver who is fighting to get crucial supplies to the front line, or a helicopter pilot who is fighting to drop off troops for their next mission. Just being in a war zone is dangerous and many who have been killed have been done so in non-combat situations, so regardless of which fight they are fighting, the sacrifice is the same and the loss is the same.

At 1100 on the 11th November 2018, please take some time out from your busy schedule to pause and remember. It doesn’t have to be a one minute or a two minute silence, but instead, put down your phone or switch off your TV or computer and spend a good ten or twenty minutes actually thinking about those heroes who have made a sacrifice. In fact, spend the whole day with those thoughts in your mind, remembering how lucky we are to live in relative peace and to have all the life choices we have thanks to brave men and women who chose to fight.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

BjjfBcr-remembrance-day-wallpaper.jpg



Awards Night

Dq_Q1edWkAAqUOU.jpg

SRX personnel attended a formal dinner this week at Jesmond Dene House, where we were presented with a Silver Award in recognition of our ongoing contribution to the Armed Forces Community. The award was part of the Ministry of Defence's National Employer Recognition Scheme, which was launched in 2014 by the Prime Minister to recognise employer support for the wider principles of the Armed Forces Covenant. The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employers that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to Defence and the Armed Forces community. This includes the Reserves, Service leavers, Armed Forces veterans, the wounded, injured and sick, Cadets, military spouses or partners and their families.

A fantastic night, organised with military precision and with excellent speakers, it was humbling to see first hand the high level of support for the military community by a range of different industries and companies.

SRX will now begin the in-depth and challenging process to attaining a Gold Award in the forthcoming years.


UK Police Priorities

With confusing crime statistics and misleading media reports it is difficult to ascertain whether the everyday threat of crime within the UK is on the increase. It is commonly felt from within the security industry that crime is on the rise and with police priorities shifting, in recent years, away from burglary and violent crimes, the emphasis for security is being placed on the homeowners themselves.

Whether part of a solutions package, or a single requirement, SRX can provide an independent and objective assessment of security threats and vulnerabilities for both commercial and private clients.

John Apter, the Chair of the Police Federation, has called for ‘common sense’ in deciding on setting police priorities. Read his comments here.

burglary.jpg

Police forces across the UK recently made a U-turn in their assessment of crime figures, so rather than assuring the public that crime was down, they now claim that crime is up. Many police forces blame the increases on changes to the way crime is recorded and an increased confidence of victims to report crimes. Whether this is the case is debatable, but there are certainly some crimes which are unlikely to be reported more or less, regardless of how they are recorded or how confident victims feel - burglary for example, is a crime which was always reported to the Police, and this is unlikely to change whilst there is a chance victims can be reunited with their stolen possessions or whilst insurance companies demand crime numbers for claims.

A common theory across the security industry is that the police U-turn in admitting crime is actually on a sharp increase is an attempt to secure more central funding from the government - funding won’t be increased if crime is down, as that means the current budgets are working well, but if crime is up then there can be a demand for increased funding.

Coming Soon.....SRX Cyber

As part of our ongoing expansion, we are delighted to announce that plans are well under way for our second affiliate company, SRX Cyber, which will commence trading as an individual company later this year. This follows the successful establishment of our first affiliate company, SRX CCTV, earlier this year.

SRX Cyber will be managed by experienced cyber security experts from a range of backgrounds and will carry out all of the ongoing cyber security work within SRX as well as continuing to break new ground in the private cyber security industry.

The company will specialise in a wide range of cyber and IT security capabilities, including:

  • Security assessments

  • Vulnerability scanning

  • Penetration testing

  • Ethical hacking

  • Cyber security audits and compliance

  • Cyber security health checks

  • Secure IT systems and networks

  • Smart home networks

  • Discreet internet

  • Secure email and messaging

  • Secure storage and carriage of data

  • Covert email and messaging

  • Covert storage and carriage of data

  • Forensic data recovery and examination

  • Counter-espionage

  • Ruggedised IT systems and equipment

  • Software and app solutions

  • Cyber policies, procedures and impact analysis

  • Encryption

  • Biometrics

  • GDPR compliance

  • Cyber training, awareness and consultancy

  • Open Source analysis

More information will follow over the coming months.


MRHQ

19238179_1828434507473860_6092970794479952244_o.png

Military Resettlement Headquarters is an online platform enabling Ex Military personnel to find employment whilst undergoing resettlement and years after they've left the services. MRHQ gives them the ability to speak to civilian companies in order to explore employment opportunities. The site is an all inclusive hub of information where Ex Military, past and present, can find out about companies, charities, CV writing, Social media profiles, training providers, institutions etc., essentially a one-stop shop to prepare themselves for work in the civilian world. This includes a job board where companies can actively advertise vacant roles. 

The Military Times has awarded MRHQ:

  • Best Military Resettlement Partner 2017
  • Best Value Hiring Platform 2017 
  • Most Innovative Military Start Up 2017

SRX Win Silver Award in Employer Recognition Scheme

ERS Silver - 2018 LOGO.png

SRX were delighted to hear this week that we are to receive a Silver Award in the Ministry of Defence's National Employer Recognition Scheme. SRX have always had a strong Armed Forces influence, with the majority of our employees and sub-contractors being ex-military and this award is in recognition of our ongoing contribution to the Armed Forces Community.  

The Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) was launched in 2014 by the Prime Minister to recognise employer support for the wider principles of the Armed Forces Covenant. The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employers that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to Defence and the Armed Forces community. This includes the Reserves, Service leavers, Armed Forces veterans, the wounded, injured and sick, Cadets, military spouses or partners and their families.

Commenting on the announcement of the 2018 Employer Recognition Scheme Silver awards, Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans, the Rt Hon Tobias Ellwood MP said:

“I am delighted to congratulate the recipients of this year’s Employer Recognition Scheme Silver awards. A Silver award recognises the fantastic efforts of employers throughout the UK who have both elevated their commitments under the Armed Forces Covenant and provided actual benefit to the Armed Forces Community.  The winners should all be proud of the life-changing impact and fresh opportunities they are providing to our Reservists, veterans, wounded injured and sick and their families. We’ve seen a record number of winners this year, which shows that the Armed Forces family talent pool is also providing tangible business benefit.”

The award will be officially presented to SRX at an awards dinner in November, where we will be proud and honoured to receive this award and recognition in front of many people who share our views on the Armed Forces Community. 

Looking to the future, we hope to expand our Affiliate Scheme and business mentoring for service leavers to include SRX Cyber, SRX Training, SRX Investigations. This follows the successful establishment of SRX CCTV by a Regular Army veteran of 24 years, David Moore, who has spent time during his resettlement engaging with our company in business mentoring and setting up his company which he will own 100% of. We also look forward to continuing our work to support Hire a Hero and other military charities in the UK. 

SRX launch new Affiliate Company

SRX have, this week, completed the formation of a new affiliate company, SRX CCTV, which will handle all of our Technical Security installations including CCTV, Access Control and Alarm Systems. Operating from York in the UK, the new company have absorbed the existing SRX Technical Security capability, and will carry out all installation work in the UK and overseas.  

SRX CCTV will operate as an affiliate company of SRX Security, maintaining the same ethos and standards and coming under the direct control of the SRX Operational Director. Technical Security Manager, David Moore, a former British Army soldier of 24 years will head up the new company alongside our current Installation Teams. This combination of fresh ideas from David with his military experience will complement nicely the technical abilities of our existing Installation Engineers resulting in a vastly experience team which will continue to lead the way at the high end of the security industry. 

For more information please visit the SRX CCTV page here

CCTV CONTACT BAR.jpg

2018 Armed Forces Day

AFD-2018_Secondary-1.jpg

Today, the 30th June 2018, is Armed Forces Day in the United Kingdom, where the public are encouraged to show support for our Armed Forces and to recognise the work they do and the sacrifices they make. 

The military is extremely close to our hearts at SRX, where we employ a high number of serving reservists and ex-military personnel. Most of our senior staff have previously served in The Armed Forces, so we fully understand the difficulties faced by our military personnel who do an exceptionally tough job, and SRX will continue to maintain these close ties with the UK Armed Forces in the future. 

SRX have supported a range of military charities over the last few years, with many of our personnel volunteering to support events, or organising endurance challenges, rugby games and other fundraising activities. We are a member of the Armed Forces Covenant and current holders of a Bronze Award in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme. 

Close Protection

SRX provides a global close protection capability for a range of commercial and private clients.  Whether part of a solutions package, or a single requirement, SRX liaises closely with each client to select the right individuals to provide a truly bespoke service. 

CP IMAGE low res.jpg

·      VIP protection

·      Bodyguard services

·      Personal escort services

·      Hostile environment close protection

·      Female close protection operatives

·      Canine protection

·      Sports tours

·      Armed protection

·      Non-lethal weapon protection

·      Overt presence and show of force

·      Covert protection

·      Quick reaction teams

·      Advanced security planning teams

·      Venue/location integrity

·      Chauffeur driven executive protection

·      Armoured vehicles

·      Airport transfers

·      SIA accredited personnel

 
 

People Skills and Private Security

THE IMPORTANCE OF PEOPLE SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

Probably the most overlooked aspects of a Private Security Operative's skillset are People Skills and Experience. We are seeing operational experience being shunned in favour of cheaper but less experienced personnel and people skills being forgotten due to a lack of understanding in the importance of personality in a security role. 

THE BAD OLD DAYS  

The Private Security Industry has come a long way in recent years, with legislation and accreditation seeing an end to the use of 'hired thugs' with their tattooed forearms and shaved heads, and the industry is in a far better place for it. But as we strive for more regulation and accreditation, is there too much emphasis on qualifications and licensing at the expense of the more traditional core attributes - operational experience and people skills?

SIA REGULATION

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) have done great things in the UK in setting standards and regulating individuals and companies in the industry, but they don't really provide a platform for clients to verify security operatives based on their experience or personality. For example, almost anybody can apply to become a licensed and qualified Close Protection Operative, as long as you pass the DBS check and attend a relatively short and simple course, then you can be out there 'on the ground' protecting clients. This has resulted in the security market being saturated with some very average operatives with no operational experience in security or poor people skills - many of whom end up working in security training companies to teach others. The exception to this are ex-military personnel, who have a key role in the Security Industry and remain pivotal to the effectiveness and reputation of most of the best private security companies.

EXPERIENCE

The reason why military personnel are so suited to the security industry is that they have many tangible skills and therefore are operationally experienced in the fundamental principles of security - whether that be standing on the gate of a camp in the UK or manning an Observation Post in a combat zone, they have an inherent 'sense' for threats and risks and ask any soldier how long they have 'stagged-on' for in their career and they will tell you - too long! Further to this, military personnel have been tested under extreme pressure, often carrying out a security role where the consequences of failure are death, but without a military background it is very difficult to verify how a security operative will react should a real threat materialise.

PEOPLE SKILLS

On the personality and people skills side of things, this can also be an inherent skill of military personnel. Absolute honesty and integrity are words commonly associated with military people and this is essential as a security operative, but also very difficult to verify in someone without a military background. Security personnel are always 'human-facing', whether that be public-facing in a role such as Manned Guarding or client-facing in a role such as Close Protection. Often security personnel will be required to hold small-talk conversations with clients or build relationships with other staff such as housekeepers or drivers, so having good people skills is essential. Some may argue against this and say that as long as you're capable of dealing with a threat then you don't need to worry about interacting with the public or a client, but if we consider both Door Supervisors and Residential Security Teams, it becomes clear that people skills are actually just as important as your SIA badge or your NVQ in security. Take the example of a Door Supervisor - whilst you need personnel who are capable of physical intervention if required, good Door Supervisors will be able to diffuse a potential situation by talking and ultimately avoiding violence. In the example of a Residential Security Team - the Team Leader has a responsibility to gather intelligence on all threats regardless of how minor they may seem, in order to produce their security plan, so maintaining a good relationship with other staff such as gardeners or cleaners is essential in gathering intelligence in order to stay abreast of the threat.  

SUMMARY

So whilst there are, without doubt, plenty of good security operatives out there who are not ex-military, when selecting teams for security roles, it is a safe bet to utilise ex-military personnel. Less risk that you will end up with someone who's done a short course and has little operational experience, but instead, confident they will most likely have the right experience and personality for the job. Some aspects of our industry, such as family security, require a high emphasis on personality and people skills - often family security operatives work alone, heavily embedded in the family with a strong personal relationship with family members of all ages and sexes so it is imperative to fit seamlessly into this group, as if you were an actual family member. 

SRX PERSONNEL

90% of our personnel are ex-military, all vastly experienced with years of operational security work under their belts in some of the best units in the UK Armed Forces. We choose our security teams carefully, ensuring we have the right balance of experience, qualifications and personality applicable to a particular client or even a specific task. 

 

Armed Forces Covenant

SRX are fully committed to supporting the military community in the UK - almost all of our personnel are ex-military, and we currently employ many serving reservist personnel as part of our security teams. We are a firm advocate of the armed forces covenant, which is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

Read the SRX Armed Forces Covenant pledge here

 
AFC POS RGB.jpg
 

Drone Threat

The threat from drones, know as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), is rapidly becoming a concern for security providers and their clients. Drones are an ideal tool for surveillance:

  • Low procurement and replacement costs
  • Rapidly deployable capability
  • Can be launched from discreet locations requiring very little real estate
  • Very little regulation of their sale and use
  • High quality downlinked or recorded camera footage with PTZ capability, providing an excellent vantage point over a 'target'
  • Easy to fly with very little training required

We are seeing drones used against our clients both in the UK and overseas more regularly, with the summer of 2017 in France proving particularly difficult with some sustained use targeting several of our clients. 

Drones can be used by a range of hostile threats:

  • Criminals carrying out reconnaissance in the preparation of an attack
  • Hostile media trying to collect information
  • Casual users with a general inquisitive motive

Whatever the user threat and whether it be a security or privacy issue, drones will continue to pose a significant problem until the law across the world catches up with the threat and starts to regulate and control the use of drones. With an increasing amount of  'near misses' occurring with civilian aircraft, it is only a matter of time before there is a serious incident with an irresponsible drone pilot. It is likely that such an incident will kick-start the process of regulating and licensing drones. 

In the mean time, SRX have taken measures to mitigate the threat to our clients posed by drone use by implementing physical and technical measures. The counter-drone market, known as Counter Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (C-UAV), is rapidly becoming an essential part of any security plan. The use of frequency jamming technology has so far proved too expensive and unreliable to capture the civilian market, instead, C-UAV companies are looking at ways of physically interdicting drones as they fly, capturing them, then landing with a parachute. Leading the way in this market are a UK company called Open Works Engineering, who have developed the Skywall range of drone defence systems. We are looking to work with Open Works Engineering in the near future to procure a C-UAV suite for deployment to France this coming summer.