- Posted by Phoenix
Phoenix look at the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the Worldwide security and close protection industry. What does the future hold?
The Growth in the Security Industry due to Coronavirus
As the UK and World enters an unprecedented climate in modern society, Phoenix share our evaluations on the impact and upcoming growth of the security industry. As we enter a national lockdown, security workers are still deemed to be key workers on the basis of being, ‘roles essential to supporting law and order, with the potential to reduce demand on policing’. Examples include:
- the guarding of empty or closed commercial, retail or office premises
- the monitoring of similar through CCTV or other remote means
- the provision of alarm response centres including mobile units
The Chief Executive of the SIA, Ian Todd confirmed that ‘If your role does not clearly fall under the headings above then you may still travel to work, if that work absolutely cannot be done from home’. Essentially this then also covers roles such as residential security which is a large part of the close protection industry.
As many wealthy individuals have had limitations placed upon transport, the current role of residential staff has also changed and many of Phoenix’ operatives are now living on-site at family properties or alternative residences. Many of our clients opted to move to secondary residential addresses well in advance of any lockdown for the benefit of the countryside lifestyle and the reduction in density of population which is one factor that increases the spread over the Coronavirus. Families now also must cater for their children being out of school and being away from their city centre residence is now feasible as in holiday times and with modern technology the ability for many people to work from home has transitioned smoothly. There are now overlapping expectations which include:
- Collection of essential items from shopping outlets for the household
- Understanding duties of cleaning and being responsible for the reduction of cross contamination
- Ensuring vehicles are cleaned after use
- Patrols of residential grounds to ensure that a physical presence is identified to any persons undertaking reconnaissance
- Daily exercise in local area to detect for any irregular behaviour
This is very much a starting point for what we expect to be a future requirement on a greater scale. With concern of unemployment rising from 1m to 3m, the increase in crime could also impact on police & ambulance response time as public budgets are cut to subsidise and reapportion funds required for benefits. As insurance costs increase for assets, we may see insurance companies specifying the need for security to mitigate risk and also families that require reassurance that the family is safe as crime rates rise, which could be required at any properties they own. As families require this service in their moments of need, it is unlikely contracts will cease due to the benefit of a service which Phoenix provide which is always more than security and where we have found our foothold as the World Leading security provider by offering our service of Bespoke Client Management. We have always overlapped onto general duties including logistics, driving and PA work so that the client (Principal’s) day-to-day activities are in synergy with a single point of contact from a specialist who ensure their schedule and security are harmonious.
We anticipate that when the lockdown process ceases that there will be a cultural change in society which will have an impact in different ways to different clients whether they are people of businesses and we anticipate a huge spike in short term security requirements:
Events & Mass Gatherings
The events industry has taken a huge hit for the summer of 2020 where there is still uncertainty on how the public will accept attendance of densely populated events which could affect:
- Seating arrangements creating greater distance between individuals
- Security protocols being created to ensure a flow of traffic internally rather than a mix of crowds
- Celebrity and entourage requiring reassurance for their safety and wellbeing
This could also affect other areas such as airports and football stadiums and subsequently reduce attendance and inflate the price of such events which will inevitably make the prestige of these events increase and could see events becoming limited in audience for a more personal show by musicians.
Knock on Effect to Celebrities
The celebrities who are also interacting and commonly approached by fans in public areas will also require protection from close contact with members of the public to reduce the risk of contact with somebody who may have a contagious disease. This may see a greater presence of security rather than a low-profile approach that many celebrities that rely on their public image and profile do prefer. Essentially the risk has changed from a low risk of physical attack and being able to honourably leave a crowd when ushered by security to the risk of contamination from Coronavirus and we see security as a more common function of these individuals operating as they rely on public appearances.
With an immediate reduction in worldwide travel and oil prices, there will be a greater preference to chauffeur driven vehicles rather than trains. The benefit of both is allowing the client to focus on business activity when travelling between meetings whereas driving themselves does not allow this opportunity. The cost of the chauffeur is less than the yield that the individual can generate in their business function. As such we expect a rise in requirements for all round chaperone and chauffeur duties including again responsibility for a sterile vehicle with stock of personal protective equipment.
All Wealthy Individuals
Due to the lack of holiday time and being confined to residence during the spring period, we expect the following to occur:
- Cost of holidays to dramatically rise to subsidise for losses during spring
- Cost of international travel to rise due to extra checks upon entry to destination
- Administration requirements rising due to potential requirement to evidence immunity to Coronavirus
We also expect a great rise in wealthy individuals liaising with us for the provision of chartered flights in order to avoid dense population in airports and having to share a plan with other passengers. We also realise there may be an impact on adapting to acceptance of being in close proximity to other individuals when travelling and being at the destination which may also result in:
- Private residence being preferential to resorts
- Requirement of sourcing staff and residence and management of family itinerary
- Greater requests for travel by sea including yacht chartering
- Chauffeur service to travel to different landmarks
We have no insecurity to the way we operate as a company. Phoenix has always provided ‘More than Security’ to our clients and in an everchanging market the management of the safety of the lifestyle of our clients requires more than reacting and planning for a physical attack. We very much focus on the health, happiness and maximal efficiency that we can create for our clients as ultimately this generates the more worth and consequentially allows us to generate more profit and opportunity to distribute this for the hard work of our staff. We also are in a fortunate position to be able to select individuals with different skills in different locations and as we only recruit from our Academy, we can hand-pick different operatives with different skills in areas to support our infrastructure by utilising the vast array of different skills that our team can offer.