SPL and Network Rail

SPL Powerlines turned to Black Diamond Security to assess the security requirements for the project and the many different challenges it would face.

Fixed compounds, temporary compounds, all varying in size and value. Evidence of sabotage to multi-million pound machinery. High value cable stored at numerous locations as well as transported around the project. Numerous access points to the infrastructure within the expanse of the project and all highly visible and accessible to the public, all of these had to be considered in the overall security plan.

“An on-site Management team 24/7, able to constantly assess risk as the project grew and deploy the appropriate resource was crucial to effective loss prevention”
Chris Hext, Safety & Services Director (SPL)


Clearly a major undertaking and one that would require a blend of Manpower and Technology, also the ability to react quickly to the demands of the project.

Major considerations:

  • Asset Protection (whole line of route) 40 miles of rail infrastructure.
  • Covert & Overt Services.
  • 24/7 Operational cover for two year period.
  • On-going and evolving risk – initial and constant adaptation
  • of ‘Security Risk Assessments’.
  • Working closely with the British Transport Police.

At BDS we have the ability to deploy our own technology, designed, built and maintained all in-house, this was a major advantage as we were able to assess each individual location and present a totally bespoke package aligned to the exact risk and requirement. Combining technology with Manpower was another key factor in prescribing a flexible security approach to both the fixed and temporary locations. In addition to our ‘National Control Centre’, owing to the expanse of the project and number of locations we promoted the requirement
for a purpose-built control hub within the main depot which acted as a focal point for the Management to direct resource effectively in line with the change in risk as works dictated.

As the project developed and more compounds were created, BDS had a template to work to which we termed ‘Best Practise’ utilising experiences from previous set-ups where we had tried and tested systems and rocedures for patrolling, access/egress monitoring etc; Severe damage (sabotage) to plant and machinery had the potential to undermine planned works. BDS deployed ‘Covert’ CP Officers 24/7 for a period of several months in response to these attempts, as this threat declined, the ‘Covert’ team were then switched to a more ‘Overt’ presence, providing 24/7 mobile patrols, responding to the static security officers and offering a highly visible deterrent at varying levels of activity throughout the project.

The Management team on-site quickly established a rapport with BTP who were able to share intelligence as well as provide valuable local crime statistics, past incident information, to allow BDS to more readily
define the ‘risk’ related to the different service elements that we were becoming more involved with.
The services and products described herein encompass everything that we provided the project
with at varying times at differing levels.


  • Deploying ‘Covert’ officers to provide directed surveillance of high value machinery.
  • Providing local knowledge and a detailed assessment of the area to reduce risk.
  • Prevent sabotage of high output machinery.
  • Reduce targeted vandalism and prevent future incidents.
  • Providing detailed reports of unwanted attention to ensure all machinery was serviced and maintained for Health & Safety.
  • Working closely with local constabulary providing evidence for any potential subsequent prosecution.
  • Understanding the criminal statistics within the area to better allocate and deploy resources to reduce potential threats to the project.


  • Reactive security to ever changing situations with little or no notice.
  • ‘Covert’ and ‘Overt’ officers working in unison throughout the extent of the
    project to deter opportunists.
  • Successfully reducing all aspects of sabotage with our ‘Covert’ teams and
    deploying these in addition to ‘Overt’ officers.
  • Addressing additional security requirements highlighted throughout the
    project with ‘High Value Escorts’ to support movement of Cable transportation


  • ‘High Value Escorts’ deployed to support transportation of high value goods by operatives who were followed and unnerved by multiple vehicles.
  • Researching safety routes for transportation by our Overt teams.
  • Briefing our clients driver’s with instructions on ‘what to do’ in the event of a potential threat.
  • Utilising ‘Two-way’ radios for communications and stringent commands to identify and monitor all activity between drivers and the compound gate access/ egress control staff.
  • Providing a detailed procedure / action plan which was so effective and successful that it is now written into the clients standard policies for the movement of ‘High Value’ goods.


  • All Officers are fully experienced with ‘Riot, Violent Disorder, Affray, Intentional Harassment and Threatening, Abusive or Insulting Behaviour.
  • We liaise with local police to understand the activity within the area and the demographic, essential for strategy adaptation.
  • Able to provide a soft visible presence utilising ‘public information officers’.
  • The ability to maintain / increase resource according to actual events on the ground to actively address, ensure the safety of teams and individuals at different locations.
  • Work with Senior Managers and Police in establishing a workable program of operation, identifying POPS ‘Points of Presence’ and the correct numbers of personnel to empower de-escalation.


  • Full regional assessment of NWR Access Points together with less publicised access points.
  • Providing an access vulnerability study together with a track plan was included
    within the security plan.
  • Combining our bespoke technology with manpower (our ‘Covert’ teams) ensured that the site was not only monitored from a theft point of view but a Health & Safety perspective also.
  • Providing our fully self-sufficient Rapid Deployment Camera (RDC) monitored vulnerable access points.
  • Monitored 24/7 by our own National Control Centre, who worked closely to support our ‘Covert’ and ‘Overt’ teams on the ground, ensured an instant and reactive solution to any possible threat.


  • Working in unison with the British Transport Police (BTP) around all areas of interest on a regular basis.
  • Sharing intelligence and liaising with the BTP details of our operation had a positive effect on the resource allocation throughout the project.
  • Focusing on our key deliverables whilst being able to readily call upon the BTP.
  • Regular project meetings to discuss overall security, local crime stats to ensure stats were lower than the national average for similar rail related crimes.

Our Way

Is your site as secure as you think?

Is your site as secure as you think?

If you’ve been following Black Diamond Security on our social media channels, then you’ll see that we often have incidents on our clients’ sites where intruders have entered...

read more