SSAIB Scheme Manager Walks in on Puppies Being Born During Inspection

SSAIB inspectors usually take the lead during annual audits of our registered firms, but Jim Suttie was literally forced into it recently – after he turned up at an inspection just after a litter of puppies had been born.

Prior to the arrival of our scheme manager for CCTV and access control systems, Billy Bingham of SSAIB-registered firm Signature Security Solutions had spent the previous night and morning helping Minnie give birth to eight young pups.

The two-year-old’s octuplets comprised of five boys and three girls and were born at the home of the East Lothian-based sole trader. In fact, Billy had just finished aiding his cockerpoo – a cross between a cocker spaniel and a poodle - when Jim arrived to conduct his inspection for intruder alarms systems.

“They were born during the night before and in the morning of the inspection, so I was literally just finishing when Jim turned up at 8:30-9am,” Billy explains. “It was quite an experience and I think it was an experience for Jim as well, because the house was upside down when Jim came through the door.

“It was fine really. I just had to explain to Jim what had happened.

“The worst thing was the lack of sleep, but four cups of coffee were all I needed and I was sorted. It wasn’t a problem.”

A night spent delivering puppies might have been far from ideal ahead of an important SSAIB inspection, but Billy was delighted with how well it went and had nothing but praise for Jim during – and after – his visit to the Scottish firm.

Billy said: “It was a really good inspection and Jim was really helpful as well. In fact, Jim was excellent and he has been after it as well.

“He’s sent me a nice couple of emails since then, asking if everything is still ok and stuff like that.”

SSAIB scheme manager Jim added: “Obviously, the poor guy was tired after being up half the night sorting out all of his new doggies. Billy’s a nice lad though and he did really well to go straight from that into an inspection, so hats off to him for that.”

Despite the upheaval, it turned out to be a successful inspection for Signature Security Solutions – as they are now an intruder alarms systems (ACPOS) accredited firm with SSAIB.

Posted: 30/03/2017 more >

Police Forces’ Body Worn Video Achieves Surveillance Camera Code of Practice

SSAIB - the UK and Ireland’s leading security, fire and telecare certification body - are happy to announce that two Police forces have pioneered the introduction of body worn video (BWV) technology, in accordance with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice.

Following certification to the code, completed by SSAIB auditors, the Greater Manchester Police and Metropolitan Police Service are now using devices for a variety of innovative and beneficial applications.

BWV technology is now being used in a variety of ways to capture Police operational activity firsthand, using helmet or vest-mounted cameras. These affordable cameras provide high-quality images and audio, which can be used for evidential purposes.

Andy Marsh, who was the National Policing Lead for body worn video - and is now Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police - reported in 2014 that this technology’s advantages include enhanced contemporaneous evidence capture and swifter justice through early guilty pleas and admissions.

He stated: “It can also inform more appropriate sentencing and help to reduce bureaucracy throughout the criminal justice processes, by focusing on the needs of victims. Finally, it supports transparency, trust and confidence in the Police.”

Greater Manchester Police

The Greater Manchester Police experience began with a trial of 80 BWV cameras, among response teams in the north and south of Manchester, between 2012-13.

An initial 12-week pilot led to a roll-out of BWV cameras - from March 2016 - to all operational front-line Police officers and specialist units. Approximately 3200 units will eventually be deployed, with further plans for the scheme to additionally include Police community support officers in 2017.

Operational use of the body worn devices takes account of guidance published by Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner, following a report by the Independent Police Ethics Committee. It concluded that the technology could help improve the criminal justice process for victims of domestic abuse, by gathering crucial evidence to make it quicker and easier to obtain a conviction – as well as relieving the pressure on victims who don’t feel able to attend court.

Metropolitan Police Service

Meanwhile, following an initial year-long pilot project - involving the distribution of around 500 cameras among emergency response teams spread across 10 London Boroughs - the Metropolitan Police Service is now rolling out BWV technology across the capital. This three-phase programme entails the deployment of approximately 22,000 camera units, which is due for completion by mid-2017.

The force’s initial pilot scheme was studied by the College of Policing and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime. Their reported findings included potential benefits from BWV; including a reduced number of allegations against officers, particularly of oppressive behaviour. Complaints related to interactions with the public also reduced.

With regards to the Metropolitan Police’s accreditation to the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice, the force’s Policy Lead, Digital Policing, Sam Harvey commented: "Achieving full certification has been a vital aspect of our assurance to the public that body worn video is being used effectively in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). The Surveillance Camera Commissioner's comprehensive guiding principles have been invaluable for our BWV policy and rollout of the world's largest deployment of BWV.

“Independent accreditation for compliance has been a rewarding and enjoyable experience, both during document audits and on-site visits at key Police stations in London. We anticipate that the MPS will continue to use the SCC framework in annual reviews and will work closely with the SCC, in continuing to recognise the implications of BWV and mainting this lead in best practice."

In addition, Mark Chaderton, the system support manager at Greater Manchester Police declared: “Delivery of the certification process was easily understood and applied into all aspects of our BWV project across technical specifications, system administration and data sharing.

“Award of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s certificate is a significant assurance to criminal justice partners, individuals and the wider community that our use of BWV is legitimate, effective and compliant. We are delighted to have achieved full certification and look forward to continuing to work within the Commissioner’s 12 guiding principles as GMP’s use of  BWV develops.”

SSAIB provides a third-party certification service to the Surveillance Camera Commissioner that enables local authorities - and those operating public space camera surveillance systems - to demonstrate their conformance with the code of practice, which the commissioner calls a “universally accepted example of good practice”.

Full certification - which lasts for five years - is achieved through a two-step process, with an initial desktop review of an organisation’s completed self-assessment being followed within 12 months by an on-site audit. The commissioner is required to ensure that ‘relevant authorities’ - including local authorities and the Police - comply with the code.

Other organisations which have successfully achieved certification against the code of practice following an SSAIB-conducted audit include national high street retailer Marks & Spencer, Aston University, Community Safety Glasgow and local authorities such as Liverpool City Council and Kings Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council – as well as the London Boroughs of Brent, Enfield, Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest.

Posted: 21/02/2017 more >

SSAIB Firms' Apprentices Stand to Win a Grand with Engineers of Tomorrow Contest at IFSEC 2017

SSAIB are calling on their registered firms to get behind this year’s Engineers of Tomorrow competition – as apprentices can win up to £1000 and generate free exposure for their employers within the global security industry.

The SSAIB-supported competition takes place at IFSEC 2017 - which this year takes place between June 20-22 at the Excel in London – tests apprentices in the security industry with a written test and a 90-minute practical exam.

As well as being able to prove their skills on an international platform, apprentices compete for three top prizes that could see them walk away with up to £1000 in cash. Star performers will also be presented with their awards at November’s Security & Fire Awards in London.

Firms are able to generate their own benefits as well – as supporting apprentice employees in the Engineers of Tomorrow programme will not only demonstrate to clients that firms are committed to the development of their employees, but the company of the winning apprentice(s) will be rewarded with a complimentary seat alongside their protégée(s) at the Security Excellence Awards.

Participation will not only highlight the skilled workforces of those companies involved, but they will also receive great exposure to the IFSEC International audience throughout the three-day event.

SSAIB chief executive Alex Carmichael commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity for all of our firms to put forward their best apprentices and show them off to the whole of the security industry. The prizes are great, but even just being involved will benefit both the competitors and their firms massively.

“SSAIB has been involved with the Engineers of Tomorrow at IFSEC for a lot of years now, because we realise the importance that it has in helping apprentices throughout the country. Therefore, we hope our firms can get on board as well and maybe even produce this year’s winner!”

The hour-and-a-half assessment sees competitors working in pairs to review a previously installed intruder alarm system and identify any faults, before re-commissioning the system and finishing with any additional security and/or safety measures.

Each entrant will then be marked by a panel of judges from the security inspectorates – including Trevor Jenks, David Roscoe and Richard Deacon from the SSAIB - and points are allocated based on performance in the various disciplines. These marks will then go alongside those gained during a theory test to see which apprentice come out on top.

Alongside the three main prizes, participants compete for daily heat prizes that are presented on each day of the competition and SSAIB will be there to do the honours on Thursday June 20.

Spare places are still available on Tuesday and Wednesday, but companies only have until April 28 to sign their apprentices up for the competition.

For more information – and a copy of the application form – please visit

Good luck!

Posted: 06/02/2017 more >

SSAIB's Manned Services Score 100% Performance Rating From SIA

SSAIB have been awarded a straight 100% performance rating for Manned Services for 2016 – following the latest release of figures by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

This achievement is also expected to see the SSAIB named as the top-rated assessment body from the five currently approved bodies providing assessment for the SIA’s Approved Contractor Scheme.

Posted: 26/01/2017 more >

Industry Urged to Complete Fire and Security Skills Survey

The entire fire, emergency and security sector is being urged to complete a new skills survey from the Fire & Security Association (FSA), the Fire Industry Association (FIA) and the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), which aims to understand the current state of play in the industry.

The survey can be completed here.

Posted: 25/01/2017 more >