Andover security officers win national award

Two security officers from Andover whose actions prevented serious harm being caused to a vulnerable and distressed teenager, have been honoured with a top industry award.

David Lacey and Justin Matthews from Venture Security are Andover BID Rangers and as such support Andover BID to help ensure that the town centre is a safe and pleasant place to be, while providing local businesses with security support for their premises.

Their actions in dealing with a serious incident involving a minor in the Chantry Shopping Centre have seen them each recognised with an ACS Pacesetters Security Officer of Distinction Award. The annual awards recognise security officers who have excelled in their duties and gone above and beyond to protect others.

The incident in question happened in February 2023. While on duty, David and Justin were alerted to a report of blood running out from under a locked cubicle door inside the centre’s toilets, with no response from anyone inside.

David and Justin quickly made their way to the toilets where they found a young person who had cut themself with a knife and was in severe distress and bleeding heavily. They were able to calmly remove the knife and bandaged the wounds while waiting for an ambulance to attend.

Commenting on his award, Justin said: “I’m just so glad we were able to help and that the young person got the medical attention they needed. It’s good to know they have been receiving support since the incident and are now doing much better.”

Paul Howe, Venture Security’s managing director, commented: “This award is hugely deserved. It was a very upsetting incident and we’re so proud of David and Justin for handling it so calmly and professionally, delivering vital first aid while ensuring the young person was safe until the ambulance arrived.”

Steve Godwin, Andover BID, commented: “Town centre businesses are very clear that they value the Andover BID Ranger service and the support of Venture’s officers. This particular incident showed clear thinking, quick action, and good communication. David and Justin achieved all that whilst dealing with a number of other issues and we are very proud to have such a professional and devoted team of rangers, keeping our town centre safe.”

The Andover BID Rangers were introduced in August 2020 and in the last year alone have dealt with more than 3000 incidents of theft, assault, and antisocial behaviour, as well as 60 medical emergencies.

Twelve awards were given from the 90+ nominations submitted for this year’s ACS Pacesetters Awards, which recognise exceptional work and individual acts of bravery. The winners were honoured at a special event, which took place on 24 May.

Picture caption: Andover BID Rangers David Lacey and Justin Matthews

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About the Author: Michael O'Sullivan