A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Monatrix's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Monatrix is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Managing Director Paul Gillings
Security solutions protecting
people and businesses
across the UK
Before founding Monatrix in 2003, Managing Director
Paul Gillings had specialised in CCTV for many years,
predominantly supplying systems and solutions to the
hospitality sector. With specific product knowledge and an
expert understanding of the market, he set out to provide a
service like no other in the industry. Paul tells
The Parliamentary
that putting the customer’s individual needs first and
offering a streamlined service ensures he and his team are able
to stand out from the competition.
Before starting Monatrix as a specialist CCTV company, I worked largely as a
salesman within the CCTV sector. I implemented this specialist approach and
knowledge into Monatrix, ensuring our services and solutions were offered in a
different way to the industry standard.
Building a specialist approach
Today, Monatrix is an electronic security specialist installing, integrating, servicing
and maintaining CCTV, access control, intruder detection, automatic number plate
recognition and fire alarm systems. Unlike the majority of our competitors, the
company has grown out of an ethos of using specialists working within specific security
sectors. Even our company name, meaning, in Latin, to advise, caution and warn,
was chosen to remind us of the unique way we like to work with ourcustomers.
From 1995, when we were still using video recorders for CCTV systems, I had
spent many years working with CCTV equipment and manufacturers and designing
»Managing Director:
Paul Gillings
»Established in 2003
»Based in Gloucester
»Services: Supply, design,
maintenance and servicing of
specialist security systems
»No. of employees: 22
Highlighting best practice
specific and individual CCTV solutions.
I had developed a vast knowledge
of the extensive range of equipment
available, the features and benefits
on offer and how effective, efficient
systems could be designed to meet
each customer’s needs.
Across the industry, many systems were
installed without the customer actually
realising what they would be getting.
Typically, customers do not have an
understanding of security systems
and subsequently rarely know what
they want or need. As such, I have
always discussed my system in detail,
explaining to each customer why I have
selected each item and exactly what
the system provides forthem.
By starting the company as a CCTV
specialist, our approach to the service
and solutions we offered was very
different. Our customers would not,
for instance, have an alarm engineer
turning up to a CCTV system that
they could not operate or be charged
for a three-hour call-out to a camera
on top of a six-metre pole that an
engineer could not access. These are
just two examples of the things security
companies constantly repeat and are
well known for. It is our belief they are
wasting the customer’s time andmoney.
Always considering the
customer’s specific needs
After successfully providing CCTV
systems and services for the first five
years, Barry Doak, now our sales
director, joined Monatrix with a
passionate approach to electronic
access control. We began, therefore,
installing these systems using a team
of system specific engineers. We
adopted the same specialist approach
as with CCTV systems, creating
bespoke systems and services with the
customer’s needs in mind.
This ethos is still an extremely
important part of Monatrix, and as
the company has expanded we have
developed specific departments for
CCTV, access control, intruder alarms,
ANPR and fire. Each department has
specialists with good knowledge of
the extensive range of equipment
available and the features and benefits
on offer, and we have installation
and service teams working in these
When required, these teams work
together to create the larger, more
complex integrated security systems
that need multiple systems to interact
with each other.
Providing design,
delivery and support of
integrated solutions for
UK businesses
I have always
discussed my
systems in
explaining to
each customer
why I have
selected each
item and
exactly what
the system
provides for
Our business has grown year-on-year
and I am proud of the success we
have all achieved together. As we
continue to grow, we will always strive
to provide our customers with the
very best service and security systems
using the same ethos that I started
with, by offering the best advice to
The increasing threat to
Most security solutions are now
offered as networked systems, usually
connected to the internet in some
form. These systems are accessed
remotely using software on anything
from a PC to a phone. In recent years,
the protection of information and
data of companies and individuals has
become a huge topic and, although
things are starting to be addressed,
there is still a long way to go.
With all the peripheral items now
being connected to networks including
video doorbells, home smart energy
readers, Alexa, biometric access
readers, cameras and video recorders
to name just a few, the possibility of
someone hacking into a network has
become very real.
The manufacturers of security
equipment are now looking to supply
their systems under the new Home
Office guidelines of “Secure by
Design”, certifying that equipment
cannot be hacked into. There have
been no guidelines, however, for
installation companies as to what we
should be doing to ensure the security
of the network when we turn that
equipment on and connect it to a
network or the internet.
Furthermore, if we are connecting to
a customer’s existing network, we
have no way of knowing how secure
the network itself and the equipment
being utilised on it are.
The ever increasing and popular range
of wireless devices available for security
systems is also increasing the risk of
access to company and personal data.
They offer multiple possible wireless
access points onto networks, instead
of accessing items directly from an
external point, through the internet to
a device internally on the network.
This is a serious security issue
that every business and individual
homeowner should investigate and
address to ensure that their networks
are secure. It always surprises me how
many items are installed with default
factory access passwords that are
never changed. More guidance on
these issues is desperately required.
There are a number of organisations,
companies and industry bodies
working together with the government
and Home Office to implement and
publish guidelines, standards and
codes of best practice, and I will,
where possible, be helping with
this very important and ongoing
It always
surprises me
how many
items are
installed with
default factory
that are never
Monatrix – Derivative
of the Latin word
“admonitrix”, meaning to
advise, caution and warn
Multiple devices on your
network could put your
data at risk

This article was sponsored by Monatrix. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development