INTERVIEW

Blog 10.09.18

Interview with Darren Baker, Head of Security at Workspace

We sat down with Darren Baker, Head of Security at Workspace, for a chat about their security needs and how Vigilance help fulfil these.

 

Tell us about Workspace and your role as Head of Security. 

Workspace owns about 70 buildings within the M25, in those buildings we have office spaces that we rent out, these can be anything from 50 units in a building to 250 units. Workspace buys derelict old buildings and either renovates or redevelops these, some we use for office space and some we sell on. Workspace is a FTSE 250 company. My role is to manage and maintain 24/7 security across the estate. Because of the leases the tenants have with us, they have to have access to our buildings 24 hours a day, which means we can’t set an alarm, pull the shutters down and go home, we have to have an operational solution. This means we need equipment such as CCTV and access control, but also hire in a concierge and have security past 7pm. I also conduct risk assessments on new sites, see to new equipment being installed, manage our specifications, our policies and procedures. I also sit as an SME to the business.

 

When people rent into your spaces do they require a high level of security? 

It varies massively. If you rent a room fx or a 200 square foot small unit, from that door inwards it is your responsibility, so the tenant can put their own alarm in, put their own camera in, etc. I’m responsible for the perimeter, the communal areas and the parking areas. 


What are your security needs and how does Vigilance help with this? 

We utilise Vigilance in several capacities as mentioned previously, we buy old and derelict buildings and this is primarily how we use Vigilance, to maintain a presence in order to stop squatters and travellers. I also utilise Vigilance’s expertise to recommend risk assessments. In the last 12-18 months we have use Vigilance more for temporary cover when we have technical faults or if we want to heighten the awareness, such as with Notting Hill Carnival, just this weekend, where we had about 10 officers operating in and around our buildings in the area.   


What is important to you when looking at a security vendor relationship? 

For us price isn’t the number one when it comes to choosing a partner, although this is obviously important. For me personally it is having the right accreditation and be legally compliant with the SIA and then it’s for the company to be absolutely transparent and honest. I can accept human errors, but I need the company to remain open and honest about the mistakes. A casual working relationship is also really important for me, working with a security company is a partnership to me, I want the officers to feel like they’re part of Workspace when they are working with us, not as an outside contracted service.


Why is it important for you to have security during the Notting Hill Carnival? 

Three of our buildings are in the area where the Carnival is and one of our buildings are right on the route, so for the days we need to heighten security, as in previous years we’ve had people breaking in, committing criminal damage and spray painting the outside of the building. So we’ll add some extra shutters and have officers visible on the front door to check people coming in and also have someone keeping an eye on the perimeter through CCTV. Even though it’s a bank holiday, we still have people working in the building, so we have a responsibility towards them when there’s an increased risk. 

 

We wish to thank Workspace, and Darren for his time answering our questions. You can get in contact with the Workspace team via enquiries@workspace.co.uk.


Vigilance work across public, private and commercial sectors. Please get in contact regarding your security requirements and we can create a bespoke security package based on individual assessments of your needs. Call us now: 0203 416 5340.

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