Formed in 2009 through the merger of established companies ISL Dardan Security and Gardwell Security, GSL Dardan has a trading history that dates back to 1973: “The company was originally founded in Great Yarmouth to help secure the properties and assets of companies created during the boom years of the offshore gas industry,” explains Richard Olsen, group marketing director of GSL Dardan.
Quickly establishing itself as a leading provider of security services across Norfolk and North Suffolk, further acquisitions and mergers over the last several years have led to GSL Dardan today employing over 500 security operatives working from seven regional offices: “We provide services in industries including the energy sector, aviation, manufacturing, finance, retail, transportation and logistics to name a few,” Richard continues, listing some of the clients it works with, including Shell UK, Petrofac, Bristow Helicopters and National Grid.
Aside from traditional security solutions involving uniformed officers and patrol vehicles, GSL Dardan offers a range of different services: “We provide installation of closed circuit television systems (CCTV) and access control systems, which are performed by our own installation engineers and we also remotely monitor CCTV systems at our purpose built control room. Monitoring these systems at our control room allows us to instantly respond to any incidents that are triggered on site and dispatch our patrol vehicles, police, emergency services or other third parties as required.
“We also have a corporate investigations division that works in partnership with our clients allowing them a proactive and quick approach in reacting to issues and concerns within their business, such as employee malpractice, fraud or covert investigations. Additionally, we can provide debtor and asset tracing and help clients to take specific measures to protect their valuable brands,” Richard elaborates.
Of the many challenges that come with providing reliable security services, Richard reveals that the most important and often difficult task is actually forming relationships with prospective clients: “Convincing clients that there is a premium price to be paid for quality security that is reliable and has sufficient resources is essential. There is too much focus on cost today, with little focus on service delivery due to budget constraints.”
Two recent projects display the various strengths of GSL Dardan’s multi-skilled approach, firstly the case of a large UK based company responsible for the maintenance of sea going vessels that was faced with a possible corporate manslaughter charge following the death of an employee on duty. Asked to independently review the inquiry and substantiate the possible threat, it carried out a full audit investigating existing files, statements and reports, looking for factors that may have been overlooked during the initial inquiry. The findings showed that the actions of a third party, not employed by the company under investigation, proved much more significant when placed in a new context. In turn this indentified flaws in the evidence due to be present to the Health and Safety Executive, helping establish doubt as to the client’s liability while mitigating and managing out the threat of a corporate manslaughter conviction.
An example that highlights the more traditional services the company provides is that of a large international company whose vacant buildings for sale in the East Midlands were under threat following a number of break-ins. Originally tasked with providing mobile patrols, alarm response and key holding services GSL Dardan’s approach to this assignment had to be constantly adapted to deal with the arrival of travellers at a site nearby and increasing attempts by thieves to gain access to the building. Upon presenting evidence of the increased threat, the client authorised it to enact a complete lock down of the site. After boarding up all entry points and installing remotely monitored CCTV it became impossible for any ill-intentioned member of the public to gain access to the building without GSL Dardan being instantly aware. Since the introduction of these security measures no further thefts or incidents have been reported.
Effects of the financial down turn, particularly within the construction sector, understandably had an impact on GSL Dardan’s business, but as Richard concludes, things are now starting to improve: “We are definitely seeing an uplift in our client’s fortunes and there are some existing clients that have exciting development plans, particularly within the energy sector, that will allow our services to grow to accommodate their needs.
“Being financially strong during the rough period enabled us to weather the storm and we came out of it a more robust and focused organisation as a result. Our staff retention rate has remained well above 90 per cent and we have shown time and again that we provide a complete solution approach that ensures the client receives the best level of security at the optimum cost. Therefore we have complete confidence in our ability to consolidate our position as the largest independent provider of quality security services across East Anglia and the East Midlands.”
Services Provider of business security solutions