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Security takes centre stage

13 September 2017

The events industry has never been more security conscious than it is today. Pat Ryan, CEO of events cleaning specialist firm Ryans Cleaning, provides an insight into the lengths at which they are raising the bar for their clients from a security perspective

Ryans Cleaning specialises in the professional cleaning of some of the UK and Ireland’s largest sporting, entertainment and festival venues. The bespoke cleaning services it offers to clients are now accompanied by a security policy specific to each venue, offering those contracting their services peace of mind. 

Ryans Cleaning is responsible for a diverse range of venues and events, such as London’s Hyde Park, Latitude Music Festival, The Epsom Derby and BBC’s Proms in the Park to mention but a few. Irish clients include Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin Zoo, the 3 Arena, Electric Picnic and sporting venues including Croke Park, Punchestown, Limerick, Leopardstown and Galway racecourses.

Manchester highlighted security vulnerability within the events scene

It quickly became apparent to us that the atrocity at Manchester Stadium really brought it home just how vulnerable the events industry is to security threats. Our team offers clients a security policy with stringent measures in place. This has been in place for all UK contracts for some time now. 

Remarkably, over the past three years, security has been our biggest business investment which has in turn made us sought after within the events, sports and entertainment scene. Thanks to the quality of our service and a strong emphasis on security, our UK turnover has doubled since 2009.

Security consultants enlisted to introduce and audit policy

In 2015, Ryans Cleaning enlisted specialist security consultants to create a comprehensive security policy on their behalf, complete with best practice measures, procedures and protocols. They carefully selected a firm that offered a proven track record in consulting, auditing and creating security measures within the events industry. 

Together the two companies combined their vast experience in delivering bespoke solutions at strategic and operational levels ensuring that no stone has been left unturned in the creation of Ryans Cleaning’s security policy and procedures for events and venues. The security company also conducts regular spot checks and audits to ensure the policy is being followed precisely. 

Throughout 2016, Ryans Cleaning had representatives from various police forces across the UK, observe their processes first-hand. The overall view was very positive and encouraged the company to continue their security endeavours going forward.

Security at events has changed considerably this year, a simple example would be how the public is now accustomed to seeing armed police at most events. Security has become a major focus for our company in recent years as all employees have to be pre-cleared by police for all major events and this security requirement was enough to warrant employing security advisors who now train all senior staff within Ryans Cleaning in various security matters. 

Our managers and supervisors have received specialised training in various security procedures, such as how to spot false ID’s, the protocol on how to investigate allegations, preserve crime scenes and so on. Our clients need to know who is operating on their sites and although logistically this is challenging, we are constantly holding staff agencies to account to ensure all our events team are vetted and cleared by police.

Focus on temporary agency staff at events

The events industry is a unique business which demands high volumes of temporary staff to service event and venue requirements. Most industry contractors require some form of temporary staffing support to fulfil their contracts, from catering and bar to security and cleaning suppliers so naturally, the industry attracts ad-hoc employees often with behind the scenes venue access and know-how. 

Bearing this in mind, Ryans Cleaning have put a robust security policy in place to control the risk ad-hoc employees pose that does not compromise on the quality of work they do when fulfilling cleaning contracts. 

For example, should an employee present themselves at our security check-in and does not pass the necessary checks we turn them away from site. This in turn puts huge pressure on cleaning a site with operative numbers down. However, the policy must be upheld to ensure our team is secure and to give event organisers the peace of mind they can rely on when they engage our services. The vast majority of our temporary employees have embraced our security policy as they see the importance of safety not only for the general public and clients but indeed for their own personal safety.

Greater peace of mind

Multiple-ID procedures, background checks, working with local police, stringent transport and logistical protocols, staffing ID protocol and highly-trained operations managers combine to make for a more rigorous event security policy before, during and after all events. 

There is no doubt that it is a massive step up for staff: they have gone from just turning up to do a cleaning job to worrying about security risks also, and this is an awesome responsibility. Thankfully, our core management team and staff have embraced our safety procedures. 

The security aspect of our professional services is transforming how we do business. There are substantial costs involved in keeping our safety measures on point. Our security consultants conduct regular audits to guarantee our team is carrying out our security policy with immense precision which makes this an ongoing but necessary expense for doing business. From an industry point of view, this rules out smaller event cleaning firms for whom this wouldn’t be commercially viable and gives us a competitive edge in our field.