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The pandemic increased the demand for security

The pandemic increased-toronto-mileniostadium
Créditos: Executek International

The Executek International offers security solutions to commercial, industrial, and residential clients across the Greater Toronto Area. Their services include security guard patrols, access control, asset protection, mobile security solutions, and other services typically performed by licensed security guards.

The Executek International has decades of presence in the market and had expanded their partners from residential homes to multi-million square foot commercial real estate properties. According to the president, Nick Migliore, the pandemic, with the new normal public health restrictions, increased the demand for security. All the big events, from sports to entertainment, will need special security from now one to make sure that everybody that gets in is vaccinated against COVID-19.

Despite Toronto had the highest homicide rate among major Canadian cities in 2018, Migliore believes that the biggest city of the country remains a save city compared with other international jurisdictions. But nevertheless, here’s the tip: “A business owner also needs to be strategic and proactive when operating a business: hire a good Security firm”, he advised.

Milénio Stadium: Executek International provides security services to big events/venues. What are the main challenges for this type of service?

Nick Migliore: You hear in the news daily of the risk associated with the pandemic and the variants the public face. Challenges consist of the following – one must begin with a risk assessment (protecting the attendees, creating a safe secure environment, safeguarding the guests, maintaining a high level of customer service). The balance of costs and budgets, the use of emerging technology. Understanding growing security threats; The Pandemic Plan; Terrorism, globalization issues, etc.; Weather challenges (earthquake, snow fall, flooding etc.); Cybersecurity; First Aid and medic response to Crime, theft, fraud, protests. How much security is enough security? The Screening challenges for access into events, through to Security and Safety Operational Plans.

MS: What is your main market? Commercial, industrial, or residential clients?

NM: Executek International services all three markets: consulting, physical security, investigations, and surveillance.

MS: Considering that your company provides security services across the GTA, did you notice an increase in demand in the last few years?

NM: Overall security services are trending up slowly – especially due to many recent closures of venues due to the recent pandemic (closures of sporting stadiums, events and conventions) had a direct impact. Now with recent openings and vaccine passport enforcement have increased demand for security. But the Government continues to announce restrictions to these type of indoor events. So there continues to be a level of uncertainty. The future of security is Cyber Security- we will see huge investments made in this sector. More people are working from home than ever before and with increase Cyber-attacks, this now has become the new frontier of Security.

MS: In regard to residential services, was there an increase on the installation of home security systems across the province? What kind of clients look for this kind of service?

NM: According to “Report Linker” home security systems are amount to a $49 billion industry at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.4%.  Around 12 percent of all Canadian households utilized smart home security cameras. In 2020, the market size of the security services industry in Canada stood at 5.61 billion U.S. dollars. Again there was a moderate decline attributed to the pandemic but it is on an upward track. There’s no question that alarm systems deter crime and can increase the odds of catching a burglar if your home does get broken into. … Security systems and monitoring discourage break-ins: 60% of convicted burglars say they will target another home if they discover a security system in the one they are trying to rob. Also home security Alarm and CCTV systems are sold on Amazon, Costco, Best Buy, etc. are easily both available and cost efficient today. These systems are easily linked to home internet networks, and anyone can install them as well.

MS: What are the most common types of civil/private investigations that Executek International provides? What are the benefits of this service?

NM: Everything from background checks to surveillance. The benefits:  if an organizational is looking to hire a new employee, then it’s prudent that some level of background screening occur. The different level of screening aid the human resources department in hiring individuals. Further, Surveillance may be required to conduct integrity checks or investigations to confirm everything from corrupt practices or violation of policies.  Many corporations have their work spaces or boardroom cleared of countermeasures (look for bugging devices). Consider a financial firm is about to merge or acquire another company – then they take steps to save guard that information and meeting spaces. Or a technology company is about to launch a new technology, or pharmaceutical company has sensitive information being discussed -Then steps are taken to secure the meeting spaces and cleared of any unwanted listen devices etc.  Today we provide surveillance through the use of drones to investigator teams. With the growth of Cyber Crime and attacks, Cyber investigations are growing.

MS: Do you think crime (in its various forms) increased in the GTA in the past few years? Do you think it is safe to live or run a business in a big city like Toronto?

NM: Yes, Toronto is a safe city when compared to other international cities around the world. Statistically, in 2017, a ranking of 60 cities by The Economist ranked Toronto as the 24th safest major city in the world, behind Tokyo, London, Paris, and Seoul, but one of the safest major cities in North America.  Even though Toronto is the 4th largest City in North America, it has a relatively low homicide rate that fluctuated between 2.1 and 3.8, worse than most of Europe, but comparable to modern day New York. While homicide rates in Toronto were relatively low for several years, they started to increase in 2016 until Toronto experienced the highest homicide rate among major Canadian cities in 2018 in that single year, the city surpassed the homicide rate of New York City. Homicide rates declined again in 2019, when compared across major metropolitan areas, the Greater Toronto Area ranked ninth in Canada with a homicide rate of 2.26 per 100,000.

But due diligence and proactive planning are very important. Like most cities precautions are necessary. For example, a tourist visiting should take precautions against petty crime, as this exists in touristed areas; you may also want to steer clear of some particularly rowdy drinking areas at night. There’s also a sizeable homeless community to be aware of.  A business owner also needs to be strategic and proactive when operating a business: hire a good Security firm to support its needs. Conduct a Risk Assessment and examine potential threats. Then formulate plans and implementation strategies.

Joana Leal/MS

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