The Security team at The Mercury shopping centre in Romford has been awarded ‘Security team of the Year’ at the.
The Sceptre Awards promote excellence by recognising best practice and the best people operating within the shopping centre industry and receives thousands of national entries.
The team is credited by the Centre Manager, Spencer Hawken, with maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for its elderly demographic as well as teens who visit at the weekend:
“The Mercury security team is a welcoming presence in Romford,” he says. “As knife crime moves East from London into our quiet suburb, we need to be vigilantly creating a safe environment. Thanks to our team’s dedication, we have been able to avoid the problems suffered by neighbouring areas.”
Axis Security’s approach to officer training is to utilise both SIA and conflict management training – allowing the team the skills and confidence to take a zero-tolerance approach to antisocial behaviour on site. This is coupled with The Mercury’s ‘community’ shopping centre centric vision to retain and nurture a youth presence within the centre, as
“In addition to traditional security duties, the team takes an active role in our community. Officers have helped to set up and run a quarterly gaming league for teenagers, giving the officers an opportunity to show that they are approachable, that they are a friend, and not a threat to this vulnerable demographic.”
Through this approach The Mercury’s crime figures from 2018 to 2019 show that the Security Team have reduced the number of anti-social behaviour incidents by 19 percent; with the number of assaults on site for the same period reducing significantly by 47%.
The Security team members are also fully trained in customer service, autism awareness and dementia. “This has led to the site receiving an autism friendly award in 2018,” says Spencer, “and undoubtedly contributes to the security team being the town’s most approachable and visible centre security team.”
The Centre management reports that tenants are complimentary of the security team’s flexible and active approach and it is supportive of the wider community, with managers sitting on town ‘crime’ consortiums.
The team work closely with the borough’s ‘Safe and Sound’ initiative to improve town security links and have voluntarily taken the lead in town terrorism simulations.
The team was presented with the Award at the Sceptre Awards ceremony held at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House on 20th June.