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Malcolm Dawson, Head of Security, and Mark Bownass, Deputy Head of Security, with the Secured Environments plaque

University of Leeds receives Secured Environments accreditation

The University of Leeds has received the police-certified Secured Environments accreditation. To achieve the award organisations must demonstrate that they have adopted the six key principles for protecting themselves against crime. This achievement demonstrates the University’s strong and proven commitment to placing the safety of students, staff and visitors at the forefront of everything we do.

Operating on a large, 98-acre single site location just outside of the city centre presents the University with a complex set of challenges. The security team have adopted the six key principles of Secured Environments and maintain close working links with local partners such as West Yorkshire Police and Leeds City Council. This means that Security Services are able to proactively manage the safety of the people and property on campus.

“I would particularly like to thank those staff who worked tirelessly to achieve this award. Their excellent collaborative work was vital to our success.”

– Malcolm Dawson BEM, Head of Security

Malcolm Dawson BEM, Head of Security, said: “Receiving this award is a superb accolade. It reflects the high calibre of work done by all members of the Security Services to embed safety across the University. We are also extremely grateful for the support we received from members of the wider University community who helped participate in the accreditation process.

“I would particularly like to thank those staff who worked tirelessly to achieve this award. Their excellent collaborative work was vital to our success. Key members of the team were Mark Bownass, Deputy Head of Security; Andy Gordon-Platt, Crime Prevention Advisor; Ian Crawshaw, Security Training Officer; PC Rebecca Hurrell, our Police Higher Education Liaison Officer; Daniel Beekman, our Administrator; and Rebecca Damment-Vezzosi, Business Improvement Officer, who ably project managed the process. Throughout the entire accreditation we were also fully supported by Joanna Hynes, Deputy Director of Estates & Facilities Services.”

Dennis Hopper, Director of Campus Development, said: “This accreditation serves as a clear demonstration of the importance the University places on student, staff and visitor safety. I’m extremely proud of all the staff in the Security Services for the constant good work that this award recognises.”

The Secured Environment accreditation is valid for three years, confirming our approach to security is up to a police-certified standard. The Security Services will continue to work alongside colleagues from across the University to ensure that this remains the case.

Security Services leaving a helping hand flyer on an unattended iPad

Security giving you a helping hand

Security Services are starting a new campaign to give you a helping hand with keeping your property safe. From Monday 20 January, Security started to place new hand-shaped flyers on any unattended property in public spaces around campus to highlight the risk of opportunistic theft.

Whilst campus is generally a safe and secure space, it is also important to understand that there is always a risk of crime in a big city like Leeds and you need to take steps to protect yourself from it. You probably take your laptop and phone down to the library to study most days. If you leave them unattended to nip away for a coffee, then you could have lost hundreds if not thousands of pounds worth of items by the time you get back.

We’re hoping that if you come back to see one of our helping hands on your stuff, then you’ll realise it would’ve only taken seconds for it to have been stolen.

– Andy Gordon-Platt, Crime Prevention Advisor

Andy Gordon-Platt, the University’s Crime Prevention Advisor, came up with the concept for the ‘helping hand’, “The police had a similar anti-burglary campaign a few years ago. I thought that a version of this could make a real impact on reducing opportunistic theft within our public spaces. We’re hoping that if you come back to see one of our helping hands on your stuff, then you’ll realise it would’ve only taken seconds for it to have been stolen. With our officers’ regular uniformed patrols of campus, students are also able to ask questions about how they can best protect their property.”

If you want to know more about security on campus and how to keep yourself and your property safe, then why not visit the Security drop-in sessions in the LUU Foyer? They’re 11am – 2pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays and you’ll be able to speak with the Police Higher Education Liaison Officer, PC Becky Hurrell, the Crime Prevention Advisor, Andy Gordon-Platt, and the on-duty operations manager. For further information and advice, visit leeds.ac.uk/security.

Information on recent improvements by Security Services

Security Services – We Are Listening

The Security Services recently sent out a survey as part of our Secured Environments accreditation, and it was great to receive such a large and positive response to our work. However as a service we recognise that there is always room to improve how we operate, and so we wanted to take this opportunity to let you know about some changes that we hope will make further improvements to how safe and secure everyone feels on campus.

The Team

In 2019 the Security Service has recruited nine staff and has returned in the main to an in house team. We recognise staff feedback, that knowledge and having consistent staff on shift provides reassurance and a better quality of service. In addition to the increase in Security employed officers we also have a full time training officer who is responsible for delivering a robust induction training programme, refresher training as well as continual development of our officers throughout the year. If you think there is something about your work area or building that you think our officers need to know please get in touch with the Head of Security who will be more than happy to arrange for the training officer to come and talk to you. We still work in partnership with an agency provider for some specific activities or at peak times of the year and agency staff provider are also supported by our in house training officer. We are also delighted to have increased our dog handling provision to every shift and have four new canine recruits Ruby, Reggie, Enzo and Tia who undertaking their first year of West Yorkshire Police Dog Training, please look out for them on campus.

New Roles

To increase the level of management support in our service we have introduced in new Duty Operations Management Roles within the Security Service. The four Duty Operations Managers are each responsible for a team of security officers on a day to day basis. Regular scheduled meetings with the Deputy Security Services Manager, enables them to help us review and improve our processes, discuss customer feedback and continuous improvement, whilst also receiving the latest information from the management team. This two-way communication helps to ensure that all teams are able to provide a consistent high standard of service.

Another way this communication is enabled is through the weekly Monday morning meetings between the Deputy Security Manager and the different security teams. These meetings enable Mark to update the security officers with topical, relevant information and give the officers a chance to feedback and queries or issues that they have.

Security Patrols

Security undertake structured patrols around campus, officers take pre-planned routes making sure they engage with staff and students as they patrol. Officers have their own designated regular routes, and will introduce themselves to reception and front of house staff as they patrol inside their buildings. We recognise that staff feel reassured seeing our officers out on patrol and we hope that staff will get more opportunities to know who the officers for their buildings are. This will also ensure a consistent level of service for staff across campus, as they will be interacting with the same well-trained, motivated and friendly security officers each day.

Improving Communications

Over the next few months the Deputy Security Services Manager will be meeting with the Facilities Manager of each faculty to discuss a range of different security matters. These meetings will include explaining the recent improvements to security and informing them about the availability of the critical incidents poster, which gives guidance on how to react in the unlikely event of an emergency incident on campus. Another key matter that will be discussed in these meetings is locking and access to buildings on campus. This was an area where some concerns were raised during the recent survey, so we will seek to understand where colleagues have feedback and work with them to address.

As well as these meetings, we’re keen to hear any further comments or suggestions about security on campus from all staff. If there is any feedback you would like to provide, then please email it to securitycomments@leeds.ac.uk. If the matter is urgent you will receive a response within 24 hours, or within five working days for less urgent enquiries.

If you have any questions around security we would encourage you to come along to our drop-in sessions at Leeds University Union. These are in the LUU foyer on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11am – 2pm. PC Becky Hurrell, the Police Higher Education Liaison Officer, Andy Gordon Platt, Crime Prevention Advisor, and the on-duty operations manager will all be present to speak with you.