University of Hertfordshire wins Securitas’ prestigious 2015 Good Customer Award

Left to Right: Securitas’ Country President Brian Riis Nielsen, the University of Hertfordshire’s Dale Murphy and Clint Reid from Marks & Spencer plc

Left to Right: Securitas’ Country President Brian Riis Nielsen, the University of Hertfordshire’s Dale Murphy and Clint Reid from Marks & Spencer plc

The University of Hertfordshire is the proud winner of the 2015 Good Customer Award bestowed by Securitas in conjunction with Official Media Partner Risk UK as part of the security solutions provider’s annual Community Awards.

The Good Customer Award is specifically designed to reward those clients of Securitas who’ve demonstrably contributed towards an improvement in standards within – and perceptions around – the security sector as a whole.

This year’s Judging Panel reviewed detailed submissions from seven first class finalists, duly examining how they’re all pushing the security sector forwards in a pioneering way, studying details of their procurement strategies, working relationships with their security supplier and how the quality of security provision has improved as a result.

Chairman of the Judges in 2015 was Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor of Risk UK. “The standard of submissions for the Good Customer Award has always been extremely strong, and this year raised the bar once again,” enthused Sims. “All of this year’s entries outlined excellent partnership working, a continual commitment to the very highest levels of security provision and management and ongoing enhancements around Best Practice standards. The latter is extremely important.”

Commenting on this year’s winner, Sims added: “The University of Hertfordshire is indeed a worthy victor. Viewing security as a priority agenda item at Board level while actively supporting police service accreditation schemes, the University of Hertfordshire’s security operation continually places great emphasis on officer training. In addition, the ground-breaking, ten-year contractual partnership recently signed between the University and Securitas absolutely exemplifies the strength and depth of collaboration involved and how well the working relationship is progressing for the betterment of all parties.”

Members of this year’s Judging Panel also included Clint Reid (head of corporate security at Marks & Spencer plc) and Steve Davidson (director of Global Security Recruitment).

Highly Commended entries were submitted by British American Tobacco and Sainsbury’s.

Securitas Country President Brian Riis Nielsen, who presented the award, commented: “It was clear that the University of Hertfordshire places security right at the top of its business agenda. There’s an evident commitment to a true partnership which encourages ongoing engagement with Securitas and has led to a more efficient, smart and innovative security service on the ground.”

Security at the University of Hertfordshire

Dale Murphy MSc CSyP joined the University of Hertfordshire in 2008 as head of security services. At the time, morale was somewhat low and standards needed improvement and enhancement.

The Judging Panel concluded that Murphy’s astute leadership in the intervening period – in parallel with the University’s own desire for an efficient, reliable service – has developed the knowledge and capability of the security team to an extent that it can now claim to provide a service that transcends its own ‘More than just security’ ethos.

Evidence of Murphy’s personal drive and commitment to the security sector, higher education and the University of Hertfordshire’s security requirements has helped generate what is easily identifiable as being a first class service for all students, members of staff and visitors alike.

Indeed, such is the success of this working partnership between customer and service provider that the University of Hertfordshire has now signed the aforementioned ten-year partnership agreement with Securitas that’s worth in excess of £31 million. The partnership has also resulted in Securitas investing no less than £1 million in new technology and innovation for the University’s campus.

Dale Murphy told Risk UK: “The principle aim of security at the University of Hertfordshire has always been to provide a safe, secure and welcoming environment for all our staff, students and visitors. This remains a challenging aim requiring a unique approach to the way in which we provide security and reception services. It’s vital we continually improve the services we deliver and embrace improvements while at the same time understanding the higher education and security climate. To this end, we work diligently in partnership with Securitas to lead by example and remain pioneers within the ever-changing security sector. I’m absolutely delighted that the University of Hertfordshire and all of our hard work has been recognised in this way.” 

To its great credit, the University of Hertfordshire’s management team has supported Murphy throughout his academic journey which has seen this dedicated and highly-skilled professional attain a Master’s Degree in Security and Risk Management and, more recently, become a Chartered Security Professional (CSyP). The prestigious CSyP status was awarded at a special commemorative dinner held at the Palace of Westminster earlier this year.

Priority agenda item at Board level

Brian Riis Nielsen added: “At the University of Hertfordshire, security is always a priority agenda item at Board level. This has been particularly evident over the last year and throughout the process of renewing the security contract, a procedure which was conducted across an eleven-month period. During that time, we met with the University of Hertfordshire’s staff on a weekly basis. These meetings were attended by myself as well as Securitas representatives including our chief operating officer, business development director and legal counsel. The University was represented by its director of estates, deputy directors, the head of services, Human Resources directors, solicitors and other senior University Board members. This shows a total commitment to the partnership from both parties.”

Taking place on Monday 15 June at the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel and Country Club near Birmingham, the 2015 Securitas Community Awards Ceremony was attended by national and local customers and suppliers of Securitas in support of the finalists together with their guests.

The winners and Highly Commended entrants were presented with their awards in ten categories. Invited guests heard all about remarkable acts of innovation, bravery and excellent community initiatives.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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