Updated COVID-19 Measures - January 2021

Corps Security’s overall objective during the current COVID-19 situation has been to reduce risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures to achieve a hierarchy of control, which we have aimed to achieve throughout this current situation. We have undertaken comprehensive risk assessments, which we are publishing in line with the latest HM Government recommendations.

View the full updated Covid-19 measures here:


Corps Security Updated COVID-19 Measures November 2020

Please see a summary of the latest government requirements that came into effect on Thursday 5th November.

View the full updated Covid-19 measures here:

Please refer to local guidelines in areas where lockdown has occurred and check with devolved government websites for particular requirements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Please see a summary of the latest government requirements that will come into effect on Monday 14th September with some additional information on track and trace applications.

View Summary here:

Please refer to local guidelines in areas where lockdown has occurred and check with devolved government websites for particular requirements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Face Masks And The Impact On Security

The safety of people is an absolute priority whether it’s in a Covid-secure health sense or general physical safety.

It’s inevitable that wearing face masks will cause some degree of challenges with the use of technology. Facial recognition is far less effective when face coverings are worn and, where CCTV is concerned,  it becomes more difficult to identify people and detect suspicious behaviour when a person’s complete face cannot be fully seen.

With face masks now compulsory in all shops, and following the announcement that face masks are now compulsory in secondary schools in areas of localised lockdown, with headteachers having the power to enforce face masks in any communal area of all secondary schools, we could expect to see further changes to the legislation around face coverings worn inside buildings. In France, for example, face masks will be compulsory in offices from September.

Access and verification processes would still need to be adhered to and that could mean the temporary removal of face masks to allow facial recognition to do its job. Manual ID pass checks would also require the same treatment. With current low occupancy rates this isn’t a huge problem now but as buildings slowly return to fuller capacity, challenges may arise and entering a building could take longer.

Communication is king. If processes are going to be changing, in any setting, then people need to be made aware of how this will affect them, what they should expect and why they need to do things differently. This will help avoid any pushbacks and ensure a smooth transition with people feeling confident about what to expect. There will always be some people who won’t want to comply and will present difficulties, but on the whole most people want to do the right thing especially if they understand it is for their benefit and those around them.

The relationship between security and face masks will need to evolve to accommodate the new normal. The solution for this will differ from company to company. Some buildings that are solely reliant on facial recognition or CCTV may move to being supported by the physical presence of a security officer, but it will never be one size fits all. As the workplace continues to evolve as a result of the pandemic, it will be more important than ever that clients and security providers collaborate to create a tailored solution that also fits commercial efficacy. System changes and security officer upskilling though will be a common occurrence.

The role of security has changed dramatically over the last 30 years and there have been continuous changes in terms of processes for occupiers. We’ve moved from manual checks to technology integration and remote surveillance and introduced rigorous new visitor check-in measures and asking staff to check-in visitors and lock away their laptops and computer equipment at night. The impact of face masks on security is just a new process to navigate in the ever-changing world of security.

Cycle Security

Following the increased numbers of people cycling to work post-pandemic, we’re talking about keeping bikes safe.

From a security perspective there are several barriers to people cycling to work but also several tools we can use to increase the number of cyclists.

In central London where space is at a premium, giving over increased space to bike storage is going to be a major ask but bike security must be carefully considered. Different organisations will take different approaches, whether that be reducing parking bays, installing new sheds or even using meeting rooms. During the lockdown and in preparation for the return to work, we’ve seen clients encourage the use of cycling to help people avoid public transport and car sharing. A large financial services company is loaning bikes to staff to encourage them to cycle to work, for example, which is a really great initiative.

The key is to ensure that whatever space is used to store bikes is secure. Although responsibility for the bike always rests with the employee when it’s stored on an organisation’s premises, if it is stolen it can create bad feeling within the business. We have clients who have suffered bike thefts in the past and it always causes major issues and of course upset for the individuals concerned. As a response, we use three different approaches to keep bikes safe:

Facial analytics: in many sites we provide a tool which matches a person with a bike. The technology ‘sees’ the person arrive with that unique bike and prevents another person leaving with the same bike – unless it’s been warned to expect that, for example if someone is borrowing a colleague’s bike.

Asset tracking: we use asset tracking technology with tags attached to bikes linked to an app. The bike owner can check the location of the bike at all times and can be matched with the bike when they return to collect it at the end of the day.

SmartWater: we make sure that bikes stored on clients’ premises are all invisibly marked with SmartWater, a solution which contains a unique forensic code which is exclusively assigned to that bike. It’s been likened to the concept of DNA profiling. If the bike is stolen and later recovered by the Police it can be matched easily with its owner.

Another challenge, which if often overlooked, is bicycles being stored in the racks for several years, without being used and just taking up space which other bike owners could use. We use MyTAG technology to manage that. Bicycles have a tag attached, which contains details of the owner and their contact details, allowing them to be easily contacted if their bicycle needs to be moved.

We’ve seen a great response to our own Cycle to Work scheme. It’s great for mental and physical wellbeing and also for the environment.

Enjoy the exercise and cycle safe!

Corps Security Covid-19 Risk Assessment

Corps Security’s overall objective during the current COVID-19 situation has been to reduce risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures to achieve a hierarchy of control, which we have aimed to achieve throughout this current situation. We have undertaken comprehensive risk assessments, which we are publishing in line with the latest HM Government recommendations.

Download PDF

Security Officer Or Police Officer: The Role Of Security In Managing Social Distancing

As buildings slowly start to become reoccupied, the role of the security officer is being changed once again. Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve seen an interesting shift from officers managing occupied buildings to empty ones and then planning for reoccupation with changes to security and access control. With people now back in buildings – albeit in small numbers – another shift is occurring.

We’re seeing some of our security officers taking a leading role in managing the ‘new normal’ in workplaces. They’re the first person that building occupants see when they arrive back to work and they’re reinforcing the instructions around social distancing, taking the time to explain how the new security and access control systems work, talking people through new technology such as thermal imaging cameras, and reassuring them that the building is safe. Essentially being a friendly and welcoming face.

Thanks to lift capacity restrictions, many of our officers are manning lifts for the first time in years. Others are working on the occupied floors, near washrooms, meeting rooms and in staff restaurants, ensuring people abide by the social distancing rules. This is a sensitive and challenging job. Some people are relaxed about catching the virus whereas others are quite anxious and the potential for conflict in the workplace is therefore significant. Our officers are caught in the middle of that, attempting to difuse volatile situations while keeping everyone safe.

Our offices have been on the front-line of this virus since day one. They were working when the rest of us were safely working at home. Their importance was demonstrated when the Government gave them key worker status. Now their role has changed again, and they’re fighting on the front-line yet again. Their role is not dissimilar to police officers, who, during lockdown were tasked with enforcing social distancing rules.

Not all organisations are using security officers in this way, of course. Some have set up the workplace in a socially-distanced way and are leaving people to their own devices. But with more people returning to the office over the coming months – particularly once the schools go back in September – the role of the security officer is going to take on increasing prominence in managing the new normal.

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.


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