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Met hails private security in awards first

Yesterday afternoon, awards for private security, crime prevention and community safety were the plainest sign yet of the appreciation and recognition for the industry at Scotland Yard, Mark Rowe writes.

Security work in shopping centres, on the doors of pubs and nightclubs, in hotels and universities, and on the pavement, roads and bridges, was hailed in the first Metropolitan Police security awards. Partnership engagement, intelligence sharing, innovation, volunteering and outstanding acts were the categories. While they are the stuff of award ceremonies, and are only words, what lifted the occasion was not only the roll-call of hard (and often selfless) work, but the fact that the two dozen individuals, groups and companies given awards were nominated by Met Police officers, of all ranks. For the list of award winners, visit

The man handing over the framed awards was Chief Insp Roy Smith, Lambeth borough operational commander and strategic lead for business crime. He’s unusual in that he has a private security background, as he told the audience. He was with Chubb in their days as a guarding provider, responsible for security provision at Eurostar. He recalled his interview in Professional Security (in 2007).

He told the audience of award winners and others that there were things that private security does better than police. “There are things you can do faster, more efficiently and effectively. In your world, in the domains you operate, you are the expert … You are our eyes and ears, you support us, you give vital intelligence, you know the areas that you work.” Roy added that he sat on the board of judges making some of the award decisions. “I was frankly really impressed by the depth and breadth of activity by security teams across the capital.”

Commander Julian Bennett gave an opening address and Geoff Zeidler as chair of the Police and Security Initiative (PaS) the closing address. Citations for the awards were read by Det Insp Georgie Barnard, who heads the Met Police’s business crime hub, based at Charing Cross police station; the hub was behind the awards. Refreshments followed on the fifth floor of Scotland Yard followed.

Pictured by Mark Rowe: left to right, Andy McDermott of Assist Security presented with an award for partnership and engagement by Chief Insp Roy Smith. As featured in the PaS conference at London City Hall in December and in the January print issue of Professional Security magazine, Assist provide uniformed patrollers for Clapham High Street; such patrols including after pubs and clubs have closed for the night, and co-operation between venue door staff and police and others, including an evening briefing on a local church premises, have meant less reported crime and disorder, and fewer complaints by nearby residents of nuisances.


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