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Daniel Gormley

Daniel Gormley on protecting what matters

By Daniel Gormley

Group CEO, Code 9 Security Ltd

In a changing and volatile world, Code 9 Security has set out on a mission to Protect What Matters.

Having trained and qualified as a lawyer to practice in the armed forces only to find that aspiration dashed by injury, Daniel established his security and risk management business in 2009.

The Group CEO distinguishes the company from its peers through dynamic leadership, pushing boundaries, driving innovation and investing in great people while building trust and confidence when reliance on security and risk management professionals is in increasing demand.

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What type of clients do you support with your security strategies?

We support a wide range of clients with an equally wide range of intelligence-led security solutions ranging from simple keyholding and alarm response to 24-hour security officer deployments, managed surveillance, proactive patrol and incident response services.

My happy space is in complex risk and threat reduction, which is very poignant with the introduction of Martyn's Law - a new legal duty building on the lessons learned from the Manchester Arena Inquiry.

Working with university and academic partners on theory, research and innovation, we are at the forefront of innovation and the latest thinking in protecting publicly accessible locations, strategic risk management, and building trust and confidence in the security industry. Working with these partners also helps us attract, develop and nurture the best talent, motivate and inspire colleagues and create world-class holistic security and risk management strategies.

While acknowledging private policing is controversial, people have compared us to a privatised police force. However, you can see why with our control rooms, frontline security officers and dog handlers, patrol and response capabilities, and specialist threat reduction and community safety teams.

Over the years, we have worked with fantastic organisations, ranging from the Winchester Cathedral to Thorpe Park, the John Lewis Partnership to Netflix. We seconded a team to LOCOG as part of the security performance and resilience team at the London 2012 Olympics, worked with several local authorities and played various security and risk management roles in events of national significance.

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How is the security industry, and Code 9 Security, innovating through technology?

The future of security is in big data, technology-enhanced, and artificial-intelligence-assisted strategies. In embracing these things, we don’t replace the security officer; we empower them. We allow talented, highly qualified, experienced security professionals to act and make informed decisions on risk, threats and vulnerabilities in a real-time and changing world. By doing so, we can target our responsive capabilities at priority threats, tackle persistent offenders, find operational efficiencies and improve the motivation of frontline security personnel while adding value to our clients and wider stakeholders.

We have embraced the change, with control rooms capable of a range of advanced technologies, including but not limited to remotely monitoring CCTV surveillance and access control infrastructure, gathering credible real-time intelligence from a range of sources, remotely deploying robotic or drone assets, virtualising reception and mailroom capabilities, while at the same time being able to command and control a highly skilled team of frontline personnel.

Using drones and robotics in high-risk and complex environments, we have transformed our capabilities. Having used drone technology for over 10 years, introducing new robotics and advanced sensor technology is hugely exciting. It again puts us at the forefront of change and security risk management advancement while offering numerous advantages for our clients and stakeholders.

You’re also passionate about mental health and inclusivity. How have you incorporated this into your business model?

The company’s mission is about Protecting What Matters™. It is crucial to think about all our stakeholders when executing our mission, and colleagues are very much centre-stage in the success of that mission. Colleagues need to share our passion and motivation and use that to drive us forward. Investment in mental health, colleague experience and professional development plays a vital role in attracting, developing and retaining colleagues who are aligned with and share our mission, vision and values.

We are committed to the Armed Forces Covenant and are proud to employ many veterans, reservists and former military personnel, police officers, ambulance, and fire personnel. Their combined wealth of knowledge, discipline, experience and transferable skills have accelerated our success and created a welcoming and supportive culture built on camaraderie, shared success and common goals.

We are delighted to be recognised and accredited as a Disability Confident Employer. Great people are often overlooked and not given opportunities because of disability; we can only change that by doing something about it. While some roles in our business may be challenging for someone with a disability, we have several opportunities where disability is not a barrier. We are working hard to promote those opportunities to those great people.

"The future of security, big data, artificial intelligence, robotics and a new generation of security professionals is very exciting."

What is one thing you would recommend every business should do regarding their security?

The best thing to do is own the risk in your business; don’t wait until it is too late. Too often, I receive phone calls after an incident where someone has become a victim of a crime or had their business interrupted, wanting to put in retrospective security measures.

We all have vulnerabilities and challenges, some of which we may not even recognise. It is important not to hide from it, ignore it or cover it up. Own it. When you own risk or vulnerability, you can control it, manage it and, in some cases, exploit it!

Not every business needs security officers, complex systems or considerable investments in security. Often some simple advice and a helping hand can help you create a positive security culture which can be transformative. It never ceases to amaze me how much of my advice relates to behavioural changes rather than protective measures.

Owning and managing security and risk in your business can have a lasting positive impact. In my experience, clients have told me they have enjoyed improved employee retention, increasing trends in repeat business and enhanced customer experience. Some of our larger clients have also commented that they have enjoyed improved relationships with regulators, insurers, local authorities and the police.

Do not be afraid to ask for help. I love finding out about other businesses and take great pride in being able to help them own, manage, control and exploit risk.

How are you working with universities to develop security and risk management thinking?

We do fantastic work with several universities and academic partners, including the University of Southampton. We work with various faculties, schools and disciplines such as law, psychology, business, computer sciences, event management, journalism, politics, marketing and communications.

Our academic partners challenge our thinking, help us push boundaries and broaden our horizons. It is excellent to see how our relationships with our academic partners, their staff and students helped us to adapt, evolve and focus some of our efforts positively.

At the same time, it is excellent for us to have an opportunity to give students a chance to work on real-world problems. Examples include law students working with our security officers to identify points to prove to bring a prosecution for an offence, like theft, burglary or actual bodily harm. Others include computer science students helping us design the future payloads for our drones and robots or journalism students supporting our media training endeavours.

"When you own risk or vulnerability, you can control it, manage it and, in some cases, exploit it!"

Daniel Gormley - Group CEO, Code 9 Security Ltd

What are you working towards outside the business?

I am writing a book on security and risk management in modern business, discussing some of the reckless things we do and the costs of oversight but, crucially, providing some helpful guidance and advice for taking ownership of security and risk. I will demonstrate how a business can deliver pervasive benefits to transform clients' and guests' experiences while being effective against hostile threats.

Outside work, I play the piano and violin and love sailing, especially the freedom it brings. While I enjoy powerboating, it doesn't fit our values and environmental credentials, so I am now changing to more traditional sailing. Our chairman, Paul, has spent much of his life in the Royal Navy and as a professional sailor. He is the 8th fastest round-the-world sailor with many more accolades besides, so I have a fantastic mentor and coach to assist in my transition.