Corps Security Gives Thanks On The 75th Anniversary Of VE Day

To those who gave so much, we thank you.

Tomorrow Corps Security will be commemorating  the 75th anniversary of VE Day, which saw the end of the Second World War. With many of our security officers being former menbers of the armed services, this is a poignant moment in our history.

Although our planned events have been unable to go ahead, because of the Coronavirus outbreak, our teams throughout the UK will be remembering all those who gave their lives in the Second World War to ensure we all enjoy and share the freedom we have today. Many individuals will also raise a toast at 3pm today to the heroes, using the traditional words of the nation’s toast –to those who gave so much, we thank you.

At the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, Corps had 5,186 colleagues, of which 1,355 joined up to serve – the remainder being over the age limit.

The Corps of Commissionaires (now Corps Security) was founded by Captain Sir Edward Walter in 1859 as a means of offering ‘gainful employment’ to ex-servicemen returning from the Crimean War. By 1880, Corps had over 1,000 members operating in London, Belfast, and Liverpool. Only four years later, the company expanded to Australia, where there is still an active veterans’ association today.

A great deal has changed since 1859. Medical professionals have recognised the need to address mental health alongside physical health; the nature of service jobs has altered greatly; the process of a career transition has become significantly more complex. There are a multitude of ways that life has become both simpler and far more complicated for ex-service personnel. Through all of this, Corps has stayed connected to its history and continued to create an environment that welcomes and respects veterans.

“Although we now also recruit from outside the ex-forces’ talent pool, we have never left behind our founding ideals,” said Mike Bullock, CEO of Corps Security. “We currently work with the charity Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health support, which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to our military veterans. Although we are all apart today, we join together in spirit to remember all those who lost their lives during the Second World War.”

Corps Security Launches Thermal Imaging Solution

Corps Security has launched a thermal imaging tool to support organisations as they plan the return to work. The AI body temperature measurement tool, which comes in hand-held, fixed and tripod-mounted options, automatically scans people’s temperatures as they enter buildings allowing organisations to identify anyone with a high temperature – a key Covid-19 symptom.

Installed within 10 minutes, the cameras can simultaneously scan up to 16 faces – up to 3,600 an hour – making them suitable for corporate offices, major performing arts venues, manufacturing facilities, retail outlets and other high footfall locations. The millisecond response means people have no reason to adapt their behaviour as they enter a facility, so business efficiency is unaffected.

To support the implementation of this technology, Corps Security has invested in a bespoke training programme for site-based colleagues who will manage the solution, as well as new standard operating procedures to support rapid deployment. Because the technology is non-contact, there is no risk for either the organisation’s people or security personnel. Security officers are immediately alerted when an abnormal body temperature has been detected, and provided with an image of the person enabling them to sensitively approach the individual.

As organisations start to plan for the reoccupation of their facilities post the lockdown restrictions, thermal imaging cameras will be an essential tool to support business continuity while keeping people safe, said Mike Bullock, CEO of Corps Security.  ‘The Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, has said it is ‘wholly unrealistic’ to expect life would suddenly return to normal so organisations of all sizes need to plan for a different approach to building occupation. This is one of a number of tools that can help them.”

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 covid19@corpssecurity.co.uk and we’ll do our best to help.

Case Study - A Change In Approach - Manned Guarding To Remote Monitoring

The lockdown has changed the way security is delivered to sites across the UK. Read how one property management firm in south London switched from manned guarding to a remote monitoring option to protect their site.

The Challenge

A property management firm in south London was faced with a number of operational challenges to secure their building and assets as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions from the UK-wide lockdown. Faced with these issues they approached Corps Security, as their incumbent security partner, for our guidance and support. Corps usually provides guards to secure their site.

The offices are home to several independent businesses, some of which were providing essential services although operating with reduced staff.  As the restrictions increased it became clear that the building would need to be locked down and an alternative security model put in place.

Corps Security conducted a risk assessment of the site, in consultation with the property manager, the existing security equipment maintainer and our own security site-based team. We identified several appropriate options that would address their specific demands.

Our Solution

The existing building and fire alarm systems were easily enhanced by adding a simple and inexpensive alarms transmission unit, which communicates all alerts to our state-of-the art NSI Gold Accredited Cat II monitoring centre in Scotland, allowing the critical systems to be remotely monitored.

There was already an existing CCTV system that was used to record locally onto a DVR recorder. Through the existing maintenance firm, we arranged to have this connected to our monitoring centre over a broadband connection on a secure VPN. This, combined with the existing building sensors, enabled us to provide a robust sensor-activated security solution.

In addition to securing the building itself, during the initial assessment of the site the property manager mentioned that his own staff would need occasional access to the building along with cleaning and maintenance staff. An existing swipe card access system was already in place and, in partnership with the maintenance firm, we were able to configure secure remote access to the site controlling the doors remotely through our monitoring centre. An inexpensive Voice Over IP (VoIP) intercom with camera was added to the main entrance and we agreed several protocols to ensure secure access. As an emergency back-up, we installed a remotely-monitored, Bluetooth-enabled key safe on the external wall of the building to cater for any failure of the door access system. The Secured by Design product is  olice and Insurance Association approved.

In order to protect the staff visiting the building, who could be classified as lone workers in the current environment, they were issued with our Corps/Zonith remotely-monitored Personal Protection and Positioning System app. It’s installed on their mobile phones and protection is enhanced with an ID badge holder with an integrated panic button. This links back to our monitoring system and ensures that if they had an accident while on site, or were under threat, they could alert our monitoring centre.

The Business Benefits

By designing an holistic and integrated solution that addressed the specific demands of the site, the building was protected from any potential incident – intruder, fire, flood or serious incident.

The proactive monitoring solution could be efficiently escalated using verified evidence to the emergency services or key holders alongside Corps Security’ own mobile response teams.

Other options

Prior to confirmation that the maintenance firm could attend the site, alternative solutions were considered including Corps Security supplying a 4G GSM transmission unit with in-built Sim card, passive infra-red sensors and smoke/heat detectors. An ideal solution for buildings without existing monitored intruder or fire alarm systems, the device is plugged into a power socket and also houses an internal battery backup with the power availability also monitored remotely.

In parallel, a plug-and-play 4G router option is also available where a maintainer is unable to connect an existing DVR to a monitored broadband line due to the current movement restrictions. This solution securely transmits live sensor-activated CCTV footage to the Corps monitoring centre in the event of a trigger from an existing sensor, intruder or fire alarm system.

All the systems detailed provide a solid foundation for providing secure remotely-monitored electronic security solutions which Corps Security has the in-house expertise to scale to enterprise-level nationally.

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 covid19@corpssecurity.co.uk and we’ll do our best to help.