Securitas has begun a “groundbreaking” ten-year partnership centred on providing security and reception services for the University of Hertfordshire. The partnership contract – which is worth a substantial £31 million across the decade-long period – was awarded as part of a long-term initiative that will see the organisations working closely together, improving services and saving the popular Hatfield-based academic institution around £500,000 per annum over the decade.
Securitas has pledged around £1 million worth of technical investment, including Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), a visitor management system, computerised radio communications and a Learning Resource Centre access control system, all of which are specifically designed to improve levels of service for the staff, students and visitors at the University of Hertfordshire.
The technology investment will be strategically implemented to provide three impact dates – namely April 2015, September 2015 and January 2016 – that mirror key milestones in the academic cycle.
Growing the education portfolio
David Pike, national account manager for the education sector at Securitas, stated: “This partnership is a really important step for Securitas as we look to grow our education portfolio. It’s the first time a university has committed to a ten-year partnership, and we’re absolutely delighted the University of Hertfordshire has chosen Securitas as its long-term security solutions partner. The solutions we’re putting in place are designed to assist the university in enhancing the student and staff experience. ”
Securitas officers will provide manned and mobile guarding solutions, support to students in residence, ANPR and car park monitoring and visitor management systems including access control barriers.
Securitas will also provide the university’s students with up to 70 positions worldwide, including short-term contracts, placements and work experience. Existing university receptionists will now transfer to Securitas contracts which include TUPE and pension provisions.
“Within the first five years of the contract,” asserted Pike, “we have pledged to ensure the university attains a position in the Top Five when it comes to the list of the safest UK universities as published within the Complete University Guide.”
Student experience and employability
Andrew May, director of estates and hospitality at the University of Hertfordshire, told Risk UK: “We are the UK’s leading business-facing university with aspirations to be internationally renowned, and we’re delighted to be working so closely with Securitas. In today’s Higher Education environment, student experience and employability are key. The partnership we have agreed with Securitas will respond very positively to these major drivers.”
Also speaking about the new contract, Securitas Country President Brian Riis Nielsen commented: “This partnership confirms that our new solutions strategy is working. We’re moving from pure security guarding to offering solutions which integrate remote and mobile guarding services with technology to achieve cost-efficiencies, added value and long-term customer relationships.”
Hatfield was recently named in the Top 20 listing of the safest towns for students in the UK. Compiled from official police data, the ranking is based on how exposed a student will be to crime in 64 of England and Wales’ student towns and cities. Hatfield was rated eighteenth, making it safer than the neighbouring cities of Cambridge, Luton and London.
The research was carried out by StuRents.com, a dedicated student accommodation search portal. Rankings are based on how many recorded crimes student areas experienced per thousand residents between February 2014 and January this year.
The University of Hertfordshire is one of the region’s largest employers with 2,700 staff and a turnover of over £238 million. With a student community of 25,300, including 2,800 overseas students from 100 different countries, the university boasts a global network of over 195,000 alumni.
According to the new Times Higher Education 100 Under 50 rankings for 2014, the University of Hertfordshire is also one of the Top 100 universities in the world under 50 years old.