Latest News
A Day in the Life of... Kevin Simms https://quickclicksecurity.com/news/A+Day+in+the+Life+of++++Kevin+Simms/OTZfbmV3cw https://quickclicksecurity.com/news-images/1200/1613124807-52671.png Every fortnight we will be interviewing frontline operatives to get their insight into what it’s like to work in the private security industry in the UK. We recently spoke to Kevin who worked at Gatwick Airport for 9 years as airport securit
security officer sia retail security

A Day in the Life of... Kevin Simms

February 12, 2021

Every fortnight we will be interviewing frontline operatives to get their insight into what it’s like to work in the private security industry in the UK.

We recently spoke to Kevin who worked at Gatwick Airport for 9 years as airport security, as well as an event security officer at football stadiums. Since lockdown, Kevin has worked as a security officer for a local supermarket and has kindly shared his experience on transitioning into a new security position.

 

Hi Kevin! Thanks for taking some time out to speak to us at QCS! Really interesting to hear you’ve worked in airport security, what did a typical day on the job look like?

Well, I’m sure you have flown out to a few places to know the airport procedure once you scan your boarding pass at the security gates. Once you go through to departures and scan your boarding pass the first area you must proceed through is the security checks – to get from landside to the airside, this includes passengers and staff.

I carried out visual and physical body searches as well as baggage and vehicle searches to prevent entry of prohibited or dangerous items. Searches are conducted on anyone entering the airside from general public to staff, VIPS, diplomats, politicians and royalty so my role is always carried out with the utmost integrity and professionalism – as a security officer carrying out these sorts of searches you have to understand it can be seen as an intrusive process.

I also operate the x-ray machines that you see when putting your belongings on the trays through security. With the machines - myself and the team rotate every 15 minutes on this, and on each post we rotate every 50 minutes.

 

Wow! Seems like a very busy role, and one where you really need to be on the ball 24/7?

Thankfully, during the 9 years there I did not encounter any seriously dangerous threats like potential terrorism. But with airport security you do receive more scrutiny compared to other security roles. We are tested regularly with ‘mystery shopper’ type passengers who will try to disguise prohibited items such as blades and bomb components in their luggage. You need to spot these types of things and remain vigilant, if you overlook any of these issues, you will face a sanction or written warning.

 

Indulge us - what’s the strangest thing you have come across during the search process?

Well, we do get a lot of lads going on stag weekends and we know they go a little crazy with certain props and toys. We’ve caught some of them strap these types of things in bottled water, they normally are compliant when we search, to save them the embarrassment, we normally check their luggage as discreetly as possible. Piercings are another thing that set off our metal detectors. I remember there was a guy who had a massive piercing in his intimate region who just dropped his shorts when we did a body search. Those types of things you don’t ever forget!

 

How did you first get into airport security?

I was actually a postal worker at Royal Mail prior to my job at Gatwick. But I always wanted to work in aviation and it was an industry that fascinated me. At the time, my friend who I used to train with told me about a job opening at the airport. That night I applied right before the application deadline, I was contacted shortly after to go through the assessment centre and then to do a series of numerical tests and health checks. I got the job and it was a job I loved, working at the airport with thousands of other employees felt like another community in itself.

 

How has the past year and Covid-19 impacted your former role and what are some of the challenges you have faced?

I was furloughed in April last year, I had a feeling the job would go. As expected, we received the announcement a few months ago about redundancies taking place. I got an SIA licence back in 2015 to compliment my airport security training. I needed that to work as security at stadium events and it came in very handy last year when I found myself out of work and applied for the retail security position.

Having been active and busy for so many years prior to the pandemic I couldn’t bare just sitting around and so I decided to find additional work to keep me busy.

Retail security was a big transition- the change of hours, having to work longer for less pay, etc so I didn’t get to have much leisure time or family time. Surprisingly I faced more confrontation in retail security too – I guess in the airports people expect there could be some delays and see security as a necessary part of the airport process – they are more patient when it comes to queuing and delays. Working in retail, it’s the complete opposite - the general public can see you as a nuisance, they are busy and just want to get on with their day without interruption or having to queues to enter a shop. People don’t like being told what to do especially when it’s new and interrupts their schedule.

 

So you don’t actually need an SIA to join airport security?

No, the airport has their own training scheme which meets government standard test criteria, you also get extra training on things like machinery and x-rays which is a bonus for many jobs in the security sector.

We find it inspirational that you had the motivation and drive to explore other security roles when you went on furlough. What advice would you give to those facing a similar position and who find themselves looking for work?

My advice would be to stay persistent and don’t give up, there are security jobs there!

What people don’t realise is that you can diversify your security skills in non-security roles so don’t be put off applying for jobs outside of the security industry. The skills we learn as security operatives are transferable and useful for so many other industries and sectors.

In these types of situations sometimes it’s a case of take what you can for now! But it’s important to keep working towards whatever your goals are and developing skills and experience. In this day and age – especially now a job doesn’t have to be for life and as long as you have goals you work towards you are always able to change careers in order to align with your aspirations.

 

Speaking to Kevin has been a a great insight and has taught us a lot about airport security life. Kevin is certainly a point of inspiration when it comes to changing career paths particularly during this time of uncertainty whilst we have been in this pandemic.

Do you have a security story you would like to share? Let us know!

If you are currently looking for work then please do get in touch for help around CV’s, cover letters and interviews. Send your CV to cvhelp@quickclicksecurity.com for a free review or book a CV package and get one of our expert team to write you a new professional CV.

Share article
More News
max mukadam chauffeur
A Day in the Life of...Max Mukadam
QCS got the chance to talk to Max who has worked as chauffeu...
female security
A Day in the Life of... Liz McCann
We recently spoke to Liz who holds an SIA Licence and...
female security
Are women shaping the security industry?
The security industry has historically had a very macho, ...
Love lock
Love on the frontline
How was your valentine’s? Love seems to b...
Reece security
A Day in the Life of... Reece Shagourie
Every fortnight we will be interviewing frontline ope...
membership joining
Membership Organisations- security friend or foe?
Are you an SIA licence holder? Most frontline...
background check
Myths and Misconceptions- challenges faced in the security industry
We are in a crucial stage of the global pandemic, securit...
members of public covid mask
COVID-19- Thoughts after the second lockdown and Security in the new year
It’s officially December which means the UK has com...
Black Friday
Making the most of Black Friday 2020
With Black Friday now less than a month away, this year i...
job candidate being selected
CV writing- Moving ahead in jobs and careers
“To achieve great things, you need a pl...
5g cyber security
Cyber Security awareness month- 5G risks for security
The start of this year saw many conspiracy theorists comi...
covid bus curfew
Covid-19 curfews cutting frontline security hours?
We have previously touched on an
Cyber security awareness month- Ransomware and protection for businesses
October isn’t just known for Halloween and the end ...
Concierge desk job
Concierge security roles: building skills in an office environment
Many roles we see within the security industry are genera...
women in security work
Breaking gender boundaries in cybersecurity: Why do we need to do more?
Cybersecurity has become a focal point for the digital wo...
SIA receptionist greeting employee
SIA security roles: more than just being vigilant on the shopfloor or office building
For many people, the professional security industry is pe...
VS underwear model
How safe are your underwear? The impact of cybersecurity on retail outlets
This year has seen COVID-19 shape and transform various i...
Covid-19 testing
Male Security guards during COVID-19: Are they most at risk?
The past couple of months has seen an increase in demand ...
plush toy using computer
Cybersecurity training: Where to begin?
Our article earlier this month provided an insight into t...
airport security staff
SIA security guards after lockdown: Do we need more workers?
The recent updates on restrictions during lockdown has ch...
Patrick Hutchinson carrying protester
SIA Security workers: friends or enemies?
The past few weeks across the world have seen a series of...
Worker sleeping in office
Returning to work after lockdown: Are you prepared?
Monday 15th June marks a day for many of us go...
User accessing security VPN
Considering a career in cybersecurity?
For many of us during lockdown and this covid-19 pandemic...
talkaboutittuesday, Janina Lincke, Close Protection Officer, CPO, Emergency Medical Technician, EMT
Janina Lincke, Close Protection Officer (CPO) and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
Introducing our latest guest on #talkaboutitTuesdays Jani...
couple social distancing
Post-Lockdown: How to be social again
Last week, we touched upon les...
Passenger at station
05/06/2020- Weekly update
Happy Friday everyone! We hope that you have made the mos...
open shop sign
Weekly Update 29/05/2020
Last week of May! In the amids...
job candidate being selected
What factors are important when taking on a security job role?
The start of lockdown has impacted security job roles and...
Weekly Update 22/05/2020
Happy Friday everyone! We hope...
Weekly Update 15/05/2020
Happy Friday everyone! We hope...
Carl Kaitell, SIA licence holder, Business owner
And we are back with another #talkaboutitTuesdays! Today ...
COVID-19 and Making the Most of The Outdoors
With Boris Johnson delivering ...
08/05/2020- COVID-19 and Security Updates
Happy Friday everyone! We hope...
01/05/2020 Weekly update
Happy Friday and Happy 1s...
Ninah Nyongesa, Commercial, Lady Askari
Please meet Ninah Nyongesa our latest guest on
Financial and online support during Covid-19
Financial support during Covid...
Patrick Rogers, Senior Associate
This week we had an incredibly fascinating conversation w...
Steve McNulty, Business Development Manager
This week Quick Click Security had the pleasure of speaki...
Jacey Bloomberg, Director
A fantastically open and honest chat with Jacey Bloomberg...
COVID-19- Stay safe during the global pandemic
COVID-19, Coronavirus, glob...
Lee Oughton - Security Business Owner, talks to us on #talkaboutitTuesdays
A fantastic chat with security professional Lee Oughton, ...
Security Guards becoming the fourth Emergency Service?
Steve Barber from Norwich has worked as a doorman for the...
Should Door Supervisors wear Bodycameras?
Since 2016 the idea of Door Supervisors
What is the best footwear to buy for Security Guards
Many of your shifts have had specific uniform requirement...
Mental Health In the Security Industry
A study by the University of Portsmouth demonstrated the pot...
Bounty Hunter arresting assailant
Police Officer turned Bounty Hunter Offers his advice...
Youtuber Bounty Tank also known as Frank Tank Frazier is ...
What UK Police really think of SIA Security
How does local law enforcement really view SIA security a...
SIA Investigation of Security Firm over "Cloned Licenses"
SIA Investigation shows the regulator is getting serious ...
The Rise of the Female
The rise of women in security has undoubtedly had, and wi...
Spiderman Policing
Private Security Policing - a step too far or is this wha...

You’re a quick click away from getting training and work to start your future.

Welcome Back