Corps Security Marks Armed Forces Week With SSAFA Salute

Corps Security is celebrating its link to the Armed Services by picturing many of its front-line teams performing the SSAFA – the Armed Forces charity – Salute at sites across the country. Over the course of #ArmedForcesWeek, more than 30 security professionals, many with their own distinguished military service records, saluted the Armed Forces.

Together with other activities, including a Virtual Brew Up and Virtual 13 Bridges Walk, the campaign has helped to raise more than £1,000 for the charity.

Corps has a strong relationship with the Armed Forces as the organisation was set up in 1859 to provide employment for service men returning from the Crimean War; former servicemen still make up a large percentage of the organisation’s employees.

Here are a selection of our officers performing the SSAFA Salute.

Corps Security Marks Armed Forces Week With SSAFA Salute

Follow Corps’ social channels for updates and images of these and other activities. And please do support this worthy cause by donating here.

>> Donate Here

Corps Security Publishes Research Assessing The Key Reasons Behind Security Officers’ Susceptibility To Covid-19

There are a number of factors that may be contributing to security officers having one of the highest death rates of any occupation, according to a new report commissioned by Corps Security from Perpetuity Research and Consultancy International.

The Office for National Statistics published data in May which revealed that security officers have one of the highest death rates from Covid-19 – 45.7 deaths per 100,000 people.

The seven issues the research points to are:

  • Low-paid occupations were found to have the highest rates of death involving Covid-19 and front-line security is typically low-paid.
  • The role of security officers generally involves close proximity and frequent interactions with others, and this was found to be a significant risk factor for contracting Covid-19, albeit it is not known whether security officers generally worked in a similar way in the crisis. However, their risk factor relating to exposure was not rated as high as healthcare personnel; the level of virus found in healthcare settings is much greater than among the general public yet death rates for healthcare staff are lower than for security officers.
  • Older people appear to be more vulnerable to Covid-19 compared to their younger counterparts and experience less favourable outcomes. Analysis of licences issued by the Security Industry Association (SIA) in 2019 suggests that 21% were obtained by those over 55 years of age, compared to the UK average for all occupations of 19% of the workforce in that age group. Yet 42% of those with a manned guarding licence, were issued to those over 55 years of age.
  • More men than women have been affected by Covid-19 and because approximately 90% of security personnel are men, the risk factor for the sector overall is higher than occupations with a lower proportion of males.
  • Not all groups in the UK have been affected by Covid-19 equally and ethnicity appears to be a significant risk factor. Nearly a third of security officers are from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds and vulnerability is linked to both genetic, social and economic factors. Within this group, Black Africans, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis appear to be particularly vulnerable and they are overrepresented among security officers.
  • The very nature of the role of security officers influences their risk to Covid-19. Being a frontline key worker may mean encountering conflict when trying to enforce Covid-19 guidelines; this may make social distancing more difficult. They also have to touch equipment and technology others have handled on a regular basis and may find it difficult to ensure they carry out frequent handwashing.
  • Many security roles are located in major cities and some of these, particularly in London, the Midlands and south-east have been particularly hard hit by Covid-19, affecting the vulnerability of those working there.

The full report can be downloaded here.

>> Download Report

The research was carried out through desktop analysis of a number of data sources.

“The ONS data made for difficult reading for the security profession. We wanted to know why security officers were so affected by the virus so we could better support and protect our people. This report gives us valuable insight and we’re delighted to share it with the wider security sector so we can work together and do all we can as an industry to ensure no more security officers die as a result of this terrible virus,” said Mike Bullock, CEO of Corps Security.

“We were delighted to research this key area for Corps,” said Martin Gill, director of Perpetuity Research and one of the report’s authors. “The true picture is complex, with some risk factors almost certainly interrelated, may still be emerging, or even not yet identified. What does seem clear though from this preliminary research is that gender, ethnicity, the nature of the job have all been seen to increase risks and these are all characteristics of security officers.”

Report: Why Is The Death Rate Of Security Officers Comparatively High?

Following the news from the Office of National Statistics that security officers have one of the highest death dates from Covid-19, Corps Security decided to commission research to better understand why. This will allow us to better support and protect our people.

We’re delighted to share it with the wider security sector so we can work together to ensure no more of our people die as a result of this terrible virus.

Download Report

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Safety Update - Alcohol Based Hand Sanitisers

There have been several reports circulating amongst the H&S community relating to issues with alcohol based hand sanitisers and the recent spell of hot weather.

Please take the time to read the pdf and cascade the information.

>> Download PDF

Corps Regional Director Volunteers For RAF Police

Corps Security’s Regional Director John Ford has mobilised with the RAF Police for a six-month tour to support the organisation during the Covid-19 crisis.

Ford, who has been an RAF Reservist for the past five years, is stationed at RAF Honington with 3 (T)PS and is now mobilised with 7 Sqn at RAF Brize Norton. His role is with the Air Transport Flight (ATSy) at the main Brize Norton terminal to assist with the screening and security of the passengers as well as monitoring air cargo to ensure it’s safe to board the aircraft for onward transport.

“The RAF Police asked for volunteers to help with the UK Covid-19 mitigation effort and I volunteered so I could play my part, albeit a small part compared to the NHS workers,” Ford said. “The RAF Police reserve is deployed to support and work alongside the regular RAF Police force during these unprecedented and worrying times. For me it was a straightforward decision to volunteer, as well as my duty and it’s what I’ve been trained to do.”

John joined Corps Security in 2014, and was appointed to Regional Director in November 2017. In his role, he leads the operations teams in the south region. John has over 20 years’ experience in the security sector having previously held senior national account management positions in a number of leading security companies before joining Corps.

“As an organisation which was set up more than 160 years ago to provide employment for service men returning from the Crimean War, we are committed to always supporting our armed services,” said Mike Bullock, CEO of Corps Security. “Enabling one of our RAF reservists to be drafted into regular service is a key part of that.”

Corps Security Supports Armed Forces Week

Corps Security is celebrating its link to the Armed Services by setting out to raise more than a £1,000 for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, during Armed Forces Week, which takes place from Monday 22nd June to Saturday 27th June.

Corps has a strong relationship with the Armed Forces as the organisation was set up in 1859 to provide employment for service men returning from the Crimean War; former servicemen still make up a large percentage of the organisation’s employees.

Activities Corps is organising this week include:

  • A Virtual 13 Bridges Walk: The planned 13 Bridges walk across London is being replaced with a virtual alternative. Corps MD Paul Lotter will take the lead by walking 10 miles near his home in Swindon, including taking in RAF Blakehill Farm near Purton which was used as a RAF Transport Command station during the Second World War. Rachael Williams from Corps’ HR team completed a similar distance around Windsor and Runnymede – taking in Victoria (1stBattalion, Coldstream Guards) and Combermere Barracks (Household Cavalry, Royal Yeomanry, Welsh Guards), 94 Signal Squadron (Berkshire Yeomanry) and The Runneymede / Air Forces Memorial. You can support the cause by donating here:
  • The Virtual Big Brew Up: the Corps operations team is joining together for a virtual cup of tea over video conference. Every member will donate £5 to the SSAFA cause as they raise a toast to the Armed Forces. They will also have the option to enter the Armed Forces Week Virtual Raffle where the top prize is a Ceramic Poppy from the 2014 ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ installation at the Tower of London.
  • The SSAFA Salute: throughout the week, the front-line teams on site will be taking selfies of themselves saluting the Armed Forces to celebrate Armed Forces Week.

Follow Corps’ social channels for updates and images of these and other activities. And please do support this worthy cause by donating here:

>> Donate Here

“We are proud of our heritage and delighted to do everything we can to support this worthy cause,” said Mike Bullock, CEO of Corps Security.

Corps Commemorates The Death Of Dame Vera Lynn

We were sad to hear about the death of Dame Vera Lynn, who brought such joy to troops during the Second World War.

As an organisation which was set up to provide employment for servicemen on their return from the Crimean War in 1859, and still includes many veterans in our ranks, we salute her for the role she played in lifting morale. Her passing is all the more poignant because next week is Armed Forces Week.

Mike Bullock From Corps Joins Living Wage Foundation’s Leadership Group

Corps Security’s CEO Mike Bullock has been appointed a member of the Living Wage Foundation’s Recognised Service Provider Leadership Group. The news follows Corps joining the Living Wage Foundation’s Service Provider Recognition Scheme earlier this year as part of its drive to improve the pay and living standards of its security officers. 

The Leadership Group was set up to influence the FM marketplace around the Living Wage Recognition Programme for service providers, advise on overall strategy relating to the Living Wage and service provider recognition and its promotion in the facilities management and outsourcing sectors. In addition to Bullock, who represents the security sector, the leadership group includes representatives from the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) the Cleaning and Support Services Association (CSSA), Sodexo, ISS, Facilicom and Carlisle Support Services. Up to 20 people can be members of the group and they serve for a three-year term. The group meets quarterly.

The move is part of Corps commitment to raise the standard of pay within the security sector. The organisation has committed to pay all its own head office staff the Living Wage and to always offer a Living Wage bid alongside every market rate submitted to prospective and current clients. This means the client always has the choice to implement the Living Wage at the point of tender and there is a pathway towards the Living Wage for the provider in place. Corps joins more than 140 other organisations which have made the same commitment to champion the Living Wage.

“As an organisation which was set up more than 160 years ago to provide employment for service men returning from the Crimean War, we are committed to always providing the highest standard of pay and support to our people. Joining the Leadership Group and representing the security profession is a key part of that journey,” said Mike Bullock, CEO of Corps Security.

The Role Of Security Officers Post-Covid - Hardly A Low-Skilled Activity

“The UK’s 360,000 contract security officers work in environments where the risk of injury or worse is often high –  the retail sector and hospital A&E departments both being key examples. They get injured, knocked about, and yet they save lives. Corps Security is not alone in a sector where our officers have saved lives whether by using defibrillators, or preventing a distressed person from jumping off a tall building. Does any of that sound like ‘low-skill’ activity?”

That was Corps’ Mike Bluestone kicking off a webinar yesterday discussing whether, post-Covid, security officers would enjoy an enhanced role or more of the same.  “Low skilled security officers is the picture often painted in the media. People forget that the possession of skills is only one type of competency. Experience and knowledge are equally important, which many security officers possess in bucketloads.”

Bluestone went on to talk about how the Covid crisis has seen security officers get involved in hands-on health and safety functions including using thermal detection devices and enforcing social distancing – both being sensitive roles which require special training and customer care skills and training. At Corps Security for example, there are 26 elearning courses available for officers to take on line, including courses developed specifically to cover Covid-19, the health and safety implications, and use of technology.

“The experience gained during the current crisis has evidenced the change in the perception of security officers. Their role is one of the essential roles which has been a constant during the crisis. They’ve remained on the front line taking care of people and corporate assets, and they have maintained a constant presence during the crisis, despite all the challenges, and threats,” said Bluestone.

The webinar also discussed the terminology of officer v guard; security through a possible recession; and the need for a mix of both security officers and security technology. Chaired by Martin Gill, the webinar also heard from Cy Oatridge, CEO/President, Oatridge Security Group; Garry Evanson, Head of Security and Emergency Planning, at Westminster Abbey; and Jon Sigurd Jacobsen, Owner of SOS Event Security Ltd in Norway.

If you missed it, the recording is here: https://bit.ly/2AZJR9O

For further information on how Corps is working to support our colleagues and customers during this time please take a look at our dedicated Covid-19 page or contact us on covid19@corpssecurity.co.uk and we’ll do our best to help.

How To Use Face Coverings

The wearing of face coverings will become mandatory on public transport in England from the 15th June 2020.  This will include bus, coach, train, tram, ferry and aircraft journeys.

This may be extended to the other parts of the UK in line with public health guidance.

Download HSE Face Covering Guidelines poster