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Trevor Jones interview

by Mark Rowe

Like other heads of security and the rest of us, Trevor Jones will be glad when the pandemic is over. He and other campus security people have had a tough few weeks as the new academic year has opened, bringing the usual student parties that can get out of hand, even without coronavirus. Yet when he found time on October 1 to speak about his ten years at the University of Salford, it became plain that Security – there as around the UK – has changed no end. That has made security people – and the unis they serve – as well placed as they could be, to endure Covid-19.

Testing station

Campuses locked down like the rest of us, as featured in our July edition; yet unis are anything but cut off from their neighbours and the world. “I am pleased we finally got our testing station in one of our buildings,” Trevor said. “It has been going on for quite a few months, it is up and running at last.” The uni placed it off the centre of campus, so that people going for a test – who might be carrying the virus – at least avoid the rest of the campus. “So we are doing ok, ok,” Trevor summed up. Like so many others, not only in higher education, he has found it strange that campus is so quiet: “I think we will be glad when it gets back to normal.”

As we featured Teesside and Trinity in Dublin in July, much work has to go into making places ‘covid-secure’, whether surfaces are sanitised or people are socially distanced. As Salford and some other unis kept a pandemic as part of their business continuity and emergency response plans, “I think there’s a number of us that did have a head start, which was very helpful,” Trevor said. There, as elsewhere in his talk, he could take a national perspective, as chairman of the national heads of university security association, Aucso.

Each institution has been largely doing its own thing, which is in contrast to the Protect-ED security and welfare-well-being accreditation scheme which Trevor and others founded. Trevor’s talk was under the Protect-ED banner, as he was interviewed by Prof Caroline Davey, of Salford’s Design Against Crime Solution Centre. Each uni has a different geography so that security operations are not quite the same – and Trevor gave a name-check to Aucso stalwarts Malcolm Dawson, head of security at Leeds; and Ollie Curran, Deputy Security Manager at University College London. That said, each uni’s security ‘baseline’ will be very similar, as Trevor added.

While Trevor, who came into security management from HM Prison Service, in the talk ranged over the work of campus security at Salford, and elsewhere, and stressed relationship-building, including working with local government and the 999 services, he ended on a personal note; of how rewarding it was, working with ‘absolutely brilliant’ colleagues.

More in the November 2020 print edition of Professional Security magazine. See also the Protect-Ed past webinars on their website; also since May covering lockdown; student mental health support; safeguarding; and financial well-being. Visit

The next free webinar by Protect-ED is this morning from 11am; on ‘Supporting Estranged Students’ – Improving university policies and services for students without family support’. You can sign up via the Protect-ED website.

About Protect-ED

It’s an accreditation scheme drawn up at Salford, for UK higher education institutions, recognising that universities have a wider role to play in supporting the physical safety and well-being of their students — not only while they are on campus, but over their ‘student experience’. Visit

Picture by Mark Rowe; Trevor Jones speaking at a Protect-ED event at the House of Lords, in autumn 2019.

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