De Montfort University’s new recruit

De Montfort University’s new recruit

We accept an invitation to visit Indi Singh, the new Head of Security at De Montfort University in Leicester. Among his staff, you’ll meet an even newer member.

He’s Fred, sitting on team leader Nigel Burnham’s desk (pictured). Though this may sound too familiar, his eyes are bright, his smile is wide, and his black uniform is immaculate. Credit to the suppliers for such a small size. Because Fred is a cuddly bear and a mascot that was brought in as part of the work of the security department with freshmen. On the morning of Professional Security’s visit, the De Montfort campus is quiet just opposite the inner ring road from Leicester city centre. The first young people are already taking suitcases out of the trunk and moving into their homes for the start of the academic year and, for some, a new degree.

The control room

When we announce in Indi’s office (Room 0.07 in the Estates building) that all life takes place on a campus, Indi’s response revolves around the international students. English may not be their first language. At De Montfort, as on other UK campuses, “after 5pm we become the University Welfare Service”. During the day, De Montfort, like other universities, has teams that work on student services; At night, it’s the uniformed services — alongside security patrols, building guards, and dorm attendants — who either see and respond to students on campus, or are directed by the control room. While we’re there, Cole Brookfield is on duty in the control room. De Montfort has about 670 cameras, including internal ones.

This ranges from any parking lot (parking lots fall under real estate and security) to external ones on the roofs of buildings that offer views over the city center. Like some other city uni’s – Aston in Birmingham for example – De Montfort does not have a perimeter fence to prevent anyone walking through which could include football or rugby fans on foot (the homes of Leicester Tigers and Leicester City FC are both run down the street south of the city center). Like any city centre, Leicester has parades, protests; and the way all life happens on a campus of 22,000 people, what’s downtown could spill over into the campus. There are also numerous private student residences next to the campus on the other side of the ring road.

About India

Indi joined De Montfort from the Security Industry Authority (SIA). Whilst he knows Leicester and is well known there having been the region’s investigator for the SIA, readers of Professional Security will know him from Operation Sentry which he created and which we featured in the November 2021 issue, when a Sentry event was held at a London West End club to guide SIA-designated door and security personnel through scenarios such as an acid or knife attack on the premises.

Find out more in the December print issue of Professional Security Magazine, which you can read online for free at this link.

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