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The Security Industry through the pandemic

The Security Industry through the pandemic

pandemic closed subway shop

2020, was the year that everyone wanted to forget, beginning with global political turmoil, wildfires erupting in Australia and the West Coast of America and a worldwide pandemic that turned our lives on their heads. Through all of this, there was a sense that if we could just get through the year, then 2021 would look better - well, the beginning of the year has just kept the punches coming with new virus variants, a global shortage of shipping containers and a brand new customs regime for UK industry to contend with. Through most of this period, everyone has learned to cope with extended lockdowns and a new normality.

In spite of the bleak picture painted above, the green shoots of the spring of 2021 beckon and with it a renewed sense of hope that all things are transient. The UK's national vaccine roll-out programme is in full swing and at the time of writing, we have had the welcome news of the  government's roadmap out of lockdown. It's an interesting point to look back on the adaptation of the security industry to these astonishing times.

pandemic flight attendant face mask


Most businesses are now overly familiar with new terms such as "pivoting" their offerings and "re-imagining" their business models, but the security industry like any other has done just that. If anything, the security industry has been at the forefront of initiatives and innovations aimed at tackling the novel set of risks thrust upon the country. A wave of thermal imaging camera offerings has swept the market, giving businesses an additional tool in providing covid-secure workplaces. Void property protection has become critical with the multitude of necessarily vacated offices and retail outlets as people are either compelled to work from home or businesses close entirely while we collectively strive to contain the spread of infection. Solutions to this range from the sublime (permanent security solutions, repurposed to rapid deploy systems targeting temporary risk), to the ridiculous (one office landlord was seen to put a sign warning of confirmed covid cases in the office window after repeated attempted burglaries).

Aside from measures designed to detect possible infections and defend against new types of crime, novel systems have evolved to help us help each other. Companies are now able to adopt electronic systems that warn us when we are closer together than the recommended 2m, allowing the possibility of safely returning to the office for those that must. Homeworking and our willingness to video conference has taken a huge leap forward throughout the crisis, something referred to in one of our other articles.

pandemic couple wearing face masks

Of course, essential businesses and services have remained fully open and operational throughout this entire period and the risks they face have changed. There has been a drop in crime overall, but the emergence and rise of new types of crime has also been observed. Aggression and violence against staff and customers have been reported with masks, or the lack of,  frequently being cited at the centre of arguments. The masks worn for everyone's protection also have the effect that those of ill-intent are afforded an anonymity that has seen more brazen crime committed. Again the security industry must adapt and innovate to keep people and property safe and secure as risk profiles constantly change.

One thing that we can say with certainty is that the security industry will adapt. Regardless of changing risk, crime and its effects are by no means new. It has always been and will remain the nature of the security industry to find and produce solutions in an ever changing landscape.


Matt Gilmartin

Security Industry Experts sharing their knowledge and a wealth of news from within the sector. Over four decades have passed since Smoke Screen manufactured the world’s very first security smoke system.


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