Walk through any of our major cities and they are almost unrecognisable from just a month ago. Deserted streets, shuttered shops, closed-down buildings, empty pubs and restaurants. Our built environment has been completely transformed by the current Government lockdown.
And that has had an inevitable impact on people looking after those buildings. It’s meant changes for everyone from cleaning operatives and maintenance engineers to catering staff and, of course, security officers. Some organisations have closed down their buildings entirely while others are operating a skeleton staff. Meanwhile those who are considered part of the national infrastructure – food shops, financial services, utilities, distribution centres, police stations and of course hospitals – are often busier than ever but operating in a different way.
For us, it’s meant supporting our clients differently. Sometimes that’s been helping them to close down their building securely and providing a skeleton security cover while it’s vacant to protect critical assets. That’s been the case with some museums and major performing arts venues. Elsewhere, reception staff have been furloughed in some instances and our security officers are now providing day cover to maintain a presence in a largely empty building, whereas before it was mainly nights and weekends. Other organisations have turned to technology to provide security through our remote monitoring centre in Glasgow, or adopting mobile patrols to replace on-site officers.
We always work incredibly closely with the Police Service, but at a time like this, with policing stretched like never before, we’re working even closer to support them. That will continue as we face different challenges as this pandemic develops.
Overall the security sector has been less affected by Covid-19 than other soft services like catering and cleaning as it’s seen as an essential service – as demonstrated by the Government’s decision to classify licence-holding security professionals as critical workers. But we remain a people-based organisation and protecting and supporting our on-site teams is our main priority. Some of our people are ill, or self-isolating, and we need to support them back to good health, while also working to protect our teams on-site who are still working. Clients’ needs are changing day by day, so it’s a tricky balancing act to ensure we have the right resources where they need to be.
One thing is certain, one day these empty buidings and streets will be buzzing with people again, and security officers – and other essential workers – will be the only ones to remember a time when they lay silent.
We’ve set up a dedicated coronavirus support team to answer any questions about the impact of coronavirus on your business. Please contact us on email@example.com and we’ll do our best to help.