Specialist Security

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Specialist Security'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 Specialist Security 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 RachelFleri
Driven by a belief in
our people
Specialist Security Ltd provides security solutions to a wide
range of businesses across both the private and public
sectors. Managing Director Rachel Fleri says the firm,
which has clients that include Willmott Dixon and Balfour
Beatty Rail, has built a “sector-leading reputation” for the
provision of professional security services. Thanks to a focus
on continual improvement, Rachel says that Specialist Security
has become renowned for consistency and excellence. She
TheParliamentary Review
how the company is driven by
employee wellbeing.
Established in 2001, we are a family-run company and are highly accredited,
compliant and profitable. We currently have a turnover of £4 million a year, having
grown year on year.
We provide security officers to a wide variety of businesses in the private and
public sectors. We supply services to some of the largest construction companies,
including Balfour Beatty Rail and Willmott Dixon, in addition to local developers
such as JR Smart. We also work with a range of clients including factories, offices,
homeless shelters and councils.
Workforce wellbeing
Our culture is driven by our belief in our people, and it must revolve around their
wellbeing. Our core value is integrity – integrity with our staff, integrity with our
clients and integrity with our finances.
»Managing Director: RachelFleri
»Founded in 2001
»Located in Cardiff
»Services: Supply of security
officers to a range of private
and public sector entities in a
wide variety of industries
»No. of employees: 150
Specialist Security
Highlighting best practice
We believe all people should be
treated equally and all cultures with
respect. We believe the staffing should
reflect the surrounding community,
and we also support the communities
that supply our staff.
Many of our employees have families
to support, and we recognise that
family structures are varied and have
changed from the more traditional
set-up of decades past. Much of the
industry works on a shift-pattern basis,
which does not always suit modern
families. We ensure our employees
balance their work and their lives,
while also having the ability to
maximise their income. I ensure there is
a shift pattern that fits our employees’
lifestyles and accommodates their
family responsibilities.
We always consider the best fit for
our clients and for our staff. Clients
are supplied with operatives selected
on their ability, experience and merit.
We also endeavour to understand our
staff when placing them. For example,
guards may be scheduled on nights
to enable them to take their children
Personnel in our industry often lead
chaotic lives or suffer sudden changes
that require additional finance. Many of
our guards are offered advances, loans
and assistance, without fees orinterest.
Collaborative working
Investment in improving public services
ultimately leads to job creation and
upskilling workers. We are fortunate
to work on the electrification of the
main line between Paddington and
Cardiff. This infrastructure project has
used lots of SME subcontractors. We
have benefited from supplying security
personnel to compounds along the
route from Bristol to Cardiff. The work
has brought new jobs, and the use of
local firms has enabled growth and
reinvestment in local communities.
Throughout this project we have been
able to develop valued relationships
with British Transport Police and
Network Rail. We strongly believe that
collaborative working can serve to
reduce crime.
Large projects have helped us grow
and improve. However, we ensure
that all our clients are treated equally,
Supporting our
personnel – so they
support our clients
Our culture is
driven by our
belief in our
people, and it
must revolve
around their
wellbeing. Our
core value is
integrity –
integrity with
our staff,
integrity with
our clients and
integrity with
our finances
irrespective of whether they provide
30 hours or 3,000 hours per week,
and we always do what we say we
will do. I will not accept contracts that
I cannot service effectively. Managing
the wellbeing of our people allows us
to effectively manage our contracts.
Ultimately, the guards look after our
clients, and if they are happy with their
employer, they will make sure that the
client is happy.
Levelling the playing field
Legislation in 2001 saw the birth of
the SIA, the industry’s statutory body.
This brought welcome and positive
changes, including the introduction
of a personal licence scheme and
ACS. This has significantly raised
standards in the industry. However,
the main challenge we face is that we
are not competing on a level playing
field. There are many noncompliant
companies, and there are also huge
multinationals, the biggest four of
which have a turnover of almost half
of the entire UK market.
The industry operates extensively in
the night-time economy, and while
licensing is statutory for individuals, it
is not for companies. Many workers
operate as self-employed and are even
paid cash. This allows companies to
avoid paying NIC, and their staff avoid
paying PAYE. This is lost income for
the government and also allows such
companies to charge reduced rates.
These companies supply operatives
who are not directly employed, which
tends to drive the price down overall. I
believe that in this sector, there ought
to be no self-employment, in order to
take due care of our employees and
the industry as a whole. We care about
the end user, not just the bottom line.
The SIA has begun to work more closely
with HMRC. I would like to see the
introduction of business licensing. While
I understand that regulation can increase
business bureaucracy, the introduction
will provide additional treasury income
and help reduce organised crime.
Future growth
Looking to the future is exciting. We
will focus our growth around large
infrastructure projects and corporate
front-of-house security.
The greater number of large projects
we can tender, the more we are
able to grow overall. I am more than
qualified to manage such projects
and know how to pursue them when
the opportunity presents itself. This,
coupled with the credibility I have
worked tirelessly to attain, will see
extensive future growth.
Investment in
public services
leads to job
creation and
Standards in the security
industry continue to rise
Clients include Balfour
Beatty Rail and Wilmott


This article was sponsored by Specialist Security. 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