Roy's Monthly Gossip

February gossip

by Mark Rowe

It’s February already; wow the year is going fast. We are in lockdown number three which never seems to want to end. I can’t wait to get life back to normal; but then I know you are all with me on that.

However I am lucky in that I do have something I am looking forward to; our 2020 Women in Security (WiS) awards. You will know that these are normally held in the autumn in London but thanks to covid we have had to move that like everything else. As the awards are time-sensitive we have decided to go virtual with them, rather than keep moving the date back.

Looking into the options it appears that the Belfry near Birmingham has very cleverly turned one of their exhibition rooms into a film studio with a huge TV screen, lectern, stage lights and all the cameras and mixing desks with a very small team of experts to do live shows. That’s where we are going to go.

I would like to thank the sponsors for making it possible: and they are, Pyronix, QCIC, CIS Security, the Security Institute, the NSI, SSAIB and the FSA/ECA (Fire and Security Association) and of course our host the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals (WCoSP). These will all join Una Riley our patron and our 15 finalists on one massive live Zoom-type meeting on the night from 7pm, Wednesday, February 10.

As Una said, “hey we get to dress up!” Indeed we do so I will be dusting down my DJ that’s not seen the light of day for a year now, and getting on stage. You can watch the event live via a YouTube link and we will be letting everyone have that as soon as we have it. Looks like it is going to be a great event to celebrate all those great achievements that women have contributed to our industry. I have to say there were so many more nominations this year and most of a very high quality so much so that it took five hours to come up with the 15 finalists, I know this as I hosted the Zoom meeting. Me, live on stage, what could possibly go wrong?

To the gossip this month: firstly, were you aware that Dale Bridgman, pictured, has left Tyco after just over five years and joined Pelco. Of course he has as he joined Steve Harrison’s team. Dale is going to be looking after business development in the south as regional sales manager but there is more; yep, another person is going to the guys but I can’t tell you yet. You will have to watch out for next month’s issue to see who that is. I am being told that Shirley Phillips-Knight is leaving Norbain and joining Axis after a whopping 21 years with the distributor; wow. I also see that Sarah Barnes has secured a new role with BT local business after having lost her role at the intercom company AiPhone.

Evolution, the Buckinghamshire-based fire and security systems business, has promoted Brendan McGarrity to the role of Director for its Risk & Design business. Brendan joined Evolution in 2018 as head of its risk and design division, to provide security design and specification services to third-party integrators, installers and clients. In 2020, Brendan became a Chartered Security Professional (CSyP). Richard Lambert, Managing Director at Evolution, says the significant impact Brendan has made since joining the business made him the obvious choice for the role.

The Paisley-based site security company Safer Scotland, founded by Ryan Clark in 2016, looking to expand into the wider UK (south of the border it’ll be branded Safer England) has made three appointments: Peter Simpson as Head of Sales, Julian Free as Systems Specialist, and Paul McKenna as Business Development Executive.

Peter Simpson was Sales Director Northern UK and RoI for Prestwick-based PID Systems. Julian Free, who has a background in technical and sales roles within the electronic security industry, was Head of National Sales for Systems at the Kingdom Group and also worked previously for PID Systems. Paul McKenna joins Safer Scotland from security business, Fraoch Scotland, where he was strategic business executive. He worked previously for Arnold Clark and Capita.

New distributor

The video and network equipment supplier Mast Digital (UK) Ltd has become a new distributor of Dahua. James Wang, Overseas VP and UK & Ireland Country Manager at Dahua, said: “As a forward-thinking business which prides itself on high quality customer service and a great choice of products, Doncaster-based Mast Digital is set to boost the supply of Dahua Technology’s innovative video and security solutions in the region.”


Kings Secure Technologies (KST) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire West Midlands-based Cougar Monitoring Ltd. Bob Forsyth, Chief Executive Officer of KST, said: “Our proposed acquisition of Cougar Monitoring Ltd will further expand KST’s leadership position in technology monitoring, while deepening and strengthening our relationships with our customers. We will be able to compete in the rapidly emerging global world of smart systems and the Internet of Things on a global basis. The combined reach of both KST and Cougar amounts to over 58,000 connections Europe-wide. This strategic acquisition will enable us to provide a monitoring platform to our customers at pace and scale, and to respond to new opportunities as they arise.”

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