Private security during a global pandemic | What lies ahead?

Jon Felix BSc(Hons) MDIP MBCI Msyl Jon Felix BSc(Hons) MDIP MBCI Msyl Tuesday, 2 Jun 2020

Under recent events and the ongoing restrictions on how we carry out business and what is effectively a new operating model for the foreseeable future, security provision has become even more important to achieve strong resilience and the ability to recover to business as usual. Professional security providers need to consider key factors to ensure the services delivered meet client and contractual needs but also feasible with the available resources and constraints in the current climate.

This needs to be looked at from both sides, client, and security provider. Close relationships with the client are essential under the operating constraints the pandemic has forced on us all. Client expectations need to have outlined clear parameters. Some clients will have their own defined plans, others will be looking for security to lead in this. Business Continuity Plans based on normal operating parameters, not the current restricted conditions, must be reviewed, or they are at risk of not being fit for purpose.  
In managing risk to minimise disruption, communication needs to be accurate so decisions are based on the best information available and to involve the people with the correct level of authority. Recovery depends massively on the amount of planning and resilience that has been completed. It’s important what conditions are in place for the recovery. Will or can the client dictate this recovery, or will the decision be made by outside parties, e.g. their clients, occupiers, phased or sudden return, revenue needs, government constraints, etc. The key point here is, will the security service be instrumental ensuring a successful return to normal or a potential hurdle due to the lack of deliverable service?

This key point requires security to consider many factors to the successful facilitation of recovery. The security provision needs to understand if it can operate at a reduced level with clients/contracts operating at normal or as near to normal capacity (in this case pre-COVID 19 restrictions). How this will be achieved needs to consider: potential reduction in available security personnel, a deficit in key skills, strategic operational deployment with the available personnel, ability to complete essential services, (lifesaving, emergency, critical procedures), recruitment needs due to possible staff losses. Operations Managers and Control Room provisions must also consider the available response staff following the parameters we have had to work under in recent weeks: what is available, where is it required, and how many will be tapping into this resource.
In summary, ensuring close relationships with the client and their understanding of what recovery may look like, clear resilience planning based on the current threats, and a considered idea of the return process will allow for the fine-tuning of any security plans for a continued and thorough delivery from security providers.



Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash