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PROFILE: Douglas Greenwell - Marketing Director, Group 4 Securicor

The security industry – as Douglas Greenwell, director of marketing for UK security at Group 4 Securicor, readily admits – has historically had something of an image problem. Firms providing security guards and associated personnel are seen as occupying the low-paid and low-skilled end of the economy, staffed predominantly by ex-police officers and with little customer service expertise. “People think of nightclub bouncers when they think of security,” says Greenwell. “It has a tarnished image.” In short, it is perceived as a world away from the nimble, sophisticated, value-adding 21st century business service.

However, these negative perceptions look set to be swept away, as a result of two key developments. Firstly, the implementation of the Private Security Industry Act, which will regulate the industry for the first time, and requires all operators to be licensed, thereby driving higher standards and professionalism. Secondly – and arguably more importantly – the merger of the two largest players Group 4 and Securicor was concluded last year, creating a market leader with a dominant market share and a clear remit to galvanise and expand the industry, developing and exploiting new opportunities.

Responsibility at Group 4 Securicor for this ambitious task falls to Douglas Greenwell, a marketer with an impressive B2B pedigree, and whose enthusiasm for the task is considerable. “It's a wonderful opportunity,” he says. “We are the clear market leader so we are not threatened, therefore the market is coming to us. We can change perceptions of the whole industry.”