A Day in the Life of… A Security Manager

Martin Falsey is the Security Manager for The Kelda Group, who provides water and sewerage services to domestic and business customers across the UK. He also performs the same function for their main subsidiary, Yorkshire Water, the 9th largest Water Company in the world, which provides the same to some 4.7 million people and 130,000 businesses in the Yorkshire region.

This is what a ‘Day in the Life’ for Martin can look like.

Martin’s key function is to provide security for assets and circa 3,000 personnel across 6,000 sites in Yorkshire alone. He also covers what is known as Critical National Infrastructure – sites that impact the availability, integrity or delivery of essential services throughout the UK– which brings him to work alongside the government and the Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure.

“We are essentially a mini RAF Police force (Policing and Security) which is why my military background is a good fit. We respond to security incidents, run a security monitoring centre, contract manage a guard force, electronic and physical companies and write all the security policies and procedures for existing and new sites across the UK. I also design procurement contracts and tender them with the procurement team as well as research all the security technology needed to effectively deliver our services.”

07:00 I start the day by going through the event report that the duty manager produces detailing what has gone on in the company in terms of security and intelligence. I’ll then check any emails that have come in since close of business the previous day.

07:30 Run through my to-do list and prioritise tasks and prepare for any meetings that I might have that day throughout Yorkshire or the UK.

09:00 First of 4 online meetings to liaise with personnel and contract management teams across the UK. To save time and money we regularly have virtual meetings – but I also get out as much as possible to meet people on sites and in other departments. In this instance, we’re discussing a £10m project which involves checking the security on 1,200 sites and making recommendations to ensure they meet UK regulations. Our design team have been out on site to survey and, using their feedback, we can deduce what is required to continue to meet the required standards.

10:30 Another meeting to design and sign off a security solution and discuss the financial forecasts for the next four years. We receive a lot of invoices in from contractors so it’s important that we keep on top of these costs and ensure we are not being overcharged for work we have previously agreed on. It’s amazing how many quotes and invoices don’t always match up!

12:00 I’ve been invited to speak at the Houses of Parliament for the 7th Electric Infrastructure Security Summit. As the Chairman of security and emergency planning for the UK’s 32 water companies, I was asked to speak about business continuity and the implications of what happens when the electrics ‘go down’ and the impact it has on the supply of water and treatment of waste.

16:00 A look at our external liaison policies and how we can share best practice across our industry so that government departments, counter terrorism, the police and other companies can work together to assist in reducing any security issues surrounding the provision of water services throughout the country.

17:30 A final catch up on some emails and then time to head home. When I first started in my role I was doing 60 hour weeks, but due to the changes I’ve made to my department over the past four years, I can now go home and switch off!