Security Operative Report Writing

Writing professional security reports

This week we are going to look at the essential task of completing an incident report. It’s the part of the job that not many people like but it is nevertheless essential. I’ve been there at the end of a long night in a club when all you want is to get home to bed and the manager walks out with a stack of empty report forms to complete. I’ve been there after an arrest that’s gone violent and you need a report for the store manager asap. I’ve also been on the other side of that  equation. I’ve gotten phone calls from irate customers the morning after an incident or a persons solicitor the day after an incident when I haven’t had reports. In both of those cases the absence of a report hasn’t looked professional but the quality of the report that does arrive is the real critical part. Reports can save you or cost you after incidents. One of my maxims in the security industry is ” even if what you did was correct you can still lose if it doesn’t look correct or you don’t record it correctly”. In this article I want to help you with that part. I’ve seen too many people cost jobs and money because of poorly written reports.

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Planning for emergencies

Following on from the previous two articles around risk assessment and preparing an emergency response kit I want to continue on a similar theme in this article. In this weeks rant I want to talk a little about planning and preparing for emergencies. Far too often we see security teams first piece of emergency planning happen in the midst of a real emergency and when those plans crumble there is no plan B. I want to discuss the 3 elements of emergency planning which I believe are :

* Mindset
* Procedures and training
* Equipment

They are all important but I believe that they fall in that order of importance.

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Security as a Career

As security professionals at  we have all made careers out of the security industry. Speaking from my own experience it has been hard work and difficult times but for the most part a very rewarding and enjoyable journey. When new entrants come into the industry they do it for a variety of reasons. Some just want to get any type of employment at all and see security as a growth area, some see it as a stepping stone to other careers and some see it as a second income. There are the few though who see it as a career as a long term profession for them.
For me as a trainer there is no greater pleasure to train than this type of person. Somebody with enthusiasm and interest in learning about the industry. There is also great satisfaction in seeing these people progress and move on up in the industry. Seeing people we have trained (sometimes on multiple courses) become supervisors and managers in the industry and this gives me great pride as a trainer. Hearing stories from past learners who have secured jobs and promotions based on their training and upskilling  makes me, and the trainers I’m sure, feel grateful for the opportunity to work with these people.

The security industry can be a harsh place to work sometimes. Standing alone on a static site or door in a really quite shift in heavy rain and awful weather it may not seem like much of career but we have all been there. The people who persevere and work on their training are the ones who end up being successful in this industry. I have had people come through training courses with me and return some time later to do further training or maybe a security management programme and to see how much this person has grown in experience and knowledge in the meantime is amazing. While training programmes add great base knowledge for a person to progress and succeed in their career it has to be coupled with hard work and experience.

So for those of you out there considering a long term career in security I would say 2 things:
1. Constantly train and learn new things. Your skills and knowledge are what set you apart from your peers.

2. Don’t be afraid of the hard work. The long hours, harsh conditions and sore feet are what makes a real professional capable of leading others in the later stages of your career.

This industry is nothing but for the dedicated, trained and professional people who work in it of which I am proud to call myself one.