Adapting manned guards to a changing security environment

The ’Adapting manned guards to a changing security environment’ white paper has been launched by Skillweb, looking at how technology can help firms prepare for the future.

The study draws on Skillweb’s experience within the sector to demonstrate the ability of emerging technological platforms to increase the efficiency, transparency and compliance of modern day security firms.

It comes ahead of a radical shake-up to the manned guarding industry, thanks to licensing reforms, tighter budgets, changing public sector relations and demands for enhanced lone worker protection.

Paul Ridden, managing director of Skillweb, explained: “In this new environment, success will depend on a business’s ability to adapt, combining technology with traditional manned guarding operations. Already there has been greater pressure from customers to use emerging software to provide services. With the introduction of new regulations, this will only become greater.”

Tackling problems head on

The white paper identifies the key problems facing the sector and demonstrates how manned guarding companies can alleviate pressure by investing in technology.

Among the main issues are:-

A demand for technology – Security firms are increasingly being met by customers demanding a proof of attendance system be in place. When such software is the difference between securing a contract and losing out, businesses have to adapt or face extinction. However, some within the industry are still reluctant to take their first steps into the digital age.

Changing regulation – The licensing system is changing, with far-reaching reforms to the Security Industry Association placing the emphasis on business compliance, opposed to that of the individual. The responsibility to ensure operations are carried out to a high standard and in accordance to the law now lies with manned guarding firms.

Tightened budgets – During 2012 the security budgets of many organisations and bodies were cut, meaning manned guards noticed a drop in demand. With less money coming in, investing in the resources needed for growth has proven difficult.

Safety first – Corporate manslaughter cases are increasing and the safety of lone workers has been thrown into question. Businesses must ensure they have systems in place to support operatives when making their rounds.

Capitalising on opportunities – Security companies are increasingly coming into contention for public contracts, as the police look for ways to put officers back on front-line police work.