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Author: Stuart Rae

Gallowglass Security at Tower Bridge for Genpact 24 Hour Melting Point Challenge

It’s refreshing to see the long overdue and welcome return of creative and innovative event professionals; applying their expertise in producing and managing a unique and imaginative event, that showcases both cutting edge green technology and promotes climate change awareness.

Nowhere was this more evident than at Tower Bridge in London on Wednesday, with the launch of the Genpact 24 Hour Melting Point Challenge in advance of the return to London, for the first time since 2016, of the Formula E Heineken® London E-Prix, taking place on the streets of Battersea on the 24/25 th July.

Responsibility for producing an event of this profile and significance were leading and renowned event industry professionals, John Farquhar Smith of the FLUX Creative and Health and Safety expert Nick Love.

The Genpact 24 Hour Melting Point Challenge involved placing a three-ton ice replica of the Envision Virgin Racing Formula E car alongside the team’s race car at the Tower Bridge in Potters Field Park.

The challenge itself allowed for members of the public to engage in and embrace the race against climate change by predicting the percentage of total ice melt of the ice sculpted vehicle within a 24-hour period whilst exposed to the elements and other environmental factors. Each prediction from the public generated revenue itself for the Arctic Ice Project.

In turn this experiential promotion was the perfect precursor to the Formula E Heineken® London E-Prix this weekend. This was the brainchild of FIA President Jean Todt and Spanish businessman, Formula E Chairman Alejandro Agag in 2011, and its aims were simple, to bring together pioneering companies committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles.

What is unique about this race series, is that all racing vehicles are electronic and that the races take place on City streets. Whilst involved in a wide range of sustainability initiatives, what really stands out is that the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is the only sport certified as net zero carbon since it came into existence.

The Managing Partner of Gallowglass Security Partners LLP, Giles Turnbull says:

“I worked with both John and Nick for more years than I care to mention and know them both as friends and the seasoned professionals that they are.

We were thrilled to be instructed by John to provide the necessary security guarding support for asset protection and crowd management duties, for an event with its own distinct character, coupled with the gravitas of its message.

We pride ourselves on deploying security teams that understand the key messaging involved at all events, in addition to their core duties, so that they mirror and reflect the values and tone of the organisers and stakeholders.

With all that in mind I would like to express my thanks and convey my gratitude to the guards on the ground for doing a superb job, I must however, make mention of Rebecca Ryan, for an outstanding contribution to this high profile assignment.”

A Summer of Discontent ?

We live in fascinating yet turbulent, and highly unpredictable times. The convulsions in society, largely brought about by Brexit and the Covid pandemic, and aided and abetted by social media, have brought about seismic change and the polarising of attitudes that has challenged, and some would say shattered traditional divisions and loyalties.

We see this discontent play out in increasingly trenchant public protest in London and throughout the UK. This ranges from from disenchanted Brexit Remainers, Extinction Rebellion on climate change, BLM and their charge of systemic racism and the need for reparations to atone for slavery, the anti-lockdown and vax movement challenging government Covid policy, through to open government advocates with their desire to see the freeing of Julian Assange.

It was a great privilege therefore, to be invited by Steve Kennedy, a dedicated and committed criminal defence lawyer; to provide security support to him, his team of volunteers and speakers to speak, unimpeded, at Parliament Square in London against the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Opponents of this Bill argue passionately that if this Bill enters the statute book, then cherished notions of the right to protest, and in turn free speech, will be curtailed, and without this vital pressure valve, disorder could take a far more dangerous and virulent turn. One thing is certain, 2021 will not replicate 1967’s Summer of Love, and we foresee turmoil ahead.

As an organisation it is not our position to take a view on these profoundly important societal issues. Our only priority is to discharge our security obligations, to the very highest professional and ethical standards, to protect those who put their trust in us.

Gallowglass Support for Wimbledon Screenings

After the long bleak Covid winter, the Wimbledon Championships resumes its rightful place at the heart of the British summer’s sporting calendar with the hosting  by All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon London of the world’s premier Grand Slam tennis tournament; and the only Grand Slam tournament played on grass.

The Wimbledon Championships are a quintessentially English affair, steeped in timeless tradition and gentility. The gentle atmosphere though belies the ferocious competition amongst the players for the kudos of being named Wimbledon Champion. Notwithstanding tradition, the competition evolves with 2021 seeing the final end to “manic Monday “with the middle Sunday being open to play on account of advances in grass technology and maintenance.

For those who don’t have the time or a ticket to go to Wimbledon, there are opportunities in London to enjoy the tennis on the big screen and the magical atmosphere it evokes; and this is not confined to Henman Hill or Murray Mount or could it be renamed Raducanu Rump following her stellar progress through the tournament as a wild card entrant?

We’re delighted at Gallowglass to provide low key security support for the live streaming of Wimbledon at Belgravia’s Halkin Arcade and Mayfair’s Brown Hart Gardens. At these elegant locations there is an opportunity to relax in the deck chairs with the essential glass of Pimm’s and punnet of strawberries, and enjoy the competition and the unique Wimbledon atmosphere.

Security support for LB Lambeth Covid Walk In Vaccination Clinics

The Covid pandemic has seen Gallowglass Security providing extensive security support to the Greater London Authority (GLA) , the City of Westminster, the London Boroughs of Lambeth, Ealing, Havering, and Waltham Forest . This is all part of their collective effort to protect the vulnerable together with implementing mass testing and the vaccination programme.

With the growing spread of the Delta variant, the need to accelerate the momentum of the vaccination programme to secure herd immunity has never been more vital. We were delighted to have been invited by the London Borough of Lambeth to provide security support to them with the set up of walk in clinics in various locations within the community, for eligible residents to receive their Covid vaccination.

This imaginative effort is a collaboration between the London Borough of Lambeth and NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group, who have worked in partnership with local community groups to reach out to those residents who have not yet taken up the invitation to be vaccinated. This need has arisen to ease access for those who are elderly, or are carers, or with underlying medical issues that can make it difficult to get to vaccination centres. Also it is a way of accessing some communities where the uptake has been lower. These clinics offer advice and support for those who do not have a GP, to register there and then, so they can receive their vaccine straight away.

Today we are supporting the walk in clinic at Loughborough Park, and have deployed SIA licensed Richard Molina to protect all staff at the Clinic as well has upholding the Covid and Health & Safety regulations on site. As with all Gallowglass guards he has benefited from our outstanding Covid awareness safety training programme. He is an ideal choice on account of his personability as well as capacity for firmness. Being fluent in Spanish and English means also that he reflects the profile of that part of the community which in turn eases communication.

If you would like to find out more about where and when these clinics are taking place in South London ,please check selondonccg.nhs.uk as updates are being regularly provided. Eligibility for the vaccine is determined by both age and risk factors, so to check your eligibility please click on this link. www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/who-can-get-the-vaccine/

Sustainability - Gallowglass Approach

Sustainability – The Gallowglass Security Approach

The concept of Sustainability is a complex one, and means different things to different people. At Gallowglass Security we believe that Sustainability is the balance between the environment, the economy and equity.

We recognise implicitly that addressing these underlying principles are essential if we are to leave the world in a better and fairer place than we found it. We believe that we have a responsibility to our people, customers and suppliers; to constantly strive and improve upon our processes so as to best achieve our sustainability objectives.

Environment

For several years we have rigorously adhered to a robust environmental policy. From this we have operated environmental management systems that are based upon minimising consumption.

Our successful approach is reflected by our being certified by a UKAS assessing body as meeting the requirements of ISO 14001:2015 Annual targets are set which were all achieved in 2020 by an impressive margin.

Our key objectives are to:

  • Reduce paper consumption. In 2020 we reduced this by 40.19% chiefly through migrating to new technology with our ultimate aim of becoming paperless.
  • Reduce energy consumption. The 2020 this was reduced by 17.98% largely through our internal culture of constantly promoting environmental awareness.
  • Reduce fuel consumption. Notwithstanding the increased mileage use on account of demand, we were able to reduce fuel consumption by 8.27% in 2020T This is because we constantly upgrade our automotive fleet with state-of-the-art hybrid technology. Once electric vehicles have the capability to deliver the mileage capacity that we require, we will eliminate dependence on carbon fuels.
  • Recycling. We aim to recycle all personal computers, paper, plastics and all consumables including coffee pods.

Our corporate social responsibility policy has seen a change of emphasis in light of the near universal awareness of the environmental crisis. With this in mind we are keen to donate to environmental projects that can make a tangible impact on improving the environment. We were delighted to have to made a contribution to the EARTHDAY.org Canopy Project to allow for the planting of 200 trees as part of their remarkable efforts to reverse the tide of deforestation.

Economy

It is accepted that SME’s are the drivers of the economy, and are chiefly responsible for employment opportunity. Sustainability objectives can only be achieved if SMEs play their part in recognising this and incorporating environmental awareness and sustainability practice in their business activity. Gallowglass Security has ambitious expansion plans where we anticipate creating employment opportunities without compromise to our sustainability objectives.

Equity

Our approach to equity can be described as follows.

  • Our people. Our foundational principles towards our staff are based upon respect, fairness and altruism. Discrimination of any kind, harassment and bullying will never be tolerated. All of our valued staff have a vital role to play in the quality of our service provision, and are encouraged to take responsibility for their roles. In return we strive to renumerate our staff generously, provide a congenial working environment that is safe, and promote and support flexible family friendly working conditions. Ours is a meritoctratic organisation where those individuals with talent and determination will always succeed regardless of race, gender and background. The effect of this approach has been to create a workforce that is remarkably diverse, and we regard our diversity as our key strength.
  • Our customers. We enjoy tremendously long business relationships with our customers, and much of business is repeat and reccomentaion. We believe that this is born of our capability, integrity and transparancey in all our dealings.
  • Our suppliers. We operate an ethical purchasing policy. So consequently our trusted supplier base is drawn those that we are satisfied meet the highest ethical standards. For us this translates as those who; treat their employees fairly, provide safe working conditions, and meet or exceed the national minimum wage. We expect to see an anti-bribery policy as well as a policy that supports the elimination of modern slavery and child labour.

We are conscious that there is more that we can and should do. As part of our culture of awareness and self-improvement, all aspects of our business activity will be evaluated so that we can create relevant environmental and sustainability objectives that we can work towards achieving and exceeding.

Gallowglass Security retains Kew Gardens event security contract

Gallowglass Security is delighted to announce that it has received notification from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, extending its contract for the provision of event security services.

Gallowglass Security has worked with the world heritage site, Kew Gardens, for the last three years, offering security services for private and public events.

As befitting a site that is defined by its rich architectural splendour together with its remarkably diverse landscape and botanic collections; Kew Gardens is a stunning events venue capable of hosting all manner of private and corporate events that includes weddings, birthday parties and receptions, as well as conferences award ceremonies and commercial film shoots.

The lustrous and elegant style that characterises Kew Gardens makes it a premier event venue in both London and the UK. The unique range and beauty of the gardens landscape is an unrivalled backdrop for commercial film production, with the gardens offering immense versatility, scope and accessibility for film producers.

Gallowglass Security’s Managing Partner, Giles Turnbull, said: “The decision to extend Gallowglass Security’s contract with Kew as the sole event security provider, is a real vindication of the professionalism of our approach and an endorsement of our capability to deliver our event security services to the highest possible industry standards.”

Giles continued, “with the Covid virus in retreat, and the green shoots of recovery on the horizon for the events and hospitality sector, we look forward immensely to playing our part in the restoration of the creative and vibrant events sector at Kew Gardens.” 

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world-famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding collections as well as its scientific expertise in plant and fungal diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world. Kew Gardens is a major international and a top London visitor attraction and was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO in 2003.

The return of live events

The government’s announcement that lockdown measures will end on the 21st June, has brought welcome relief to the hard hit events industry. There is clear optimism amongst event producers, that this vibrant and exciting sector is poised to bounce back. It has been clear to us that this optimism has been gathering at a pace prior to the recent announcement. This is reflected by high volume of queries that we have received from producers requiring event security provision this Summer. The hardship of the last 12 months, we believe, has created a real demand from event goers for the live entertainment experience, which will spark a revival in live events this year.

Gallowglass Security’s lockdown activity

Throughout lockdown, Gallowglass has provided security guards to a large number of public sector and charitable bodies. These include, the GLA, City of Westminster, the London Boroughs of Lambeth, Ealing, Havering, Waltham Forest, St Mungo’s and Crisis. The security aim of on behalf of these clients has been to enforce stringent anti-Covid measures to keep people safe. All this, whilst ensuring that we have the necessary measures in place to minimise the risk to our guard force. We continue to provide security at various London hotels that temporarily accommodate highly vulnerable rough sleepers. Additionally, we currently provide security guards and Covid marshals in the London boroughs of Ealing and Lambeth. Their purpose is to successfully manage the control measures at the Covid testing and mass rollout vaccination centers.

The Gallowglass Security approach

Our experience in the event sector has been invaluable in our providing effective anti-Covid security regimes. There has been the necessary up skilling of our guard force to deal with the specific challenges that Covid presents. The Gallowglass approach though, remains the same. Our aims are always to secure the desired outcomes for our clients. We deliver this through extensive planning and risk assessment before the start of any contract; together with the deployment of well briefed and led guards with the correct skill set for the task in hand. All this together with frontline service delivery that is effective and friendly; and where use of initiative is encouraged, and leadership valued. By virtue of necessity, our lead in times for assignments can be very short. Gallowglass has illustrated, time and time again, it’s remarkable capacity to deliver all security services at very short notice. We pride ourselves on our ability to react and deliver our services at short notice, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

The effect of our lockdown experience

An unintended, but positive consequence of the crisis is that it has strengthened and improved us. Our personnel and operating processes have been stress tested, and have excelled. Adversity has bred innovation, with an original and dynamic approach to both health and safety and training, being a very good example of this.

Final thoughts from Gallowglass Security’s Managing Partner – Giles Turnbull

“ I have been hugely impressed by how my team has adapted and evolved to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic. The whole of Gallowglass Security have shown admirable determination and intelligence, to overcome the myriad of problems presented by Covid .With the creative buzz of live events set to make its welcome recovery, we return to where we came from. We have always set and delivered very high standards for ourselves in all that we do. I have no doubt that our Covid experience has improved upon this, and that the quality of our event security services will go onto play a significant role in the success of live events this Summer.”

Covid 19 at the front line with the Gallowglass Security head of Health and Safety – Petar Petrov

There can be few events in living memory that have brought the importance of effective health and safety measures for business into sharper focus than the current Covid 19 pandemic. In order to ensure safe systems of work and to engender confidence amongst our work force and clients, this is an approach that we implemented at the outset of the crisis, and at a level that exceeded mandated official advice and guidelines. This evolving process has been achieved under the inspiring and informed leadership of our head of Health and Safety, Petar Petrov.

Petar’s  journey from teaching graduate in his native Bulgaria, through to Gallowglass Security guard before progressing to become our head of Health and Safety has been a particularly fascinating one. His epiphany moment came when deployed to man guard a super prime construction development in central London where he came to keenly appreciate workplace hazards, and sought to apply his intellect and academic background in a way to secure safe systems of working.

From there he studiously applied himself resulting in his achieving a full gamut of NEBOSH qualifications and culminated in his securing through BSI lead auditor status in ISO 45001 (managing occupational Health and Safety at work). Currently he awaits his results of his second degree in Business Studies where he hopes to secure a 1st class honours degree, and from there he anticipates going on to secure a PhD in the wellness aspect of H&S.

Having suffered Covid himself in the infancy of the pandemic, Petar understood that this virus was more serious than other respiratory diseases such as the common cold and flu, and that immediate stringent control measures were required to minimise the risk of Covid transmission at all Gallowglass sites including head office.

With alacrity, and before recommended by public authorities, rigorous Covid 19 risk assessments were undertaken at head office, and at all sites where our guard force are deployed together with PPE distribution; with the effect that immediate control measures were introduced to ensure safe systems of work for all Gallowglass Security staff and affected stakeholders. Petar fully appreciated that a generic approach to this task would be wholly insufficient to address the risks posed by the virus and that a nuanced approach was required by him, to reflect the particular and specific risks posed to each of our service sectors.

This was a considerable undertaking as it included hotels accommodating rough sleepers on behalf of the GLA, the City of Westminster, the London Boroughs of Havering and Waltham Forrest and the renowned homeless charities, St Mungo’s and Crisis. All this together with our fixed ongoing commitments in the public and private sectors requiring both security and front of house cover. Additionally both our street patrol teams as well as our VPI and mobile response teams were similarly assessed, with the correct measures being introduced to safeguard their well-being.

Petar took the view that the measures introduced, would only be effective with ongoing tool box training amongst all Gallowglass Security staff. With this mind he formulated Covid specific awareness training which he delivered at each site and in person. Included in the training syllabus were measures borne of his own research into American medical case studies, which revealed, prior to the knowledge being in the public domain for example, that the loss of taste and smell was a potential symptom of the virus.

As society’s response to the virus has evolved, so has Petar’s. With the introduction of mass testing and vaccination sites, so has there been the resulting demand for our SIA manned guarding and Covid Marshalls of these centers, such as the ones rolled out by the London Borough of Lambeth at various sites. In turn the formulation and introduction of specific Covid 19 safety measures have been necessary to meet the unique demands of this vital work.

It is not enough for Petar to introduce these vital and effective measures, he is determined to ensure that they are fit for purpose at all times. In particular he records and analyses the clusters self isolation and Covid transmission data amongst Gallowglass Security staff to establish whether patterns are emerging as this helps in turn to determine the efficacy of the control measures, and whether or not revision is required.

Whilst the future is unclear, what remains a constant is that the Gallowglass Security H&S approach under Petar’s leadership to the risks posed by the virus, will be relentless and unremitting.

The Managing Partner of Gallowglass Security, Giles Turnbull says “ From the outset of the pandemic I have been hugely impressed by the bold initiative taken by Petar to introduce the necessary measures required to safeguard our highly valued guard force In the vital work they undertake for the benefit of society. What is particularly impressive is that regardless of his impressive range of H&S training credentials , that he has used his own intellect and judgment to introduce a range of measures that are unique and effective, and that elevate H&S beyond a tick box exercise”

Gallowglass Security Partners LLP’s support for rough sleepers during the Covid 19 crisis

The unfolding Covid 19 crisis highlighted the perilous predicament facing rough sleepers from the heightened risk of Covid transmission. This being on account of a myriad of factors, notably; that many have chronic physical and mental health problems which are often heightened by substance misuse, the inability to self isolate, the absence of basic hygiene facilities, together with a peripatetic lifestyle.

We believe that the leadership of the Greater London Authority (GLA) deserve immense credit for being relentless in raising this issue in the public and political consciousness at a very early stage of the emerging pandemic. All this as well as maintaining it in the public profile, and providing the political impetus and means to ensure that relief was provided in the form of accommodating this highly vulnerable group at various London hotels.

The admirable and highly committed St Mungo’s charity, were commissioned to provide rough sleeping services at the hotels, and throughout the pandemic been at the vanguard in providing a variety of essential and invaluable outreach support to those being temporarily housed in hotels across the capitol.

We were invited by the GLA to provide security support at hotels under their responsibility, an invitation that we had no hesitation in accepting despite the challenges and uncertainty brought about by the pandemic. Ultimately we reacted as we always do, with alacrity, and deployed carefully selected and well briefed teams of guards at various locations, with the tasks of ensuring the safety of the residents, outreach workers and hotel staff as well as enacting any and all special instructions received on site.

As the pandemic worsened, we were assigned to provide security regimes for more hotels under the aegis of the GLA; as well as expanding our involvement into the London Boroughs of Westminster, Havering, Waltham Forest and most recently, on behalf of the long standing and renowned homeless charity Crisis.

For Gallowglass this assignment represented a paradigm shift from the range of services we are accustomed to providing, not least because of the absence of any formal guidance on security provision at the front line amongst a demographic profile of persons at a high risk of Covid transmission.

Undaunted though, our guard force was carefully selected on the grounds of their skillset and aptitude for this work, and were comprehensively briefed and rapidly deployed. Despite national shortages of PPE at the time of initial deployment, we were able to procure it, and equip all guards with it. Simultaneously all sites were rigoursly and critically risk assessed so establish safe systems of work for them.

Drawing on advice and subsequent updates from bodies such as Public Health England and the NHS, our H&S Manager assimilated the scientific advice and then distilled and adapted it in the form of a series of highly unique security relevant training syllabus’s. These Covid specific training modules have been, and continue to be updated and delivered on site on a one to one basis in the form of toolbox training.

We believe that this highly considered approach has been instrumental in building awareness and understanding of the very specific challenges posed, and has  ultimately cultivated the necessary skill sets and understanding that has contributed to our guards excelling in such a unique environment.

As with all, it is our hope that oncoming vaccines mark the beginning of the end of this pandemic. Until vaccines are clearly entrenched throughout the population and their efficacy thereby established, rough sleepers will continue to require the support that local government provides along with dedicated and skilful charities. We remain on hand to assist whenever and wherever required, especially over the Christmas period.

Managing Partner Giles Turnbull says.

“This is and remains a remarkable project, and one that we regard ourselves as privileged to be involved in on account of its inestimable social value. It’s successful delivery is a result of a highly collegiate effort, where our staff have been encouraged to draw on their intelligence, accumulated knowledge and experience, and apply their initiative for the benefit and success of this project .

The final word must go to the guards on the ground who have shown great professionalism selflessness, determination and effectiveness in delivering our security services. There are many who have distinguished themselves and I thank them all. Particular commendations though must go to Adedotun Ajao, Mohammed Ismail, Grzegorz Grabowicki, Amir Khattab, Ashley Campbell and Yuri Asenov all of whom have been particularly outstanding.”

Enforcement – The Gallowglass Approach

The frustration that has been continually expressed to us repeatedly over the years by property and landowners and their agents, is the seemingly labyrinthine and highly costly process of recovering land and property and restoring them to their lawful owners.

Recovering land and property does involve many parties, namely Enforcement Agents, Solicitors, the Courts, Security, Locksmiths and even the Police; aligning their availability and efforts to secure an expeditious and successful outcome. If one party in this process not ready to proceed, delay and unnecessary cost can arise.

Gallowglass has acquired extensive experience and inestimable skill in supporting Enforcement Agents in the physical recovery of property and land together with post recovery manned guarding, and in many instances, these have been very large scale and have attracted intense media interest.

Given the delay and uncertain cost generated by the traditional model of recovery, Gallowglass has studiously evolved a fresh vehicle of service delivery designed to expedite the process in a transparent and cost effective way.

We have secured the appropriate authority that allows us to internally transfer a County Court Possession order to a High Court Writ thereby avoiding the delay commonly associated with County Court Enforcement, a problem that has been exacerbated by the Covid19 pandemic.

Currently Gallowglass has six fully SIA licensed guards fully trained as Enforcement Agents and a large pool of highly able and experienced SIA licensed guards to support them in the recovery and post recovery phases of the enforcement process. All this together with an able and trusted network of Enforcement Agents throughout the UK.

We have also teamed up with lawyers and other ancillary partners and negotiated with them transparent fixed fee arrangements so that we can provide precise cost projections at the outset. All cost savings generated are passed on to our clients and we don’t charge an uplift on any of their services.

We are geared to rapid reaction and operate 24/7. This means that whenever and wherever in England and Wales a High Court Writ of Possession is handed down we will enforce it immediately.

If you require our assistance or would like to talk to us on a no obligation basis, then please don’t hesitate to contact either Morgan Sheldon, George Oliver or Vlad Stefanov on 020 7326 7840 or email at enforcement@galsec.co.uk

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