Security industry to reset perceptions of security officers

The British Security Industry Association has joined forces with the Security Institute and the Security Commonwealth to run an awareness campaign to highlight the essential role that security officers play in public life, and to increase respect and recognition for their capabilities.

The private security industry has developed vastly in the last decade and the new campaign is designed to reset the public perception of the security professional. The campaign will showcase security professionals as a respected, valued, professional service provider contributing to and creating a safe and secure environment: critical to protecting people, places, and property – a key worker that is acknowledged and embedded in our daily lives.

Due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, security officers have been working in critical settings playing key roles whilst remaining unheralded. This has included working at testing centres and the NHS Nightingale hospitals, ensuring critical food deliveries from warehouses and managing queues and customers at supermarkets. They have also been involved in safeguarding the homeless in new sheltered accommodation, physical security at factories and premises, protecting industrial estates from illegal fly tipping during lockdown; and supporting police patrols in London.

Mike Reddington, chief executive of the BSIA, said: “The recognition of security officers as key workers is the start of a re-appraisal of what service they provide to the community in keeping the public safe and secure.  As we exit lockdown and have to navigate public spaces again, they will have a crucial role in supporting public confidence.  We are working closely with the Police and all other public bodies to find the best way to achieve this.”

Rick Mounfield, chief executive at the Security Institute, said: “The security sector is vast with specialisms from cyber and engineering to protective services including both technical measures and security officers. The latter engages with society more than the rest but is often overlooked and unappreciated. Great effort has been invested in the professional standards and capabilities of frontline officers and they have proven their worth during the coronavirus crisis in the UK. They, along with the wider security sector deserve to be recognised, respected and appreciated for the safety and security they provide across the UK."

The BSIA has also opened up a consultation on what to call the service that security officers provide, as manned guarding fails to reflect increasing numbers of women in the workforce and the scope of services provided. The industry universally calls its staff ‘security officers’ to reflect a far wider safeguarding role than just guarding and reviewing other terminology is part of the overall campaign.


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