A note on violence: When all you have is a hammer

This one could be a short musing on violence and its use as a problem solving tool in the security industry. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘when all you have is a hammer every problem looks like a nail’? Its something I’ve often related to the security industry and something which my younger self was often guilty of. Its not a complaint about the use of violence or physical skills but it is a cautionary message about over reliance on physical skills. I had a completely different idea for this weeks article but a conversation with an old friend this week put this thought into my head I was taken to thinking about my younger days as I started off in this industry. At that time I thought I was the best thing since sliced bread. I was probably a little over confident and definitely a lot more hot headed than I would now ever like to admit. I grew up with experience and harsh lessons but not without making a lot of mistakes and that is what I want to talk about here. My musing is on violence and the advantages and disadvantages of having a large skill set in that area in the security industry.

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Duty of Care, Negligence and Liability in the Security industry

Duty of care

This week I’m going to go all legal and talk about duty of care. These 3 words on which a significant amount of business in the security industry are based. The words are used over and over in operations records, assignment instructions and legal issues around the security industry but how much does the average security operative know about what these words mean. In this article I want to look at duty of care from a civil law perspective.

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PSA28:2013 Part 2: Managing Threats and Violence

Last week we started off talking about the contents of the PSA 28:2013 standard for the security industry. It was supposed to be a two-part article concluding this week and with a look at the training and operations area of the sector. However there is a subject which should have been covered in last weeks section that I think needs a section all to itself. That subject is the management of threats and violence.  Its about the process which companies are obliged to undertake to deal with these risks. I’ll discuss what is required, where I see the failings and what can be done to make the industry safer for both the employee and the employer.

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The Training Audit Trail

This article is mainly aimed towards managers responsible for training within organisations but there are lessons to be learned for everybody in here.I deliver training all over the country to a huge diversity of sectors and people. I deliver long courses, short courses and online courses. The organisations I work with range from small businesses to large multi nationals and government bodies. There is only one thing that every single training course we run has in common and that is that somebody has identified A TRAINING NEED around security.

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The Security industry is not the Olympics

Fair fights are for the Olympics not the security profession

This week is going to be a bit of a departure from normal. There are two things that I don’t usually do in these articles. The first is to go on a rant and the second is to comment on individual incidents. In this article I’m going to do both of those things. Over the weekend I have received a large volume of messages and emails and been tagged several times in a video about an incident of violence which has appeared on social media. The video I saw was on the timeline of Liam Tuffs a well known door supervisor and blogger from the UK. It shows two door supervisors being attacked by a group of people. They are being badly assaulted at the start but the tide turns and one of the door supervisors punches an assailant 3 times and leaves him semi conscious on the footpath.The video seems to have been taken down now from some sites but it was captioned with something like ‘this should get some interesting comments’ . Well it turns out Liam was spot on there. The comments were crazy and a combination of ‘the doorman was dead right and ‘he was a thug’. I won’t spend too much time on the video here but I do want to use this article to make two points about these types of incidents generally.

1. Sometimes in this industry we do need to use high levels of force to manage a situation. It never looks good, it’s never reputationally good but it is sometimes necessary (not necessarily the case here)

2. Often times the reason why that level of force has been necessary is because of failures in primary controls by the employer but the door supervisor is the person on camera who takes the hit on social media and public perception. Continue reading “The Security industry is not the Olympics”