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AUCSO 2019 awards

University heads of security during their annual association conference heard nominations for the AUCSO annual awards, including prevention of suicides, armed robbery, mass trespass and creating a CCTV patrol vehicle.

As in previous years of the awards, the awards showed how uni security staff respond to incidents on and around campuses. William Ghrairi, an Access and Security Officer at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich was cited for three separate incidents.

In one, where a student had died, Will took control of the situation, dealt with the other distraught students and preserved the scene for Norfolk Police. Will has received police commendations and was presented with the AUCSO award for ‘Security Officer of the Year for Excellent Service’. He is pictured centre with Wayne Kynaston of award sponsor and event exhibitor Traka Assa Abloy, and Trevor Jones, AUCSO chair, right.

The award for ‘Security Officer of the Year for an Outstanding Act of Courage’ was presented by Paul Evans, CEO of Carlisle Support Services, to Katie Fletcher, Deputy Team Leader of the University of Surrey. One night Katie was confronted by a group of over 100 travellers’ vehicles who had been moving around the area and were attempting to move on to the university’s land. Katie used her vehicle to block the road to the access point and despite threats and intimidating behaviour, and being significantly outnumbered, Katie stood firm and was successful in getting the majority to turn around and leave the campus. The university was able to manage the much smaller incursion more easily and dispersed them a few days later.

The conference hosts, Aston University, won the ‘Security team of the year’ award, presented by Jonathan Whiteley, Managing Director of Horus Security Consultancy Ltd. After a short rise in street robberies in the local area, the Aston security team were alert to any incident on the edge of their Birmingham city centre campus; and one night responded when the CCTV picked up two males robbing a man (later known to be the father of a student), who was dragged away from the campus to withdraw money from a cash machine. The security team, despite not being covered by their CCTV system, followed the robbers while communicating with West Midlands Police. They found the victim who told them the men had been carrying handguns and took him back to the campus to care for him and his distraught daughter.

As a sign of how universities in general and AUCSO in particular have a more international focus, the award for ‘Innovation in Security’ presented by David Vousden, North West Regional Sales Manager of Avigilon, went to Ramze Rifaie, Security Systems Manager at Monash University in Australia. Monash, in Melbourne, responded to a rise in street robbery in its local area, by creating a vehicle fitted with 360-degree CCTV coverage. While incidents were off campus, it was clear that CCTV and visible security patrols were a deterrent on campus; so Ramze set about creating a solution to use around the campus boundaries where many students lived.

Nothing like this was in use in Australia, so Ramze set about researching, designing and commissioning an on-vehicle CCTV system capable of recording and transmitting live footage. The first prototype was so successful, the university now has five vehicles each with HD CCTV cameras, with a range of technology. The vehicles are also branded to visibly promote the university’s commitment to public safety. Since the deployment of these vehicles, crime reports in the area have shown a significant drop in street robberies and CCTV footage has assisted police with several arrests. UK university security people have shown an interest in doing something similar.

Nominees were congratulated by the AUCSO Chair, Trevor Jones, Head of Security and Community Support at the University of Salford. They will each receive an AUCSO Certificate of Excellence. Nominees were:


Various Team Members, University of Oxford
Steve Whatling, University of Salford
Stew Ledbury, Security Systems Advisor, FX Plus, Penryn
Louise Southall, Team Leader Security, De Montfort, Leicester
Ramze Rifaie, Security Systems Manager, Monash University
Ruth Hamson, Protection Service Coordinator, Coventry University
Security and Community Safety Team, University of Northampton


Aaron Bruce, University of Dundee
Dave Cripps, University of Oxford
William Ghrairi, University of East Anglia
Steve Vaughan, University of Oxford
Gene Apps, London South Bank University
Saleh Walid, London South Bank University
Peter Ford, London South Bank University
Graham Lawrence, University of Sheffield
Andrew Stevenson, University of Glasgow
1Raju Gurung, University of Westminster
Hannah Booth, Heriot-Watt University


Katie Fletcher, University of Surrey
Ryan Pill, of FX Plus, Penryn
Mark Malkin, Aston University
Paul Oliver, University of Sheffield
Ken Stokes and Deborah James, University of Plymouth


Campus Support Services Team, University of Liverpool
Security Services Support Team, University of Bristol
Members of B&A Team, Aston University
Safeguarding Services, Heriot-Watt University
LSBU Security Services Team, London South Bank University
Team Foxtrot, Coventry University
Security Management Team, University of Glasgow
Security Team, University of Worcester.


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