The University’s Security team win double gold at global annual awards

Posted by cc576 at Feb 24, 2021 10:14 AM |
Celebrating their achievements and looking to the future.

On the 18 February, the University’s Security team won two out of four awards on offer at this year’s Association of University Chief Security Officers (AUCSO) Annual Awards. AUCSO, is the primary association for Security Professionals working in Universities, Colleges and Institutions of Higher and Further Education in the UK, Europe and across the globe – meaning our Security team is officially one of the best in the world.

It was a tremendous achievement for the team and a testament to their hard work and dedication (and a nice addition to their expanding trophy case!). Throughout the pandemic, the security team have continued to provide 24/7, 365 support to all of our community and have been crucial in managing access onto campus, working innovatively and using technology effectively to keep everyone safe.

We spoke to Laurence Perkins, Head of Security, to find out more about the team’s achievements and what’s in store for the future.

First of all congratulations, Laurence! It’s a phenomenal achievement for your team, so tell us a bit more about the awards you’ve won.

The first award was ‘Security Officer of the Year for Excellent Service’, which Joshua Rising, Control Room Operator won. Josh joined the Security Department after being a student at the University and has been in post just under two years. Ever since he joined, he has continually delivered excellent customer service to our community. Josh has had to deal with some really challenging incidents and has handled them assertively, sensitively and provided fantastic support in order to resolve them effectively. He has received a lot of positive feedback from our community and he’s even received cards and chocolates from grateful students. This award is a fantastic achievement and recognises the great work he has been doing.

The second award was for ‘Security Initiative of the Year’, which Jeana Frid and Steve Fay won. They had the idea of replacing a slow, outdated system with password protected QR codes. Their solution reduces the environmental impact and the time taken to complete forms, removes the need for storage and the need to purchase paper. The solution has many benefits and can be used for a range of scenarios – it's going to add real value to the Higher Education security sector.

It must be an amazing feeling being considered among the best University security teams in the world.

It really is. The team have worked incredibly hard over the past few years to ensure we are a leading Higher Education security team. Our focus is always on the safety and security of our community and so to be recognised for our work is extremely rewarding.

As the team’s leader, you must be incredibly proud of their hard work, this year especially.

I am extremely proud of all of the team. Over the last couple of years we have been recognised for our work in the sector and have won some fantastic team awards including AUCSO Security Team of the Year (2018) and the Safezone Innovation award (2020). These individual awards for Josh, Steve and Jeana are further recognition of their fantastic work and they should be really proud of their achievements.

And will you be celebrating the wins virtually any time soon?

As you can appreciate, it is very difficult to celebrate. The staff would normally collect their awards at an annual Gala dinner following the AUCSO Conference and unfortunately that is not possible this year. This should not detract from their fantastic achievements and I am sure they are over the moon and have all found ways to celebrate in a safe but different way.

And finally, now you’re one of the best Higher Education security teams in the world already, what's next?

It is difficult to predict but our focus will remain on the security and safety of our community, whatever the challenge. We’ll be ready and waiting.

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