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Joined up thinking

TSG tells Access about the benefits of multi-agency security on event sites and how the company can be a cost-effective alternative to police inside the fence line.

Surrey-based TSG (Tactical Support Group) Policing is no ordinary security company. Shaped and directed by founder David Boswell, who has recruited top tier former police officers to his management and training team, it’s a specialist service designed to supplement, and ultimately replace, police at live events.

“We are meticulously prepared and we’re there for people who want to enhance their security or cut their need for police on the ground and the high associated costs,” Boswell tells Access. “We’re also trusted advisors for those that don’t use the police at all, or startup events, shaping and supporting the safety plan and making sure the security effort is right.”

At the same time, TSG has a straight-ahead synergy with existing security provisions at live events and a proven capacity for cooperation.

“TSG doesn’t provide crowd management services,” Boswell explains. “Good security companies are paramount in that capacity and we work in parallel with those arrangements as an integral part of the overall event safety plan.”

Just like the police, TSG reacts spontaneously to incidents on site. The company coordinates appropriate responses that fall beyond the remit of conventional security while supporting its event colleagues in achieving their objectives.

“Security teams have to consider a wide range of issues, from site integrity through to ticketing, access and egress, car parking and crowd management,” explains Allan Binks, previously an inspector with Greater Manchester Police. “TSG, meanwhile, focuses on a bespoke response/policing capability to deal with any problems that may arise.”

Boswell staffs his business with proven professionals, including a network of police experts, Binks being one and Martin Greaves, a Training Manager for the Met at Hendon for 11 years, now serving as Head of Training to TSG, another. Collectively, the senior team ensures the company’s operatives are fully prepared and equipped for reassuring the public, maintaining their safety and preventing crime.

Launch at the 2015 Event Production Show and rebranded in the summer, TSG has made a fast mark on the sector, providing for the likes of the 200,000-capacity Great Dorset Steam Fair. There, TSG worked on a number of operations with Dorset Police across the event’s five days, reducing its impact on local policing and serving as a testament to the company’s capacity to deliver a viable, cost-efficient police service alternative.

“Our relationship with cops on the ground is always formed quickly. It needs to be,” Boswell tells Access. “When you consider the majority of senior management at TSG are former police professionals, that is easy to understand. Police might have additional powers but on an event site, unless there is a very specific need for police support, a TSG officer can provide the same service as a PC.”

“A TSG presence allows police to concentrate on their primary local objectives,” Greaves adds. “Our training covers the key elements common to police recruits, including a thorough understanding of the law and the procedures to be followed in relation to arrests and crime scenes.”

Those skills are tested to recognised standards by way of written exams, physical competencies and scenario-based exercises. Thereafter, TSG officers commit to the company’s annual development and refresher training, which is regularly reviewed, keeping it relevant and up to date with legal and procedural changes.

This story originally appeared in the December 2015 issue of Access All Areas.