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After an outsIde security firm was brought in to work alongside Lancaster staff the question of whether the future of security lies in outside firms has been raised. FGH Security, a Lancaster based firm who provide security for a number of clubs in town, have been employed to undertake clamping duties on an ad hoc basis after the member of university staff responsible moved to a different post.
“The easiest way of fi lling his position rather than putting an additional burden on his colleagues was to say let’s bring a contractor in,” said Swindlehurst. “On this particular case it is cheaper to employ the contractor to carry out the parking enforcement than it is to employ our own people.”
Salisbury pointed out that the decision had been infl uenced by legislation currently making its way through Parliament, which will make clamping on private land illegal. “I have therefore purposefully not used university funds to renew costly security Industry Authority licences for security staff and equally costly training inputs which are a requirement for new staff in this respect,” he said.
Although FGH security are currently just responsible for clamping, Swindlehurst would not state categorically that he had not considered outsourcing the entire range of services provided by the security department.
“We are not at the moment looking at wholesale outsourcing but equally we’re not ruling it out of the agenda,” he said. “Could I see it happening in the future? the example I would say is similar to where UPP provide support for residential accommodation alongside our own staff. […] At the moment I would say that UPP provide equally as good a service as our own staff do and I would expect that from any contractor that we engage with.”
Many public sector organisations, including town councils and the NHS, within the north West have made their security staff redundant and brought in outside security firms in order to save money.
Peter Harrison, the Managing director of FGH security and a former Lancaster student, said that he and his company were very happy to be working alongside Lancaster’s security, which he described as “top-notch”.