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Author: Stuart Rae

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

Security

Nick Kostov appointed partner as of 01 November 2020

We are extremely pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Nick Kostov as a Partner at Gallowglass, and to welcome him as our new Head of Operations. As with many at Gallowglass, Nicks journey towards Partnership has been a fascinating one. Nick graduated as a Primary School Teacher from Bulgaria’s Plovdiv University in Primary School Pedagogy and Foreign Languages, and is also fully licensed to teach at Primary level in England and Wales.

The early signs of his leadership ability, initiative and calmness under pressure were vividly illustrated when undertaking national service in the Bulgarian Air Force, when he single handedly played a critical role in averting an aeronautical disaster. A MIG 23, piloted by a senior Bulgarian General, was in distress and attempting to land at his base. Following a catastrophic failure of communications in air traffic control, he improvised and established alternative means of communications, and from there was able to guide the pilot down to a safe landing.

Since joining Gallowglass in 2008 his leadership ability, particularly in event security, was immediately apparent, and his rise through the security ranks was meteoric. He was the first, and to date, the only guard at Gallowglass ever to secure the accolade of primus inter pares. This qualifies him to undertake all security leadership roles regardless of size and complexity. In this capacity he has continually distinguished himself as an outstanding security team leader at high profile events in London, and at landmark event venues such as the Saatchi Gallery, Kew, the Roundhouse and the corporate and governmental orientated QEII Conference centre.

His leadership style is characterised by his natural authority, that is calm and unflustered and with no small measure of charisma as well. This has always engendered immediate confidence amongst event production professionals in both Nick and his team, and amongst the security team itself. Owing to Nick’s immense and steadfast contribution to Gallowglass’s growth in both a security leader and managerial capacity, he made an unanswerable case for elevation to Partnership, and one that is richly deserved. Away from work Nick delights in family life with his wife and young daughter. He is a connoisseur of Scotch Whiskey and a very keen student of the ferocious martial art, Krav Maga.

Giles Turnbull, the Managing Partner of Gallowglass Security Partners LLP, adds:

” I place a great premium on the timeless concept of leadership and of its value to our organisation, together with a desire to encourage and empower all our valued staff to perform to the absolute limits of their ability and beyond. With this in mind it always gives me immense satisfaction to observe members of our team exhibit these qualities and grasp the opportunities afforded to them to progress through our organisation.

Nick has shown tremendous leadership at all levels and has made an immense contribution to our progress as an organisation, and both I and my fellow Partners are delighted to welcome him to the Partnership. When I reflect on the composition of the Partners, I note that over half started their careers with us as security guards. This confirms that Gallowglass is a meritocracy, where hard work and ability will always secure its reward, and rightly so.”

Gallowglass Security Partners LLP & the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID 19)

Introduction

Despite a new lockdown commencing on Thursday in England, we are delighted to confirm that our office remains open for business. We will remain fully operational not only to meet our current contractual commitments to our valued clients, but also to be available 24/7 to service all new client requirements arising from the exigencies posed by an uncertain future from the pandemic.

Our ability to provide an unbroken chain in our continuity of our service is derived from years of accumulated knowledge and wisdom, together with tested disaster recovery and contingency plans, which we have merged with our own successful pandemic specific planning. Perhaps above all though; our systems, process’s and mettle were tested the first lockdown, and we were not found wanting.  

Our capacity for rapid reaction and outstanding service delivery during the first lockdown, was best exemplified by our immediate response to a request for assistance from the Greater London Authority to provide security support for rough sleepers being provided with temporary accommodation at various London hotels. Such was the positive impact that we made on account of the speed and excellence in service delivery, that we were instructed by the City of Westminster, Havering and Waltham Forest Councils to provide similar security support.

The Gallowglass Approach

As with all other business’s we are not immune from the virus. To minimise the risk of Covid transmission, we have introduced robust control measures, derived from advice provided by Government Policy, the NHS, and Public Health England as well as ongoing Covid awareness training for all staff to ensure safe systems of work.

Daily meetings at Partnership level with our own in house H&S professional take place, with changes to control measure being introduced and communicated in real time as they are needed. We  continue to monitor closely the welfare and effectiveness our guard force, and encourage close and regular liaison with all clients so that there is harmony in the safe working systems that we create..

Whilst we intend to maintain a full office, home working is an option for those who would prefer to do so. We anticipate the possibility of both dislocation to public transport, and school and child care closure. In such situations home working will be a necessity for some, and to that end our IT support have facilitated remote access for all office staff members so that our internal communications remain fully integrated.

Our supply chain is robust, and we have a large professional and screened guard force to draw upon. It has been recently strengthened with many becoming available for service given the recent downturn in outdoor events. Our teams work in small groups and independently of one another, thereby limiting the risk of cross infection. This adds greatly to the flexibility that we offer together with our ability to deploy 24/7 with little or no notice at all.

Our immediate planning includes maintaining service provision in the event of public transport being suspended. We will rely on our own transport fleet to take and collect guards from work as well as mini bus hire should it prove necessary so that there is no dislocation to service.

Client Risk

The current lockdown, taken together with the present febrile political climate poses many challenges and tangible risk and potential business dislocation to many of our clients, on a scale without parallel in recent times.

We anticipate that our clients; their people, property and assets are at increased risk arising from:

  • Squatting
  • Burglary, particularly in smaller blocks
  • Architectural theft of valuable fittings
  • An upswing in the need for reactive call outs to building failures such as leaks.
  • Anti social behaviour and public disorder
  • Security and concierge staff shortages

In any of these scenarios, we will provide security cover for you where and when you need it.

In the event of prolonged office closure, many insurance Companies will insist upon a regular attendance and inspection and reporting regime to maintain the ongoing validity of building insurance, a demand that we can facilitate.

The Gallowglass Service

In response to the crisis, we are available to identify, mitigate and reduce risk to your portfolio. We will do so at short notice, and are willing and able to deploy, as our track record illustrates, twenty four hours a day; with emergency property patrols call outs, regular internal and external property reporting, foot patrols, private residential patrols, uniformed man guarding site security, and in house staff cover. Moreover, we are highly flexible and will adapt to the needs of special projects as our involvement with the rough sleepers vividly illustrates.

We will deploy if required at any site, be it at businesses, dwelling or commercial property, Schools, Council buildings, Churches, Hospitals, Doctors Surgery’s and so on. In the event that your property is squatted, we can, with our in house High Court Enforcement team arrange for its prompt recovery together with post recovery security if required.

Contacts

If you need our assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us in any of the following ways.

Office phone number –  0207 326 7840 

Out of hours phone number – 07817 790 035

Email – info@galsec.co.uk

Website – www.gallowglasssecurity.co.uk