Published on 11 February, 2009
Representatives from the Westfield Derby Shopping Centre team who won the Best Team award - Midlands. From the left is Gary Summerfield (Security Manager Westfield Shopping Towns Ltd), Bill Muskin (VSG Chairman), Shane Horsley, Michael Carson, Martin Burgess, Paul Leary (all VSG), John Bates (BSIA), Steve Buswell and Paul Wesson (also VSG)
Thanks to the outstanding performance and dedication of its staff, VSG, the UK's fastest growing provider of security services, was a winner seven times over in the regional round of the BSIA Security Officer Awards for 2009. These prestigious and keenly contested awards recognise excellence within the guarding sector of the security industry, as well as highlighting the vital and challenging work performed by security officers.
VSG employees won two Service to the Customer Awards, two Best Team Awards, an Outstanding Act Award, a Best Newcomer Award and a Best Use of Technology Award. Presentations were made to the winners by John Bates, Chief Executive of the BSIA, during a ceremony held on 2nd February at VSG's headquarters in Northampton. All of the winners will be entered for the BSIA National Awards, which will be decided later in the year.
"Once again, officers from VSG have demonstrated the exceptional levels of performance, commitment and courage that it takes to win our awards," said John Bates. "I am delighted that the BSIA is able to reward their efforts and to recognise the excellent example that they have set, which demonstrates perfectly the high standards we expect from officers, and from the industry as a whole."
"We too are delighted that our officers have won these awards," said Keith Francis, Managing Director of VSG, "and that their outstanding work, often well beyond the call of duty, has been acknowledged by the BSIA. A hallmark of our company - and the foundation stone of our success - is that we always strive for excellence. Nevertheless, it's gratifying when the major industry body confirms that we're actually achieving it!"
The Customer Service Awards went to Tommy Crofton in Scotland, for devising new and more secure packaging methods for jewellery at an Argos distribution centre, and to John Robinson in the Midlands, after he introduced multilingual sign-in procedures and instigated a very successful crime prevention scheme on the industrial estate in Scunthorpe where he works with DHL.
The Best Team Award for the North West was won by the VSG team at The Mall, Blackburn for maximising the potential of a new CCTV installation and for working with the local police to achieve a large reduction in crime. In the Midlands, the VSG team at the Westfield Derby Shopping Centre received its Best Team Award for showing continuing commitment in dealing with over 1,400 reported incidents since 2007, including five suicide attempts.
"Once again, officers from VSG have demonstrated the exceptional levels of performance, commitment and courage that it takes to win our awards," said John Bates, BSIA CEO
The Outstanding Act Award for the South West was made to Jacqueline Hutchins for her courageous and efficient evacuation of buildings in Exeter town centre following a nail bomb attack in a restaurant near to where she was working.
The Best Newcomer in the North West was Paul Malcolm, who works for VSG at JLL Grange and Pyramids Shopping Centre. Paul amalgamated the emergency evacuation procedures for two shopping centres to produce one cohesive plan, and instigated extra training for all site security staff.
The efforts of Gary Dowse in implementing the first biometric access control systems to be used in the Argos distribution network were recognised with the Best Use of Technology Award for the South East. The new system has reduced stock losses, and the incidence of goods ‘disappearing' in transit between areas.