Working in security: Employee case study

Kian Evans describes his job as a security guard.

What is your role?

I patrol a covered shopping centre. I work indoors during day shifts and outside the building at night.

What do you like about your job?

The job has given me confidence. I am completely different from how I was when I first started. The shift system is good. Although 12 hours is a long day (or night!), it’s good having four days off.

What’s not so great about it?

Although most people just want to get on with their shopping, some people seem to be out to make trouble.

How did you get to where you are?

I’ve been doing this job for four years. When I left school, I wanted to join the Army. My GCSEs were Cs, but D for English. So I re-sat it to get the grade I needed for the Army. Unfortunately, I didn’t pass the medical because of problems with my knees.

What I really want to do is join the police. I thought working in security would give me confidence and some of the skills I need. I approached the manager of a security company who said he’d take me on if I got my SIA (Security Industry Authority) licence. So I got through it and was offered a temporary job, just working when they needed someone, often at short notice. Now I’m on a permanent contract.

I work four days on and four days off (with some overtime at weekends). We work 12-hour day or night shifts from 7.00 to 7.00.

When we arrive, we sign in and collect our radios. We spend all day patrolling the shopping area. We have a matrix each day which tells us which area to cover at what times. We have set breaks, which are different each day.

We are encouraged to talk to customers and shop staff as we go round to maintain a friendly presence. It’s important to be on the alert for incidents. Sometimes the shop staff might call us in.

If an incident occurs, I radio to the control room and make sure they can see it on the CCTV cameras. If necessary we call in the police or an ambulance. Or I may have to make sure any troublemakers leave the premises.

On nightshifts we patrol the outside of the building and the basement area.

As well as my SIA licence, I have my first aid, health and safety and fire safety certificates and have recently taken my CCTV (public space surveillance) licence.

What do you want to do next?

I’m still aiming to join the police. I’ve applied to become a Special (volunteer special constable). I think this will help me get into the police. I was turned down when I applied earlier this year. I’m not sure why, so I’d like to get some feedback. I’m going to apply again.

What advice would you give young people thinking of doing your job in the future?

If you want to work in security, stay out of trouble. You will have a police check as part of the application for your SIA licence, so any criminal convictions may count against you.

Working in security