The Security Team at Nottingham – as at all universities – plays a vital role in the day to day life of the institution, much of it unseen and often unappreciated.
Things have been not been easy for them during lockdown too as they have sought to keep the campus safe and secure. They remain though an absolutely essential part of the yniversity and critical for the smooth running of operations.
Over the years they have also provided a rich and detailed insight to the hidden side of university life as noted in a series of True Crime on Campus reports which provide regular interest to Wonkhe readers.
I remain delighted therefore about the recent success in being awarded the title of University Security Team of the Year by AUCSO, the Association of University Chief Security Officers. This is their third AUCSO award in a row, having previously won Security Officer of the Year on two occasions.
The award, which should have been presented at the annual AUCSO Conference in Edinburgh in April 2020, was presented to his team by the University of Nottingham Head of Security, Gary Stevens, on Wednesday 24 June 2020, at an appropriately social distanced ceremony at the Trent Building. It was good to see everyone dressed up for the occasion too.
But there is another even bigger story on the AUCSO website about the University of Nottingham Security Team.
After nearly 20 years at the helm, our Head of Security, Gary Stevens, is hanging up his walkie talkie and retiring. There is a lovely summary of his achievements from his deputy, Stuart Croy, and it is absolutely true to say he leaves a Security Service which is in infinitely better shape than when he arrived and one which is rightly seen as an absolutely core part of Nottingham’s professional services infrastructure. Gary’s encounters with two former prime ministers are recounted together with his rather dubious typing skills.
Gary has, possibly against his better judgement, been a supporter and enabler of True Crime on Campus, and has contributed both to the book and its promotion at the first WonkFest as well as to a feature on the Wonkhe podcast a while back.
To get a sense of what has changed in security activities over the period it is worth reading this excellent and timely piece from Fiona Spence, a former member of Gary’s team at Nottingham and now at Unite, all about the shift to a much more strongly welfare-oriented operation.
True Crime on Campus will, I hope, continue but I do want to put on record my thanks to Gary for all that he has done for the University of Nottingham but also for reinforcing the vital place of campus security in campus life. Have a very happy retirement!