Surveillance with … higher definition, faster investigation, and greater economy

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Leading up to the recent Australasian Gaming Expo in Sydney, we proposed that the 3 key items that a security services company could call upon to help deliver improvements in a gaming operation are:

1.  training – enhancing the conflict resolution skills of venue customer service staff.
2. security personnel - highly skilled security, customer focused with strong understanding of gaming and gamers.
3. electronic surveillance systems - systems more accurate and faster to use when investigations are required.

Without doubt these are applicable in other industry sectors as well.

In particular the 3rd one – security systems offering greater clarity, faster & easier operation – is relevant to a wide range of enterprises.

One of the items we displayed at AGE was a security camera set-up using cameras from Avigilon. The feedback was enthusiastic. So, we thought it may be appropriate to give our blog-readers a peek at what Avigilon can do.

The link below is to a video demonstration of some of the strengths of the Avigilon 5 megapixel HD surveillance camera. The footage was taken in a subway station.

 

The following is an interview with Douglas Florence from Avigilon. Douglas has immense experience in the gaming world. The interview is conducted by Chris Cubbage from MySecurityAustralia.

The first step to compliance … know the rules!!

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Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 9.57.15 AM

Changes made to regulations covering the security industry and operators can have significant impact on hospitality venues.  Unfortunately many venue operators remain unaware of changes made some time ago … and are at risk of being breached.

This fact was borne out in a recent series of compliance inspections from SLED. (Fortunately all our clients got a big tick for their security operations.)

Scott Taylor has written about these changes in the Winter Edition of Pubs and Clubs Management, hoping that venue managers will take action to guard against the risk of being breached. Here is his  article:

New Regulations for Better Venue Security – Clubs & Pubs Management, Winter 2013

 

What CEO’s Worry About Across The Globe.

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The Lloyds Risk Index identifies the business risks as perceived by business leaders globally. Those who take the survey are senior executives from (mainly) small business.

The report makes for interesting reading.

The top 5 perceived risks in 2013 are:

1. High Taxation
2. Loss of Customers
3. Cyber Risk
4. Price of Material Inputs
5. Excessive Regulation

Of these 5, only Loss Of Customers had a top 5 position in the 2011 Index. Here is the 2011 top 5:

1. Loss of Customers
2. Talent & Skills Shortage
3. Reputation Risk
4. Currency Fluctuations
5. Changing Legislation

Different regions have different perceptions and priorities. Here are the top 10 global risks with the ranks for each of the surveyed regions:

Region

Risk

A

B

C

D

E

1.  High Taxation

2

1

10

1

2

2.  Loss Of Customers

5

2

1

3

1

3. Cyber Risk

8

6

6

2

4

4.  Price of Material Inputs

1

7

10

7

21

5.  Strict Regulation

9

5

6

6

10

6.  Changing Legislation

13

3

19

4

23

7.  Inflation

3

15

5

5

12

8.  Cost & Availability of Credit

11

4

6

9

16

9. Rapid Technology Changes

12

8

14

8

17

10. Currency Fluctuations.

3

20

3

15

7

The regions are:

A=Asia Pacific; B=Europe; C=South Africa; D=North America ; E=Latin America

Some interesting points:

In the Asia-Pacific Region, Talent & Skills Shortage was ranked 6th and Interest Rate Changes was 10th.

Fraud & Corruption was ranked 2nd in South Africa and 4th in Latin America but only 20th in North America, 14th in Europe, 22nd in Asia Pacific.

The Index also covers executive’s perceptions of how well they are prepared to meet the risks. More about this at another time.

4 Frequently Asked Questions About Exact Security

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As with most business we are often asked questions – and some of those questions come up time after time. Here at Exact Security there are 4 questions that are inevitably asked:

1. What makes Exact Security different from other security companies?
2. Why should I pay higher hourly rates for security than I am currently paying?
3. Why would I purchase all my security services through one company? Why put all my eggs in the one basket?
4. Isn’t Exact Security too small to compete with some of the much larger electronic security companies?

Very good questions!

And I think we can provide succinct answers …

1. What makes Exact Security different from other security companies?

The short answer: 

Exact Security was set up and is managed by security management professionals while most other security companies were set up by entrepreneurs and are managed by business managers.

The entrepreneur’s aim is to profitably satisfy a demand in the marketplace. To stay in business they undoubtedly provide for the needs their customers identify.

Exact Security’s approach is to build a business based on a belief that quality security enhances business performance. In building this business we have called on our deep understanding and extensive experience in the security industry.

Like the entrepreneurs, Exact Security wants to be profitable … but our belief is that our long term growth, profitability and sustainability rests on ensuring our professional values, principles, and goals guide our business rather than being solely guided by the immediate impacts to the bottom line.

For Exact Security and all its senior personnel, security is much more than a business – it is their profession, one that entails:

* the disciplines to keep abreast with an ever changing regulatory environment
* the desire to seek out new methods and products to improve performance
* passionate adherence to the fundamental principle that security is a contributor to business not a “cost” of business.

2. Why should I even consider higher hourly rates for security than I am paying now?

Well, it is often said that “you get what you pay for”

Undoubtedly, there are some circumstances where “cheapest” is all that is needed.

Many will choose cheapest simply because of their perception of security is that it is a “necessarily evil”.

But those who are protective of their reputation, who value their brand, will understand that their security operation and operatives have a big impact on how they are perceived.

Highly trained security operatives are capable of attending to both security and customer service demands. Exact Security’s selection procedures and training regimes are intended to ensure 100% of Exact’s team are part of that select group.

Time and again we have shown the dramatic effect of skilled guards on reducing crime and security related incidents – even leading to an overall reduction in the overall cost to run security. The hourly rate may be higher but there is a chance that the effect will be that you need significantly less hours.

In a nutshell, higher quality, skilled operatives are proactive. Cheaper operative are almost always reactive and all too often are non-active.

3. Why should I purchase all my security services from the one company?

Yes, there are arguments for not putting all your eggs into one basket.

But synergies and economies of scale are two benefits you cannot get by using multiple suppliers.

Using a single supplier is an opportunity for savings without compromising quality.  In fact, a single supplier is likely to deliver far better value through more seamless integration of your various security systems.

4. Isn’t Exact Security too small to compete with the larger electronic security companies?

I guess many would think that bigger companies have greater purchasing power and can pass savings onto their customers.

We don’t know what the bigger companies pay for their equipment.

We do know that we are more than competitive with them on price.

So, either they are not passing on the benefits of their “purchasing power” or we have equal “buying power”.

This means that we compete well with the bigger companies in every domain – price, expertise, experience, quality.

However, we are small enough to run rings around them when it comes the sorts of benefits you get dealing with a boutique company – personal attention, service, value adds and a partnership approach to business. While we revel in this sort of close relationship with our clients, the bigger fish cannot even contemplate it.

 

 

Exact Security: “a cut above the others” says 2GB

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When 2GB talks, Sydney listens … and it takes a lot to impress the home of some of Australia’s most notable (and outspoken) commentators.

2GB  Program Director, David Kidd says that 2GB needed

“a security company that was a cut above the rest …
who could represent the 2GB brand at all occasions.”

And after 18 months they have concluded that Exact Security fits their need.

This is what we strive for at Exact Security … to be a cut above the others and to ably represent the brand of our clients.

Over the last 18 months Exact Security has looked after the 2GB Live Broadcasts and other 2GB events as needed. We are very proud of our work with 2GB and exceptionally pleased our performance has delivered quality and value.

Here is a link to the letter we received from David Kidd.  (Testimonial – 2GB June 13)

 

Pay attention to behaviour at your venue … you will get a return

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It is often said that the true cost of security is only felt when security fails. And when security fails it can have devastating results for people, property and reputation –  that alone is a compelling reason for investing in good security processes and systems.

But you should remember that security can also deliver benefit, it can provide you with a return on your investment in it.

A recent case in point is Mount Pritchard Community Club – Mounties.  Mounties is one of the most successful licensed clubs in the country … and they were being weighed down by the behaviour of some patrons.

Investing in a  new approach to delivering a safer more secure venue for their patrons has resulted in trade restrictions being lifted. More importantly, Mounties’ customers feeling safer and their standing in their community has risen – as evidenced by the following cutting from their local newspaper:

Mounties News – Fairfield Advance Article

Well done to the team at Mounties.

 

High praise for Exact Security’s Team on ANZAC Day.

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Australia’s most revered day, ANZAC Day, is the most challenging day for security.

Above everything else the role of security on ANZAC Day is to protect the sanctity of this special day – a day that starts early, ends late and can be subjected to all manner of behaviours and potential threats.

ANZAC Day - protecting it's sanctity

ANZAC Day – protecting its sanctity

We were delighted to be engaged to provide security for ANZAC Day 2013 at Castle Hill RSL who host one of the largest ANZAC Day events in the country.

The result was fantastic! … that means that we went almost unnoticed.

Fortunately, our team was noticed by David O’Neil – Group General Manager, Castle Hill RSL Club. David has written to us complimenting our work and our team. Here are a couple of quotes:

The success [of the day] was a direct result of the dedication and professionalism of your team and their ability to work with our organisation in perfect synergy.  

The guards controlled their areas of responsibility exceptionally well under very difficult circumstances and should be congratulated for their efforts.

Here at Exact Security, we have the belief that great security does more than protect assets – it contributes to a better community and environment. Feedback like this confirms our belief.

Thank you, David.

And congratulations to the entire Exact Security Team!

Note: David has kindly given permission for us to display his letter, you can find it here - Letter from David O’Neil

 

 

 

Drawing A Line Between Fans & Hooligans

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Recent incidents of fan misbehaviour before, during, and after Western Sydney Wanderers games spotlight the role security plays at sporting fixtures … particularly fixtures where it is known the passions will be high.

Everyone wants to see and feel the passion at events – it is often the ingredient that turns a good event into a great one, with a memorable atmosphere.

But, the other side of this coin can be ugly. The side that shows up when passionate support erupts into anti-social behaviour or, worse, criminality and violence.

When passions erupt ...

When passions erupt …

It needs to be managed.

And it is no walk in the park … but there are a number of actions that can significantly reduce the risk of that line being crossed – the line that separates passionate fan from anti-social hooligan.

Naturally, security is one of the key elements that can make a big difference.

But even getting the right security can be a challenge.

Your chances of success are determined BEFORE you hire a security provider …

The starting point is in the procurement of security services by venues or clubs. Clubs or venues have a duty to themselves, their players, fans, and the community at large to ensure a safe and secure environment is achieved. There is an obligation to ensure the security they engage are able to mitigate foreseeable risks.

So, step one for clubs: Know the risks. Have a security risk assessment completed.

This will enable you to clearly define requirements that need to be met by security providers tendering for your business.

Once you have the responses from requests for tender, they need to be carefully examined and compared … and credentials and references checked.

A common practice is to load up proposals with lucrative sponsorship deals, sometimes these deals are completely unrealistic. They can mean that you’re “paying for the sponsorship” through either inflated rates or reduced quality of operatives.

What do you need in security operatives at events?

As a general rule, security guards at sporting events need to be proactive in deterring anti-social and criminal behaviour.

Basically this means getting in first. Security needs to be alert and on the lookout for outward signs that indicate and identify spectators who may be “high risk”. As you can imagine, “profiling” spectators requires both training and intelligence. It is best done by security operatives at entry points and continued during the event.

Profiling is a proactive measure that protects the event from minority, high-risk spectators. It allows the majority of well-behaved spectators to enjoy an event that is both safe yet with the atmosphere they want to experience.

As well as profiling, it may be that your risk analysis identifies even stronger measures are needed. For some event events it may be necessary to use man and dog teams with scent detection training for accelerants (like gunpowder, flares etc). As well as preventing entry of dangerous materials these teams also provide a high level visual deterrent for anti-social behaviour.

In general, security operatives need to have a presence and provide a deterrent value to would-be troublemakers. Spectators need to have the confidence in security operatives’ abilities to ensure compliance with behaviour standards.

This “presence” can only come from security operatives who are confident and not intimidated by the challenges they face. Poor quality guards neither deter the troublemakers nor provide confidence to the rest of us.

In fact, poor quality guards can unwittingly encourage poor behaviour – they are often intimidated and will look the other way in many challenging circumstances. The troublemakers quickly discern this, their respect for security drops and the limitations on their behaviour are quickly broken.

Unfortunately, we currently face a situation where many security providers provide poorly trained and low quality security operatives to sporting events. At best, these operatives are reactive. Sometimes they are not even reactive and offer no reaction or response when early intervention is required.

All too often they have not been provided with any additional training in crowd dynamics or crowd psychology. They are probably not even aware of the exponentially increased potential risks of aggression due to anonymity in a crowd.

Stepping up the standards …

There are a number of reasons why poor quality security operatives end up working at sporting events, rest assured though it is the venue (or the club) that needs to set and maintain the standard of service they get. As mentioned above it starts with – even before – the procurement process.

To re-iterate:

  1. Know the risks. If you don’t know the risks how can you adequately define the quality and standards you need from your security provider.
  2. Ensure you security provider has a management team with the appropriate qualifications and experience.
  3. Be cautious of lucrative “sponsorship” deals. There is no such thing as a “free lunch” – you will pay for it in one way or another, usually in lower quality security operatives and service standards.
  4. Remember that quality, in any field, is rarely the cheapest solution.
  5. THE TRUE COST OF SECURITY OF SECURITY IS THE COST OF SECURITY FAILURE.

It is imperative that sporting clubs, venues, Police, and security work hand in hand to remove undesirable elements from sporting events and and provide a safe, secure and ejoyable environment.

The surprising thing is that many sporting entities are paying rates for security that should ensure they obtain quality security operatives.

All in all, Australians love to attend events where the atmosphere is palpable and engaging. Our responsibility is to ensure the atmosphere of an event doesn’t disintegrate into anti-social behaviour or violence. By “our responsibility” I mean the responsibility of all of us – fans, clubs, venues, police, security, communities.

There is no doubt that the quality of security provider – and security operatives – retained by venues or clubs can have a huge impact on delivering a better, more enjoyable environment for everyone.

 

Great Customer Service OR Great Security … go for BOTH!!

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Imagine this:

Club A, has employees in security who believe they are in customer relations. And whose Managers & employees are engaged in servicing customers, but who also feel they are part of the security operation.

Club B’s security employees believe that they are there to look after behaviour problems. Management believes security is an expensive, necessary evil and other employees think they are muscle heads who get in the way of great customer service.

Neither of these are unique – there are clubs populating both categories.

Which is likely to have the best customer relations? Which is most likely to have better security, at a lower cost? Which club is likely to have the best image in the community?

Where does your club fit? Closer to Club A or Club B … or somewhere in between?

How does Club A achieve this?

Firstly, there is a recognition and acceptance that customer service and security are not mutually exclusive. They are dependent on each other.

From that point, it is pretty simple really – although not necessarily easy. Like anything worthwhile, some effort and investment is required. Especially in:

- Education & Training
- Policy Documentation & Implementation
- Building stronger links between operational teams & security.

 Education & Training

Have key customer service personnel – team leaders, section leaders, duty managers – undertake security training. This gives an extra dimension to the customer service relationship. It can lead to many potential escalations being “nipped in the bud” before  developing into a problem.

Importantly, the type of training likely to produce the best results are those that engage the trainee at the level of their own ambition. For example: How security enhances their leadership potential.

Documented Policies

For many, the policies of the company are its Rule Book. Without doubt, some aspects of business require a hard & fast maintenance of the rules.

But one of the hallmarks of great customer service can be how to break rules, to enhance customer perceptions without damaging the company.

Whilever there is interaction between humans, rule books will not be sufficient to cover the myriad of permutations and combinations that are possible to emerge.

This fact doesn’t render policies useless … in fact it makes them more important. Not so much from a “Thou shalt not … “ perspective. Documented policies give the company, and its staff, direction and support.

Understanding the direction and culture of the organisation is vital in making decisions at moments of truth.

Build Stronger Relationships between security & other teams.

Whether your security team is in-house or from an external provider, your customer doesn’t care.

For all intents and purposes they represent you, your business, how you run your business, and what you think of them (your customers).

It makes no sense at all to keep security “out of the loop” and every sense to keep them close to the action when it comes to planning and discussion on anything at all that effects your customer.

What are the returns?

Staff confidence is a vital ingredient for great customer service. This is especially true when the pressure is on …

And when the pressure is on, is when great customer service can turn your customers into raving fans.

It is also when you are the most vulnerable to risk.

If your staff are:

- conscious and observant of signposts for potential risks
- are able to respond confidently and appropriately to those signposts
- and are working cooperatively & collaboratively across functions

you are well on the way to having dynamic customer service.

And now …  a 30 sec ad break!

The Advanced Conflict Resolution & Leadership program run by Exact Security aims at exactly this space. Fore more information go to Exact Security – Training.

 

 

Lessons From The Orcher Case

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In November 2012, The Daily Telegraph ran the headline:

Bouncers’ duty to anticipate violence, court rules.

Then followed a short story based on the 62 page judgment from Judge Ian Harrison. Harrison was deciding the case of John Orcher in the NSW Supreme Court. (For full Daily Telegraph story click here)

Mr Orcher had taken action against multiple parties after he’d been seriously injured in an incident near Rozelle’s Bridge Hotel. The incident involved an employee of the hotel and took place across the road from the hotel.

The judge awarded Mr Orcher $1.4m. The judgement was made against:

* Bowcliff Pty Ltd – the owners of The Bridge Hotel
* QBE Insurance – insurers of DSSS Cousins Pty Ltd employers of the security guard on duty on the night of the incident.

The judge deemed that 70% of the award was payable by Bowcliff, and 30% by QBE.

Add the legal costs (their own plus Mr Orcher’s) and this is an extremely expensive outcome for the venue. But that still may not reflect the real cost of the incident in terms of the financial and emotional impact on all the parties involved.

While the case is subject to appeal it still contains lessons for many … and especially for operators and licensees of hospitality venues.

Lesson 1 – Be Specific About Your Undertakings.

Lesson 2 – Ensure Your Agreements With Providers Are Documented And Clear.

Lesson 3 – Quality In Security Is Paramount.

Lesson 4 – Conduct Regular Security Risk Assessments.

Lesson 5 – A Final Word