About the client
The University of Bedfordshire is a modern, innovative university with a heritage of quality education going back more than 100 years. The University of Bedfordshire was established in 2006, following the merger of the University of Luton and De Montfort University’s Bedford campus.
With campuses in Luton, Bedford, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury, the University play host to over 20,000 students from 120 countries, with a teaching staff of 1800.
The client brief
The University was looking to maintain an open and welcoming environment whilst ensuring the protection of people, buildings and assets at the Bedford and Luton campuses.
Securitas assessed current service delivery, using a risk analysis approach, to identify solutions that would enhance security and the student experience, whilst also achieving cost efficiencies for the University. In October 2010, following an extensive tender process, Securitas was appointed to deliver protective security services.
The Securitas solution
In 2017, the University went out to tender, and due to the success of the current partnership, Securitas was awarded a ten-year contract to provide the full range of protective services.
There are many challenges and risks to mitigate against on campuses the size and scale of Bedford and Luton. Securitas layers on-site, mobile, electronic and remote security to address these challenges for the University of Bedfordshire.
A team of 43 SIA-licensed Securitas officers are an integral part of campus life at Bedford and Luton, offering round-the-clock protection to students, teaching staff and campus visitors. On-site officers carry out daily, routine ID checks to ensure unregistered visitors or members of the public do not access the campus unchallenged.
The physical presence of officers is enhanced through a CCTV control room, situated on campus, and run by Securitas. Due to the size of the campus, CCTV allows for 24/7 monitoring to prevent and capture any incidents relating to property damage, loss or harm to individuals.
Securitas has helped the university by introducing and managing access control systems and advising if certain parts of the campus should be restricted to maintain a safer environment.
The officers also have STARS training (Security Trained Assistance and Reception Services) which allows them to offer unique, enhanced reception services during out-of-office hours. They are the first point of contact and act as key brand ambassadors for the University, which is particularly important in the campus libraries which operate on a 24/7 basis.
From a fire & safety perspective, Securitas officers carry out fire tests across the Luton campus. Securitas also plays a pivotal part in escalating any critical on-site incidents to the University’s Critical Incident Response Team.
It’s imperative that students feel safe and secure in their learning environment, so they can excel in their studies. With this in mind, Securitas has introduced an awareness training programme for officers, to enable them to identify and support individuals suffering from mental wellbeing issues. In addition, Securitas sits on the University’s student safety forum – implemented to tackle all issues relating to student welfare and safety.
The Securitas team works closely with the Events Manager at the University, supporting her team with the planning and risk assessments for graduations, exams, registrations and other campus based events.
The relationship between Securitas Manager Rhoni Ikhide and key University stakeholders, the Head of Campus Services, in particular, has enhanced the perception of security, allowing Securitas to support the direction the University is taking.
Monthly review meetings provide an opportunity to report against KPIs and raise any concerns or issues which may need addressing. Securitas uses a bespoke risk analysis tool to complete in-depth risk assessments on a regular basis. The results are shared with the University and used to highlight new and emerging risks.
To date, Securitas has identified savings of over £1.5 million and also proposed to invest £300,000 in technology to enhance security systems.
Anna Brennan, Head of Campus Services at the University of Bedfordshire commented: “The Securitas team on site, and through the regional structure, has always provided a collaborative approach to the contract and hence the successful partnership between Securitas and the University of Bedfordshire is set to continue into the next 10 years.
“Their proactive approach to the security of the campus and its occupants is great, whilst having the flexibility to deal with intermittent challenges which inevitably arise.”
Securitas’ Education Team has a wealth of experience in the University sector, with protective service contracts in place with the University of Hertfordshire, University of Gloucestershire, Cranfield University, University of Southampton, Leeds Metropolitan University and the University of West Scotland.