A Hull-based security firm has seen a surge in demand for its guarding services in recent months as customers seek a more personal touch when it comes to the protection of their premises and products.

Shield Security says the demand for CCTV systems has outweighed that of manned guarding in recent years across the security industry, with many businesses opting for an eye in the sky rather than a physical presence on site.

Shield – through its own technical division and 24 hour control centre – has been at the forefront to meet such a demand itself, winning recognition from industry leading bodies for the high-standard of its systems and camera monitoring, which can be controlled remotely by customers themselves, even viewing and moving them over their smartphones.

However, the firm, which is based at Hull’s Priory Park and serves local authorities, health trusts and educational establishments across the north of England as well as businesses, says it has seen a clear increase over the past 12 months for manned guarding, leading to it securing a large number of contracts from customers demanding a physical on-site presence.

“Security is only ever at its best if there is a real pair of eyes monitoring premises or a situation, and that fact is one we can never ignore, “ said managing director Dave Frank, a former prison guard himself who established Shield 14 years ago.

“We supply highly sophisticated camera systems for our clients, but our systems are highly effective because the images supplied by our cameras beam directly back to our control centre and viewed in soon as they are triggered.

“There’s no use having cameras and no immediate reaction to what they capture, and people have become increasingly aware of that. You always need a human set of eyes on situations to react appropriately.”

New guarding contracts have come from the likes of Willerby Holiday Homes, where patrol guards have been employed alongside patrol vehicles to protect the manufacturing site, whilst Shield’s guards have also been employed by CRM Students for a new accommodation complex in York, carrying out night shifts in which they also provide support to students.

Metal recycling firm Lord and Midgley, in Clough Road, Hull, is also using Shield’s guarding team to protect its premises, as is a large pharmaceutical company new to the city and currently developing a large warehousing facility to store medicines.

Guarding teams have also been recruited by the landowners of a large quarry in North Lincolnshire, eradicating issues the owners had been experiencing with anti-social behaviour from people riding motorbikes on the site, often putting their own health at risk.

“It has been a mixed bag of contracts that we’ve taken on this year, but it has been work which has emphasised the need for physical guarding services, and that it will always be required, no matter how much technology advances and how intricate CCTV operations can become,” Mr Frank added.

“It was this service which Shield started out with, and we believe it is our personal touch, and the dedication of our guards to going that extra yard, which keeps us ahead of the competition.

“We lose track of the amount of times we are contacted by customers to say thank you for our guarding teams going beyond the call of duty. It has ranged from putting out fires to calming down patients in medical centres. These are all the things a camera can’t do.”

Whilst guarding work has been in demand, Shield’s technical team has also continued to build its success of recent years through new contracts for CCTV systems and 24 hour monitoring.

This has seen systems installed for Dutch Imports, which recently moved from its site in Hull to the new business centre in Brough, and for HRVS on six sites across the north of England.

Improved CCTV systems have also been installed at the headquarters and manufacturing factories of Hull-based EYG Group, and roof tiles specialists Wienerberger in Doncaster.

Shield has also taken on a greater role at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, where it has provided a range of services for close to 10 years. It now provides guarding, CCTV monitoring and onsite parking control for the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Health Trust.

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