We’ve tried for several years to win industry awards since we founded Zaun 17 years ago. We’ve been shortlisted and commended but never quite made the final cut.
Tonight, finally, in front of some of the foremost security and policing experts in the UK, we broke our duck. And it felt good!
Not just for me and my fellow founder and business partner Alastair Henman, with whom I collected the award. It also means a tremendous amount to both the Zaun and Highway Care teams, who have worked tirelessly to develop, trial and manufacture this solution for the protection and security of the public.
We’ve had really positive feedback from the police and the Home Office over the past year as we’ve developed the solution. Still, the award somehow confirms its importance in the wider security industry and the ongoing fight against global terrorism.
Because of the nature of the award and this industry in general, we can’t really say who was on the judging panel. But they really are the top brass and experts of the UK security industry, making the award all the more rewarding.
And the organisers said this 10th year received the highest number of entries, prompting the fiercest competition for the award we landed tonight!
But I’m getting ahead of myself in the excitement of winning and forgetting to tell you which system of ours won and what it won!
Our Rapid Deployable System (RDS) temporary high-security fencing solution that could save up to 90% of police time won the prestigious Security Innovation Awards 2013 tonight.
We collected the gong at a dinner at Ascot racecourse in front of more than 250 guests that kicks off this year’s Security and Policing Exhibition at Farnborough.
The UK security industry is a world leader in the innovation of Advanced Engineering, Manufacturing and Services. Now in its 10th year, the award looks to recognise continued investment and innovation in countering security threats.
Paul Everitt, chief executive of the awarding body, said our fencing stood out as a technology that not only offered a superior security product but also as one that will save time, improve efficiency and allow security providers, including the police, to deploy resources in other areas that best serve the public.
RDS can be supplied with PAS68 hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) enhancement which protects against 2.5 and 7.5-tonne vehicles to the following standards: PAS68:2010 V2500 (N1G)/48/90:4.7/0.0 and PAS68:2010 V7500 (N2)/48/90:6.0/0.0
It uniquely provides HVM up to 30mph (48kph) in a rapidly deployed temporary fencing solution with no below-ground foundations – a solution generally offered only by permanent fixed installations.
The system has also recently been tested against crowd/mob attacks in what is seen as the first such trials conducted. Due to the nature of the system, it performed extremely well and withstand prolonged attacks conducted under realistic conditions using the specialist method of entry experts. These trials will enable the creation of crowd attack standards to be used to evaluate other systems in the future.
The Home Office has added 5.5km of RDS PAS68 fencing to the National Barrier Asset, including vehicular and pedestrian access portals, turnstiles and gates, initially for use at the 2012 autumn conference season for the main political parties in conjunction with the three constabularies of Sussex, Greater Manchester and West Midlands.
Sussex Police, the first force to use RDS twice when it deployed it at Liberal Democrat Party Annual Conference 2012, estimate it will save them up to 90% of the cost of police time when securing major events as well as reducing on-site disruption.
And Inspector Steve Worth, Specialist Operations Branch, Conference Planning Unit, Greater Manchester Police, says RDS is now firmly the preferred product concerning the delivery of Security Operations for Party Political Party Conferences delivered by Greater Manchester Police, fully supported by The Home Office.
He cites its speed of deployment, the flexibility of use in differing street scenes and terrains and the ability to integrate gates and turnstiles fully and, significantly, the reduction in the numbers of guard force required when delivering secure events ever-decreasing funding streams.
All of which makes me feel even prouder as I bask in the mildly drunken hazy afterglow of glory!