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.

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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

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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

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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

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2018 Armed Forces Day

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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. 

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·      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

 
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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. 

 
 

Happy New Year!

2017 was another challenging year in the private security industry, with global counter-terrorism continuing to take the focus away from an escalating criminal threat. With police resources under pressure and a focus on terrorism, the criminal gangs have been allowed to gather momentum, resulting in an increased threat to everyday people.  

Security news has been dominated by high profile global issues such as the North Korean threat and worldwide politics, often missing ongoing issues, particularly in the Middle East region. Domestic terrorism was at the forefront of the media reporting in the first part of the year with the attacks in Manchester and London, but as the nation becomes numb to horrors of terrorism, we appear to be settling for a culture of acceptance that terrorism is just part of everyday life here in the UK. The cyber threat has taken a backseat, despite more than ever high-profile data breaches and technological vulnerabilities being highlighted which could harm each and everyone of us.  

SRX continued to cement our reputation in France and Monaco over the last 12 months where we are now commonly known as the 'go-to' security provider for high-net-worth families, their property and business interests. 

2018 is shaping up to be another busy year for SRX, with our main focus being the summer deployments to the South of France as well as being 'good-to-go' for short notice global deployments on behalf of our clients. We are looking to build on the Training Department this year by running external training courses in SIA licence disciplines as well as our own bespoke training courses to give people the opportunity to learn relevant skills to deal with today's threats 'on the street' giving you the tools to prevent yourself and your family becoming a victim to indiscriminate attacks. 

Finally, the work of the British Armed Forces continues into the New Year, with deployments to over eighty countries, including signifiant roles in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria as well as supporting our NATO commitments and homeland work. With most of our personnel retired military or serving reservists, SRX always respect and appreciate the work of our Armed Forces. 

Happy New Year and stay safe in 2018. 

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Lest we Forget

2016 was the first year since 1968 without any British military deaths on operations. As memories fade of the death and physical or mental injuries suffered in recent conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan, we must remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice throughout history to ensure our children grow up in a free and safe world. Remembrance Day, also known as Armistice Day, marks the day World War One ended, at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, back in 1918. Whatever your religious or political beliefs are, the men and woman of our Armed Forces are a vital tool to ensure our freedom - nobody wants 'peace' more than those who have experienced the horrors of war, but unlike some who haven't, military people are able to identify better with the unfortunate fact that right now, whilst there are bad people in the world who want to do bad things, we need an effective military, who stand ready to fight (and occasionally do), in order to act as a deterrent. 

In the spring of 1915, shortly after losing a friend in Ypres, a Canadian doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was inspired by the sight of poppies growing in battle-scarred fields to write a now famous poem called 'In Flanders Fields'. After the First World War, the poppy was adopted as a symbol of Remembrance. Modern day wearing of the poppy is a personal preference which should be used by an individual to show to themselves that they remember those who have made sacrifices - not necessarily that they agree with the politics of certain conflicts, or that they agree with the concept of fighting aggression with aggression, but just that they appreciate and remember. The poppy appeal in the UK is used by the Royal British Legion to help the Armed Forces Community, and the money they raise through the appeal makes a significant difference to those who need help and support. The poppy is a symbol of remembrance and hope, worn by millions of people and coloured red because that is the natural colour of field poppies. It is not a symbol of death, or blood or an indication or your political and/or religious views. As we head more towards a culture of 'feelings' and 'entitlement', we will probably see the poppy phased out over time as a symbol of remembrance, or see it hijacked as a political tool and used by individuals to promote themselves. Until the next great conflict for our freedom, when those same individuals will call upon the ever decreasing pool of men and women who are prepared to take up arms to defend our great country. And while we wait for those conflicts to come knocking on our door, the Armed Forces will go about training hard so they are ready for that day - in between manning fire engines during strikes, rescuing your from your flooded village, backfilling manpower for big companies who can't honour multi-million pound contracts for events such as the Olympic Games, responding to terrorism in our cities and towns, delivering aid and relief to those who have suffered in natural disasters, guarding significant national infrastructure sites 365 days of the year, combatting the drugs trade which brings misery to millions of people, guarding the waters and airspace around our country, burning animals to prevent the spread of Foot and Mouth disease or assisting us when the country suffers a harsh winter as it did in 2009-10. 

You can't pick and choose when you support the Armed Forces community, there will be conflicts or tasks which you don't agree with and some you do, but military personnel don't get to choose which ones they get involved in, so nor should we choose which ones we support them in. 

Everyone wants to eat, but few are willing to hunt. 

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.

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