Darren joined the team at Venture in early 2016 as an Event Steward and after six months gained his SIA licence. He is now a City Centre Security Officer, conducting daily foot patrols of Salisbury City Centre to help tackle anti-social behaviour.
I originally worked in security many years ago, covering a range of sites. After taking a break from the industry for several years, I saw a job ad posted by Venture on social media. I applied and after talking to the team about my experience, they encouraged me to reapply for my SIA license.
I’ll put on my uniform and test all equipment before heading to Salisbury to start my patrols. My uniform has a body-worn video camera attached and we also use two-way radios to communicate, as well as a SkyGuard SOS button in case of emergencies.
I’ll then walk around the city centre, surrounding streets and green spaces, making sure everything is ok and looking out for any potential issues. For example, antisocial behaviour, including people drinking in public, making excessive noise or being intimidating or aggressive to residents and visitors.
Typically, I’ll start around 10am and finish at 6pm, with some flexibility when there are public events or market days taking place. At the end of each shift, I’ll then submit an electronic report of what happened that day along with any incident reports.
I deal directly with a range of anti-social issues, managing them as effectively as possible, gathering evidence and escalating and reporting anything relevant to the appropriate authorities. I work closely with a number of stakeholders and partners, including the local council, police, retailers and other agencies. The local police community coordinator recently referred to us as his ‘eyes and ears on the street’.
The variety. No two days are the same and every day comes with its own challenges.
I really like the customer service aspect of security - talking to and meeting new people. I feel proud to be playing my part in delivering a safer and more pleasant environment for visitors, residents and businesses in Salisbury. The feedback we have received about the impact the patrols have had is just amazing.
You have to have high standards and strong initiative. You need to be able to talk to people and to walk into a situation and think how to deal with it. That takes confidence. It’s not for everyone and the first time you step out on shift it can be nerve-racking, but with training and knowing that backup and support is there if you need it, you soon get into your stride.
Definitely do it! I rate Venture very highly as an employer. I’ve never had any problems and they always pay on time. They’re a good company to work for. The key thing is to give your full commitment. If you are reliable and show ambition and willingness to learn, then the opportunities are there, and Venture believes in helping you to develop professionally.
I’m fully SIA licensed and trained to deal with conflict. I have been trained in first aid and mental health first aid. I’ve also gone through rigorous training to become accredited under the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS).