safe across a citywide University Campus
Coventry University’s campus, including lecture theatres, entertainment venues, bars and accommodation, accounts for a third of the buildings in the city centre.
Its citywide nature presents security requirements and challenges which must be met with flexible and bespoke solutions. And as the University undergoes an unprecedented period of growth and development, its security strategy must be able to adapt quickly.
Since early 2017, G4S has provided a wide range of protective services across Coventry University’s campus, including manned guarding, CCTV monitoring, car park management, reception duties and student awareness programmes.
Recent changes at the University include opening its doors all year round, to better serve international students, and around the clock should members of the local community wish to use the facilities to host events during the evenings, weekends and holidays.
G4S provides close to 100 highly-skilled protective services officers (PSOs), who are available 24/7 to all students and staff members. As well as patrolling the campus, de-escalating incidents and providing first-aid response where necessary, PSOs are also trained to identify signs of mental health issues and unusual behaviour, as well assisting vulnerable individuals.
To increase preventative measures and limit security risks, PSOs provide advice on personal safety to students through roadshows and focus groups. These sessions take place on a weekly basis, sometimes several times a week, as part of University staff training or student induction, and alongside regular security and drinking awareness sessions.
Bespoke security techniques and training
In 2018, Coventry University received the ‘Security Initiative of the Year’ award, following the introduction of innovative and interactive training videos for PSOs. This initiative was awarded by the Association of University Chief Security Officers (AUCSO), which is the primary association for Security Professionals working in Universities across the globe.
Providing relevant and up-to-date training is crucial, particularly as the security programme continuously evolves. In fact up to 400 hours of training are provided every month.
Every PSO has access to a library of interactive and bespoke training videos which specifically suit their role and responsibilities. Content can easily be refreshed and is instantly accessible to PSOs for further training. These short exercises have allowed crucial information and best-practice to be shared, ultimately providing a more engaging and up-to-date alternative to a simple slide presentation that they would only see once during a training session.
Body-worn cameras were also used by PSOs, allowing the team to collect and analyse the footage which is used during training sessions to learn from past incidents and share best practice.