UCL News


Enhancing UCL’s security service and experience: End of consultation and next steps

26 September 2023

An update from Ian Dancy, UCL’s Executive Director of Operations, on the result of UCL’s security consultation process and how we are beginning a phased roll out of the new operating model for our security services.

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Following our last update on the security consultation process in July, we are pleased to confirm that we completed the consultation on 1 September and are now beginning a phased roll out of the new operating model for our security services.  

Training for staff in the new roles has started so you should expect to see new faces in your areas and new technology such as video intercomms installed in some buildings. 

I hope you find the update below helpful in explaining what to expect over the coming months. The update includes an overview of:  

  • the outcome of the consultation process, 
  • how we're changing our security services over the coming months, 
  • the division of campus into zones, 
  • the installation of new technology including video intercoms,
  • and upcoming drop-in sessions.  

The outcome of the consultation process 

I would like to thank everyone who engaged with us throughout the consultation process. Much of this feedback has been factored into the new model, which has also been supported by discussions with UCL’s Department of Security and Crime Science and an external organisation to ensure that the new approach is aligned to best practice. 

As part of the consultation process, we strongly encouraged input and counterproposals. Bidvest Noonan engaged with UNISON, our recognised trade union, and reviewed all areas of the proposal with a number of revisions made following these conversations. 

As a result, we have avoided compulsory redundancies through a number of mitigations including some staff accepting similar roles within Bidvest Noonan outside of UCL, and others taking up an enhanced voluntary resignation offer.  

How we’re changing our security services over the coming months  

We are beginning roll out the new model. We are committed to working with the community as we make these changes and would like to reassure departments that they will not be taking place all at once.  

Throughout September we are: 

  • introducing the new Zone Team Leaders and Zonal Patrol Officers, 
  • beginning training for rotating static positions in buildings, 
  • and starting to install new technology including video intercoms.   

Throughout October we will see: 

  • the introduction of the patrol/static position rotations, 
  • the removal of static officers from affected buildings, 
  • the introduction of the new zonal roster, 
  • and the commencement of the agreed feedback sessions for departmental staff. 

And from November we will start to train the zonal officers in the remaining static locations which include Bentham House, Nanotechnology and Engineering. There will be a high degree of specialist training for these areas which will be brought into the zonal rotation in Term 2. 

The division of campus into zones and introducing our Zone Team Leaders  

A key aspect of the new operating model is the division of campus into five zones. While some buildings with high footfall and specific needs will continue to have a stationary member of security staff, most buildings will be monitored by security staff pro-actively patrolling zoned areas.   

Data shows that most incidents that require our security teams’ response happen outside of buildings and are responded to by staff that are in roaming positions. With staff patrolling a wider area, their presence will be more visible across campus, and they will be able to react quickly to incidents no matter where they take place and to get to where they are needed most easily.   

Zone Team Leaders 

Each zone will be managed by a Zone Team Leader, whose key responsibilities will be: 

  • staff welfare of the officers within their zone, 
  • staff training for both mobile/static positions within their zone, 
  • and UCL staff engagement on any issues the community wish to raise. 

Every morning they will take part in a daily briefing session with their management where key areas of responsibility and daily risk will be covered e.g. UCL events, reported crimes, reported risks etc.  

Zone Team Leaders will be meeting with senior faculty staff over the coming weeks.  

Security Smart Control Centres (SSCC)

The security of each zone will be supported by the introduction of new technology. Each zone will be patrolled by a dedicated mobile Security team supplemented by Security staff in a Security Smart Control Centre (SSCC) who can monitor the zonal areas using tools such as CCTV in key areas, alarm monitoring systems and video intercoms installed for buildings.   

Video intercoms 

Video Intercoms will be installed in locations where the static Security presence has been removed and the entrance will be secured by electronic access control measures. This will allow those who do not have a valid UCL card (visitors, deliveries, forgotten cards etc.) or someone who requires assistance to speak to a Security team member to request access. 

Drop-in sessions 

We understand some staff will have further questions and would like the opportunity to find out more about the coming changes. Further drop-in sessions with UCL’s Transformation Security Lead, Oliver Curran, will be taking place between 10am and 12pm each day from 2–11 October. 

If you would like to join a session, please contact securitysystems@ucl.ac.uk.  

Best wishes,  

Ian Dancy 
Executive Director of Operations, UCL