I Hope that you are staying safe during this difficult time.

I felt that it is even more important than normal to keep in contact, to both reassure you that H&M Security are continuing to provide essential services to our clients and to show support for our teams working on the ground.

Our 24-hour control room and team of Operations Managers and Mobile drivers are working hard supporting our officers on site, and our offices are open to support our clients.

We have seen an increase in demand for our services and we have officers deployed supporting Hospitals and Health Centres, British Transport Police, Local Councils, NWR,  as well as supporting our core business with major construction and infrastructure projects that continue to work in order to keep our economy working.

Fortunately, at the start of the year we strengthened our team bringing in a new Operations Director Steve Rigby, and two new Operations Managers Kevin Keene, and Aron Graves. This has given us additional resilience during this difficult period, as well as many years security experience across a broad range of sectors. I look forward to being able to introduce our new signings to you over the coming weeks.

I cannot send out a message at this time, without saying a massive thank you to all H&M’s security officers and staff. I understand that you will have concerns about the impact of the current situation on you and your family, but also want to reassure you that H&M Security is in a good position for supporting you in your current duties, and to move forward and grow when the economy stabilises.

Reports suggest surge in break-ins at commercial sites during coronavirus lockdown

According to report, police forces across the UK are having to carry out extra night patrols in empty city and town centres, as burglars target shops, pubs and other commercial premises during the coronavirus lockdown.

Collating intelligence data from police reports, the UK has seen a significant rise over recent weeks in commercial burglaries and attempted thefts in London, Manchester, Merseyside, Gwent and Cleveland.

Last week the SIA and British Security Industry Association confirmed that the current definition of key critical workers includes regulated security professionals. Roles essential to supporting law and order, with the potential to reduce demand on policing, also meet the critical worker definition. This includes the guarding and CCTV monitoring of empty or closed commercial, retail or office premises, and the provision of alarm response centres, including mobile units.

Vulnerable premises like construction sites, which contain valuable plant and equipment, are now standing empty for a few weeks, so they need to be kept secure.”

H&M Security Services has always recognised the importance of developing and maintaining effective business continuity planning. These are now being tested to the full and proofing an essential guide for managers as we work our way through this difficult period.

If you need help with your security, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your requirement.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a significant challenge but together, we are rising to it and will undoubtedly overcome.

Why should security professionals be considered key workers

Whilst health workers are protecting people and dealing with the human aspects of protection, security workers are there to protect the economic and other physical and intangible assets of the nation.

With the possibility of office buildings being left unused or more-or-less empty, they can become easy targets for criminals. As well as physical assets there is also wealth of valuable data – be it personal data, intellectual property or any other type of data.

Commercial premises and empty construction sites have a lot of that can be stolen and will be seen as easy targets by some groups during these difficult times. While many premises are often unused at weekends, we are currently in a very different situation when you’re talking weeks, or maybe months were premises will remain closed, and the police and other emergency services will have other demands being placed on them.

Buildings – operating or closed – all still need physical security, even though the need may be slightly different, whilst the data in hospitals, government departments, enterprises, small business, etc., all still need protection as well. The requirement for protection has not decreased as a result of the coronavirus.

The coronavirus will change security over the next few months and years to come. Your assets need to be protected to ensure that not only workers continuing to work from wherever they are able to do so, but that when things get better the assets left in the unused buildings have not been stolen, damaged or negatively affected through criminal activities.

Ian Todd, SIA CEO: “I am able to confirm that the current definition of key worker DOES include regulated (licence holding) security professionals, essential to national infrastructure, operating in critical roles under the eight broad headings listed. …”

Key worker journeys jeopardised after metal thieves rip out railway signalling cable

While the country looks to pull together and help each other through these difficult times, criminals simply see it as an opportunity to take advantage of the over stretched resources of the police, and social distancing measures designed to control the coronavirus spread.  Metal thieves have disrupted the journeys of key workers after ripping out hundreds of metres of railway signalling cable.

Several locations in Network Rail’s North West and Central region have been targeted by callous thieves taking advantage of the corona pandemic to carry out their crimes.

This has jeopardised journeys for key workers like doctors and nurses, as well as disrupting freight trains carrying thousands of tonnes of food and products to supermarkets across the country.

Engineers worked throughout the night on Saturday (March 28) to replace 300 metres of cabling ripped out of the signalling system between Alderley Edge and Crewe in Cheshire.

British Transport Police Chief inspector, Gary Jones, said: “In these challenging and unprecedented times acts like this are appalling, particularly as the rail network plays an important role in helping people make essential journeys to support the national effort. It also plays a critical role in the distribution of essential supplies around the UK. Everyone else should be staying at home to stop the spread of the virus, which helps saves lives.

“Offending disrupting vital transport links shows a real disregard for the efforts of those who continue to work on the frontline, fighting this pandemic. It also puts lives at risk which could place further demand on the already stretched emergency services. Be assured that anyone who steals from the railway will face the strongest possible action.”