I was always more of a hands-on, physical type of person
rather than the academic type. I left school at 16, taking a job in security
for the Department of Social Security.
From there I saw a position working for Group 4, a new
privately financed prison, in Rugby, Warwickshire. I saw it as a big new
challenge so applied, which was the start of my career in the prison service
for the next 20 years.
I was in charge of conflict management and resolution with
prisoners, dealing with aggressive people and de-escalating it without using
force. I worked on the segregation unit as a manager which dealt with the most
non-compliant, refractory prisoners. They couldn’t be controlled on a normal
regime so I would manage 21 cells and you knew that when you opened the cell
door, you would have to use force. When I left Rye Hill, the prisoners were
crying as they were sad I was leaving. They were serving 30 years so they
wanted stability and to trust people.
I moved on to Oakwood prison near Wolverhampton, which was
the biggest prison in Europe. I wanted to be very visible and show the staff
the standards I expected by leading from the front. I went in as a residential
manager before moving into security and intelligence. Then in 2016, I joined
Jaguar Land Rover after an ex-colleague of mine mentioned they joined the Corporate
Security & Business Protection team. That was the first I’d ever heard of
it – it sounded amazing.
The position that came up was as a team leader within gate
security at Solihull. I’ve subsequently had four promotions since I joined two
and a half years ago. Because of my work in the prison service, I am respected
and can be trusted to deliver to a very high level, and now I’m a senior
security supervisor and have a first line of security officers.
We’ve evolved the team since I’ve been here to protect the
future of Jaguar Land Rover’s people to its infrastructure. I’ve already
started to set up an intelligence process where I work with the internal
investigations team to track and monitor illegal behaviour.
We work really closely with the police and I have the
expertise to present cases with the correct evidence packages to assist them.
We use a lot of surveillance techniques and act on anonymous whistleblowing
information. We then develop the lead gathering evidence and data which has
resulted in us thwarting some very serious criminal activity.
We are present on site 24/7 so by being visible, we’re also anonymous.
It’s about a security culture and mind-set, we want to change it across the
plant so that all of our employees recognise that security is everyone’s
responsibility not just the CSBP teams’. I run a risk log for the site, I audit
processes and techniques for all areas to minimise risk and theft. You probe the
business for weaknesses and then put in fixes to rectify them.
I want Solihull to be the centre of excellence for security, and communication has been the one skill that has always steered me right over the years. Clarity right from the top means we’re all clear on what we’re doing. People management is essential and managing performance. It’s the only way you get the best out of people and I am truly committed to protecting the future of Jaguar Land Rover.
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