A new security firm is open for business after a total of 35 staff gained UK Security Industry Authority qualifications.
Michael Hansey, owner and technical director of Premier Security, said 23 staff had completed qualifications in door supervision for places of entertainment like bars and nightclubs, while a dozen had completed the more intensive close protection course to qualify as bodyguards.
All the staff passed the UK SIA level two exams for door security and level three for close protection.
Mr Hansey added: “For me, it’s about getting the qualifications and the standards to be good operatives.
“There hasn’t been a standard in Bermuda — now you have to go through a series of tests, theoretical and practical.”
The courses were carried out by veteran ex-British Army Sergeant Major Henry Pattison, a UK security consultant and owner of Paoli-SCRM, whose firm has provided protection to VIPs and celebrities.
He has also trained security personnel internationally, including in Bulgaria, Macedonia and Croatia.
Mr Pattison said: “Door supervision provides a screen for nightclubs, bars — where there is some entertainment involved. They’re also qualified to be uniformed security guards as well.
Level three involves close protection and includes door supervision and uniformed security guard qualifications as well. Currently, that’s the highest security level qualification in the UK.”
Mr Hansey added: “It’s the training, that’s something that’s been missing in Bermuda.
“It includes conflict management skills — it’s as simple as taking people away from loud music because people have to shout and can’t hear each other.”
Mr Hansey stressed that modern security did not depend on the use of force.
He said: “It’s not really about that. You get some security who think that’s what it’s about, showing some force when really it’s about showing restraint.
“It’s not about brute force and manned security is more of a deterrent than CCTV.
“It’s important because you can be held liable if you injure a person because you’re not going about things the right way.”
Mr Hansey added that his staff was now ready to be deployed across the island — and he planned to carry out further training to supply maritime and port security-trained staff before the end of the year.
He said: “Right now, we’re still in the training aspect, but we’re seeking work. We’re operational.”
Mr Hansey, who promoted stage shows and promotions for years, said he became interested in security work because of their involvement in his business.
He said: “I saw a decline in security and initially started for myself, but it turned into something else.”
Mr Pattison added: “The standard of trainee in Bermuda in comparison with the UK, there’s not much difference. The guys who were attending close protection tended to be experienced in certain aspects of security here.
“I thoroughly enjoyed delivering the training — the character of the students was great and they enjoyed it as well.”
He added that he had visited a Hamilton bar after work and seen one of his students use what he had been taught to get a customer who had been drinking out of a bar and down a flight of stairs safely.
Mr Pattison said: “I was very impressed with that. For the door supervisor it’s all about keeping everybody safe.”
He added that security training providers had to have qualifications to train and training providers were regularly audited to check standards.
Mr Pattison said: “What we’re looking at now is getting Michael’s own staff these qualifications so they can provide training in Bermuda.”