Fire detection and life safety specialist CDS has been working with Leicestershire Police for the past four years – looking after more than 20 of its buildings scattered across the county, including its HQ at Enderby.
But such a project requires far more than the technical ability to assess the force’s needs and supply and service its fire safety equipment. It also requires a high level of absolute trust in the integrity of the staff carrying out the work.
Which is why every member of the CDS team involved in the contract has not only been DBS checked to an enhanced level, but has also been through a stringent police vetting process.
The procedure is obligatory for all police officers and for the constabulary’s outsourced service providers.
This not only means the force can be confident that those entering their premises are squeaky clean, it also means CDS customers from other industry areas, such as healthcare and education, can be confident that the people with whom they come into contact are honest and trustworthy.
Martin Iliffe, a director of CDS and co-founder of the company 33 years ago, says trust is paramount when it comes to dealing with all its clients, with sectors such as policing having even greater sensitivities to manage.
“As a service provider to Leicestershire Police Authority, our engineers are required to work in a variety of different police premises that might including sensitive locations such as custody suites where people may be experiencing difficult, challenging situations. It is essential that our personnel respect and observe the highest levels of confidentiality in the course of their work,” he said.
A Leicestershire Police representative said: “As a police force, the public expects to have absolute trust in what we do and how we carry it out. We also want to reassure the people of Leicestershire that all our service providers are equally trustworthy. We have forged a strong relationship with CDS and value the service that they provide for us – not only in making sure our staff, public and premises are safe in terms of fire prevention and detection, but in ensuring that confidentiality is maintained at all times.”
CDS managing director Simon Abley added: “The stringent police vetting process requires all CDS engineers to submit details about their homes, family and lifestyle. Anyone failing to attain the highest level of integrity would not be considered for a position in our service team.”
In addition, every single staff member is DBS checked to an enhanced level – a requirement for anyone working with potentially vulnerable people or children. With much of the firm’s work in hospitals, clinics, care homes, nurseries, schools and universities, approval is essential.
The Leicestershire Police contract, the latest in a number CDS has carried out for the force over the past two decades, saw the team supply and install Honeywell Gent fire alarm and detection systems in all its premises. This includes a networked system at HQ’s ten separate buildings which enables reception staff to see what’s going on anywhere on site from a fire safety viewpoint without leaving their desk. The CDS team provides ongoing service, maintenance and training.