The following is an excerpt from an interview by Graham Bassett of City Security Magazine with Atlas Security’s prize-winning security manager Hasan Afzal. The full interview can be access on City Security Magazine’s website here: Outstanding Security Performance Award Winner – Hasan Afzal (citysecuritymagazine.com)
Hasan is passionate about what he does and his responsibilities ensuring visitors and their vehicles are as safe as possible, as well as deliveries at the sizeable loading bay area at the rear of the park. In support of this, the CCTV system throughout the site is an invaluable aid in doing his job.
Through a combination of patrols and diligent CCTV monitoring, he keeps a very close eye on the visitors entering the park, specifically those whose motives are criminal or anti-social. Over his eight years on the site, he has built up a comprehensive library of information, essentially a ‘rogues gallery’ of known shoplifters and drug dealers, and his work has led to numerous arrests and convictions.
Additionally, he has collated a database of vehicles used for attempted drug dealing in the cark park which he shares with the police – the retail park, is also used by school children on their way home and this ensures they are safe from any approach by drug dealers.
In this way, he has deterred numerous thefts (plus recovered goods) from both vehicles and stores whilst working closely with the local police. During 2018-2021 he recovered more than £130k of goods across 565 separate incidents. He has received many accolades and acknowledgements from the police, retail park stakeholders and local residents (and even made the local paper).
The local police say: “Hasan is by far the most helpful and thorough security guard in the local area and the best I’ve come across in my career with the police. His knowledge, hard work and attention to detail has provided significant evidence in multiple investigations and has supported in the convictions of a number of people. If we had Hasans in every retail park and shopping centre, the world would be a much safer place.”
What piece of advice would he give someone who was going to join the security profession? “Do it because you want to and want to be the best at what you do. Make a genuine difference, plus learn through empowering yourself (as my manager encouraged me) and, of course, take all the relevant training you can.”
Hasan is not only passionate about his job, he is also a humble person who cares about the welfare of others, including the homeless and vulnerable that frequent the site, whom he helps out with acts of kindness. I can see why he was nominated and subsequently the winner of this year’s Outstanding Security Performance Awards – the OSPA for ‘Outstanding Security Officer Security’ award.
As Nick Clegg, Director at Atlas Security, says: “Hasan is such a great ambassador for us and from our very first meeting, we knew we had a real talent on our hands. The self-motivation, passion, and initiative he brings to the role is infectious and inspiring, but what really stands out for me whenever you meet him, is his beaming smile and how much he genuinely enjoys his job. I jokingly refer to him as Kew’s one-man crime fighting wave and perhaps, we should include a cape as part of his uniform, our very own ‘Atlas Man’!”