Demand for security jobs in the UK has increased rapidly in the past two years in light of heightened security measures being taken as a result of terror attack threats. Consequently, the UK’s private security sector (worth £5bn per year, £265bn globally) looks set to be the next to join the ‘app economy’ when a new service launches this month from tech start-up Broadstone—following in the footsteps of other ‘gig economy’ technology platforms like Uber and Deliveroo.

According to Tom Pickersgill, founder and CEO of UK tech firm Broadstone, “Private security spend in the UK is forecasted to increase by nine per cent over the next five years and the number of jobs in the industry will increase by 10 to12 per cent. Many industry experts are putting this down to increased security requirements and safety measures as a result of terrorist attacks and security threats. There are currently 400,000 individuals in the UK working in the sector and it is expected that by 2019, this will be more like 450,000 individuals.”Broadstone matches security companies with those looking for work and jobseekers can access temporary and permanent jobs through the app

Broadstone app-powered vetting

The sector has traditionally been perceived to be a ‘closed shop’ with many jobseekers finding it difficult to access opportunities due to lengthy paperwork procedures and checks required to access positions. The high levels of security vetting required by employers has created a constant challenge. However, according to the founders of Broadstone, this looks set to change as their service includes compliant vetting and background checking service for both employees and employers in the security industry.

Tom continues, “We hope that by providing jobseekers with this new app we’ll be attracting new demographics and audiences to the sector. The job opportunities are varied and cover a breadth of permanent and flexible roles ranging from event stewards to close protection officers and even security dog handlers. Broadstone matches security companies with those looking for work and jobseekers can access temporary security staffing jobs, as well as permanent jobs through the app.”

Broadstone will lead the way in security recruitment technology in 2018 and give employers confidence in, and access to, a completely compliant, robustly vetted security workforce.”

Accurate date capture and verificationThe firm is aiming to attract over 60,000 individual job seekers to the platform by 2020

Broadstone’s app will feed directly into a leading global background checking partner firm, allowing us to not only capture accurate data upfront to verify jobseeker details but reduce application lead times from 12 weeks to just 15 days. Checks are consistent; refreshed on a regular basis so that we have a full understanding of a job seeker’s work history, effectively creating an almost instant ‘job passport’ for them. It’s something that has previously been unheard of in the security industry and we’re confident it will have a dramatic effect on the number of roles available and filled in coming years.”

Technology platforms in the gig economy have recently been in for criticism. Only last month, Uber lost its licence in York on the grounds of public safety and security, hot on the heels of having its licence revoked in London in September 2017.

Tom continued, “The recent cases with Uber, where a rapidly expanding workforce meant that some driver checks were falling through the cracks, demonstrate what can happen if tech companies don’t prioritise vetting and background checks in an ever-growing gig economy. We are confident that we will mitigate these issues and create a safer, more secure workforce. We will continually strive to be recognised as one of the most compliant job marketplaces around and will be looking to add additional checks and processes as we grow.”

Following the launch of Broadstone’s new market-leading app for employers, the firm is aiming to attract over 60,000 individual job seekers to the platform by 2020. It was recently the first business in Manchester to receive Northern Powerhouse Investment Funding (NPIF) of £200k for innovative new products and services.

Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Where is it inappropriate to install video cameras?
Where is it inappropriate to install video cameras?

Video cameras are everywhere, and hundreds more are installed every day. Our society appears to be reaching a point of perpetual surveillance. It certainly feels as if we are always being watched even though it is not yet the case. But as cameras are becoming more common than ever, we are also entering a new era of privacy concerns and sensitivities, as evidenced by GDPR and other such initiatives. We presented this quandary to this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Surveillance cameras can go anywhere, right? Where is it “not OK?”

Development of integrated thermal imaging technology into evolving market verticals
Development of integrated thermal imaging technology into evolving market verticals

Global and domestic threats have highlighted the need for tighter security across all verticals. One of the technologies that has redefined situational awareness and intrusion detection is thermal imaging. Once a technology exclusively manufactured for the military operations, thermal cameras today are deployed across hundreds of security applications and continue to see strong demand in existing and emerging commercial markets. With thermal technology, security personnel can see in complete darkness as well as in light fog, smoke and rain Technology overview and early adoption What distinguishes thermal cameras from optical sensors is their ability to produce images based on infrared energy, or heat, rather than light. By measuring the heat signatures of all objects and capturing minute differences between them, thermal cameras produce clear, sharp video despite unfavorable environmental conditions. With thermal technology, security personnel can see in complete darkness as well as in light fog, smoke and rain. Originally a military developed, commercially qualified technology, the first thermal cameras for military and aircraft use appeared in the 1950s. By the 1960s, the technology had been declassified and the first thermal camera for commercial use was introduced. However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s - when FLIR Systems introduced a camera with an uncooled thermal detector - when the technology began to see substantial adoption beyond government defense deployments. Installations at critical infrastructure sites In the 2000s, industrial companies were some of the first adopters of thermal, using the technology for predictive maintenance to monitor overheating and machine malfunctions. In the years following the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, there was an increase in thermal camera installations across critical infrastructure sites. Stricter security requirements drove the deployment of thermal cameras for perimeter protection, especially in the nuclear power sector. Thermal cameras produce clear video in daylight, low light or no light scenarios and their sharp images result in higher performing analytics In 2010, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Committee released its 73.55 policy, which states nuclear facilities must “provide continuous surveillance, observation and monitoring” as a means to enhance threat detection and deterrence efforts onsite. Because thermal cameras produce clear video in daylight, low light or no light scenarios and because their sharp images result in higher performing analytics, thermal cameras quickly became the preferred option for nuclear facilities. Likewise, following the 2013 sniper attack on PG&E Corporation’s Metcalf transmission substation, the Federal Energy Regulation Commission introduced the Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard 014 (CIP-014). The policy requires utilities to identify threats to mission critical assets and implement a security system to mitigate those risks. This statute also led to more thermal installations in the utility sector as thermal cameras’ long-range capabilities are ideal for detection of approaching targets beyond the fence line. The demand from both industrial and critical infrastructure entities, as well as other factors, helped drive volume production and price reduction for thermal, making the technology more accessible to the commercial security marketplace. Commercial applications In recent years, the increasing affordability of thermal cameras along with the introduction of new thermal offerings has opened the door to new commercial applications for the technology. In the past, thermal cameras were designed for applications with enormous perimeters, where the camera needed to detect a human from 700 meters away. Locations like car dealerships, marinas and construction supply facilities can be protected by precise target detection, thermal analytic cameras providing an early warning to security personnel Today, there are thermal cameras specifically designed for short- to mid-range applications. Developed for small to medium enterprises, these thermal cameras ensure property size and security funds are no longer barriers to adoption. Lumber yards, recreation fields and sports arenas are some of the commercial applications now able to implement thermal cameras for 24-hour monitoring and intrusion detection. Affordable thermal cameras with onboard analytics have become attractive options for commercial businesses Innovation and advancements Innovation and advancements in the core technology have also spurred growth in thermal camera deployment, providing faster image processing, higher resolution, greater video analytic capabilities and better camera performance. In particular, affordable thermal cameras with onboard analytics have become attractive options for commercial businesses that need outdoor, wide area protection. Car dealerships, marinas and construction supply locations all store valuable merchandise and materials outside. Without protection, these assets are vulnerable to vandalism and theft. However, by providing precise target detection, thermal analytic cameras provide an early warning to security personnel so that they can intervene before a crime is committed. By helping to deter just one incident, the thermal solution delivers a clear ROI. New market opportunities Not only are there more thermal cameras in use today than ever before, but there are also more thermal sensors being integrated with other multi-sensor systems, driving the adoption of thermal in new markets. For large perimeter surveillance applications, thermal is repeatedly being integrated with radar and drones to expand situational awareness beyond the point of fixed cameras. Users get immediate, accurate alerts of approaching targets and evidentiary class video for target assessment In the commercial market, thermal imagers are combined with optical sensors, analytics and LED illuminators into one solution that integrates with central monitoring station platforms. By bringing these technologies together, users get immediate, accurate alerts of approaching targets and evidentiary class video for target assessment. The result is a lower number of false positives, reducing the total cost of ownership for the solution. These multi-sensor solutions also feature two-way audio capabilities, which enable remote security officers to act as “virtual guards” and speak to intruders in real-time to dissuade them from illegal activity. The introduction of solutions that integrate all these state-of-the-art technologies under one unit reduces the amount of capital and infrastructure needed for deployment. Consequently, more small businesses and alarm monitoring companies can implement advanced perimeter security technologies like thermal sensors, some for the very first time. Thermal cameras have gone from military defense devices to widespread commercial security cameras Multi-sensor thermal solutions Multi-sensor solutions featuring thermal are quickly gaining traction and opening the door to new business opportunities for the security channel. One of the primary reasons for the strong market interest in these systems is they enable integrators to increase their recurring monthly revenue (RMR). With intense price competition and eroding margins on CCTV equipment, integrators have to rely on RMR to grow their businesses. Offering remote video monitoring services and virtual guarding technologies is one of the best ways to do so.  Additionally, there is a clear demand for it. Central stations are continually looking for new technologies to offer their customers and businesses are interested in economical alternatives to physical guards. In conclusion, thermal cameras have gone from military defense devices to widespread commercial security cameras that are a substantial segment of the outdoor security protection market. From nuclear power plants to construction locations, thermal technology is being implemented to secure sites around the globe.

Highlighting the importance of security integrations and alliances
Highlighting the importance of security integrations and alliances

Most technology companies have one goal in mind: to provide customers with high-quality, affordable products that can efficiently help streamline operations. Whether it's surveillance cameras, video management software, access control technology or any other type of security device, today's leading organisations invest in expertise in these product segments and strive to produce the highest quality solutions. To effectively fulfill this task, technology providers are always searching for emerging components to make their products and services even stronger. Oftentimes, a key aspect necessary to build a comprehensively robust solution involves finding like-minded partners that share a common goal and are willing to work together to create an integration that increases insight and intelligence.The interoperability between systems, devices and different types of applications should be intuitive and fast Key factors for security integrations A basic factor in a partnership is openness. For an integration to perform seamlessly for the end user, the platform through which the technologies converge must follow standard protocols, easily operate with other platforms, allow freedom and customisation, and provide adaptability. The interoperability between systems, devices and different types of applications should be intuitive and fast, enabling more time to be spent on analysing critical data and responding to security events. The puzzle of a complete security solution contains many pieces, and it's often necessary to fuse together aspects from various providers to create a best-in-breed technology offering. When organisations collaborate, the end result is a simplified solution with an increased level of value. As threats become more severe and complex, customers demand solutions that combine different security and business elements into a single interface that can address a wide variety of risks. A unified security system requires a strong collaboration between technology providers and integrated solutions Interconnected security devices Users used to only look at specific security devices - such as cameras or door alarms - as each having a strong, autonomous purpose, but now, every device plays an important interconnected role. And the progression of the Internet of Things (IoT) has made this transition even easier, as maintaining a consistent and uniform communication and interconnectivity between devices has now become the norm. The IoT has also made it so that partnerships must not only exist between manufacturers, but also within the customer's organisational structure. Although exceptionally beneficial, the IoT brings with it an increased amount of cyber vulnerabilities. As security systems are networked to increase flexibility, the door is opened to a number of potential threats that could compromise the entire enterprise. This risk highlights the need for an internal partnership and knowledge sharing between a company's physical security professionals and its IT team. IT experts should be pulled into security decisions and positioned as collaborative partners to assist with software updates, data safety protocols and solving complex network challenges, ultimately leading to a more cyber secure solution.Partnerships are beneficial to both the companies involved and their customers Knowledge sharing and learning Aside from cybersecurity, the latest prominent security attacks and events have focused primarily on soft targets, such as schools, concerts or shopping malls. This has caused many technology providers to venture into different vertical markets, and strong partnerships streamline this crossover. Innovators can extend their geographic reach and purpose through integrations with other like-minded manufacturers or integrators to add new levels of functionalities. Of course, a partnership cannot operate properly and to the best of its ability without a core component: learning. In today's evolving business and risk environment, knowledge is critical. A shared knowledge base can open up new opportunities and lead to the strengthening of security across many levels. A truly powerful, unified security system requires a strong collaboration between technology providers and integrated solutions. Partnerships are beneficial to both the companies involved and their customers, and the results created through these alliances can reach far beyond a user's expectations, offering enhanced flexibility and extensive safety options.