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ProtectED latest

A reception at the House of Lords was the setting for the latest from the security and well-being scheme ProtectED on Wednesday night. To recap briefly, the University of Salford was the founder member of ProtectED, as featured in the May 2018 print issue of Professional Security magazine, and Salford’s head of security Trevor Jones was among Wednesday’s speakers. ProtectED is an accreditation scheme whereby a university member of ProtectED assesses its safety and security – besides the physical security of buildings and people, what it has in place to look after the well-being of students and staff – and can have its submission and campus reviewed. Director of ProtectED Andrew Wootton introduced the evening.

Some of the speakers, after an opening welcome by Lord Kennedy of Southwark – fellow Labour peer Baroness Henig being unable to attend – showed the various aspects of well-being. As at least one speaker pointed out, they’re holistic – a lack of, or threat to, one sort of well-being can and does affect well-being in another, whether financial, physical, or the actual course of study. That matters because (as one, commercial supplier, attender reminded Professional Security), British universities are in a global market for students, competing with the likes of India, Australia and North America. Parents, whether UK or international, anxious about their children, or students having a bad or unhappy experience for whatever reason – such as being a victim of crime – may put off siblings and others from studying in a country, or staying the course.

Trevor Jones, the chairman of the university heads of security association Aucso, was a speaker at the ST19 conference in Manchester in July. He said that ProtectED will not provide every answer, ‘but what it will do is guide you in the right direction’.

Following, Lisa Banks, Director of Student Services at Preston-based University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) also described ProtectED membership as a ‘safe zone’ where institutions could have conversations about issues in common. Georgina Calvert-Lee, senior counsel at law firm McAllister Olivarius, praised members for ‘walking the walk’, besides ‘talking the talk’. She offered insight into why she – a discrimination lawyer – was there; students and student groups facing sexual and other harassment finding that they did not have all the entitlements in a disciplinary process as the person they were accusing. In other words, arguably discrimination, which could be modified simply by universities, she said.

Vivi Friedgut of Blackbullion, an online loan repayment tool, made the case for seeing students as ‘whole creatures’, that don’t have a purely finance, mental health and academic side. She said: “We need to start changing the narrative, and one of the great things that ProtectED can do is make the ‘safe environment’ that is one less thing to worry about.”

Who was there?

Among the attenders were, besides university admin people, former senior Security Industry Authority man Dave Humphries; from the industry associations, Roger Felgate for IPSA and Mahbubul Islam for the Security Institute; and on the campus security side, Aucso’s Midlands and London regional chairs, respectively Lawrence Perkins, head of security at Leicester, and Oliver Curran, Deputy Security Manager at University College London, one of a group of UCL managers that attended, including the head of security, Mark West.

Ollie Curran is also Aucso’s rep on the Security Commonwealth, the umbrella body which meets about twice a year and which met most recently in mid-October. Ollie featured in the September issue of Professional Security magazine, as one of the attenders who briefed a LPSS (London Public Space Security) gathering in the summer.

More in the December print issue.

Picture by Mark Rowe; Lord Kennedy presenting ProtectED membership certificate to Brunel University, accepted by Lesley O’Keeffe, deputy director academic and student services at Brunel.


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