It’s indisputable that the security sector is one of the most hotly contested industries across the UK, and for good reason. With some of the most dangerous areas in England and Wales seeing year-on-year rises in their crime statistics, the need for investment in security solutions has become all too apparent.
But which companies are seeing the largest market share of that surge in security and safety? At Churchill, we believe in being at the cutting edge of our industry, and that includes being mindful of our competitors.
In this article, we’ll debate what defines ‘the best security company’. When we search ‘best security companies’, what comes up is not actually the best, but rather who is the biggest. The Infologue Top 20 (now an expanding Top 65) has evolved to become the ‘go-to’ place to find out who’s doing what.
But is that actually a true indicator of whether or not they are good? Let’s look at how the biggest security companies in the UK stack up by their turnovers, and how you can make an informed decision on the right company for you.
One of the oldest companies on our list, Lodge Service have been suppliers of security services across Gloucestershire and beyond for over 100 years. Beginning as a family-run firm in 1919, Lodge have since flourished into a business that regularly sees turnovers in excess of £10 million, with 2022’s figures hitting a record high of £22 million.
Founded in 2005, STM have fast earned their position on this list, going from a small startup firm in the heart of London, to a nationwide provider with offices in both the capital and the technological hub of Manchester. That expansiveness means STM saw their record turnover in 2022 – £31 million for the calendar year.
Perhaps most known for their work at live music and sporting events, Showsec have become a mainstay as one of the UK’s most recognisable security firms. It’s this presence and recognition that means they regularly see turnovers north of £25 million, with 2022 seeing a substantial increase over that at £32 million.
Proudly serving the hospitality and leisure industry since its inception in 2005, Professional Security (also known as Effective Security Services) hold multiple high-profile clients and nightlife staples, ranging from entertainment venues to restaurant and bars. These big ticket clients contribute significantly towards their substantial annual turnover, which peaked last year at £36 million.
One of the younger companies in this list, it’s Bold’s meteoric rise since their beginnings in 2011 that have ensured they earn a place on our rankings, with their latest fiscal year showing an unprecedented turnover of £43 million.
Ward holds a few key tenets at their core – purposefulness, vision and service, all of which seek to imbue the service they provide with a sense of quality. This approach is clearly one that’s working for the company, with 2022 seeing their highest turnover yet of £44 million.
Having recently celebrated their 30th anniversary, Man Commercial Protection have long since been established as a pillar of the security industry. It’s with that long-standing reputation in mind, then, that it’s no surprise they rank so highly on our list of the biggest security companies UK-wide.
Their most recent financial year provides concrete evidence of that, with the company seeing a record high turnover of £52 million.
The brainchild of 2 European businessmen, interr came about as a response to what they considered to be a gap in the market where they could provide a service that’s robust enough to meet the demands of a burgeoning security industry. It’s this idea that’s grown into the multimillion pound business it is today, with the turnover for 2022 hitting £54 million.
One of Profile’s most valuable assets, and arguably the main reason behind its continued success and substantial 2022 turnover of £57 million, is the emphasis it places upon cherry-picking the contracts and jobs they choose to pursue. That’s an ethos they’ve carried since their creation as far back as 1989.
Arguably most noted for its armoured security vehicles that serve businesses both large and small, Loomis has become a household name as a result. It’s that status that’s ensured the company has continued to thrive over its 31 years in security, with 2022 seeing a significant turnover of £67 million.
First established in 1969, and with its roots firmly planted in law enforcement and security thanks to its founders, CIS have experienced both sides of the industry. Plus, their latest annual turnover of £79 million has further cemented their position as a top security company in the UK.
With a heritage that dates as far back as the 19th century, Corps began life as a social enterprise that provided former military personnel with meaningful employment in the security sector. That’s since become a multimillion-earning business, with 2022 seeing a record turnover of £85 million.
A relatively new name to the security industry, Amberstone has made waves since its inception as recently as 2016. The company’s refreshing high-tech approach to security has ensured they’ve got a niche in the market, and there’s substantial figures to support that, with the company seeing a hefty turnover of £87 million over 2022.
Established in 2011, the core principle at the heart of Carlisle Support Services is the idea of understanding the “why”. It’s this approach that’s undoubtedly been fundamental in ensuring that Carlisle Support Services have seen the continued success that they do, with 2022 representing the best year for the company, and a turnover of £96 million.
Set up in France almost 70 years ago, Sodexo began life as a provider of food services in the city of Marseille. Over the course of its extensive history, it’s developed to become one of the largest security companies in the UK, with branches that cover numerous interrelated services.
It’s this web of connected offerings that ensures Sodexo earns a huge revenue, with 2022 having some of their highest figures recorded at a total revenue of £103 million.
Narrowly earning the tenth spot on our list of the UK’s biggest security companies, SSGC brand themselves as the UK’s most advanced security firm. While previous years’ figures have all been positive, it’s the most recent turnover that’s got them this coveted spot, with £104 million earned over the course of 2022.
Marketed as being “driven by innovation”, ICTS has positioned themselves at the bleeding edge of the security industry since their incorporation in 1987. They’ve worked hard to secure their position as one of the top 10 largest security companies in the UK. With excellent year-on-year revenue and profits, their latest turnover of £112 million is just the most recent success story for ICTS.
Over the course of Kingdom’s 30 years in the sector, they’ve been consistently successful, perhaps best exemplified by their continually rising turnover and profit margins. While each prior year has seen great figures in regards to these aspects, 2022 saw the company’s biggest turnover – £132.4 million.
There’s multiple ways in which we can measure Total Security Services’ continued success. While happy customers and positive reviews give us a subjective overview of TSS’s accomplishments, it’s their record turnover of £132.7 million in 2022 that really illustrates just how far their core virtues have taken them across their time in the sector.
Few companies have the same storied history that OCS have, especially given their humble beginnings as a one-man window cleaning company at the turn of the 20th century. Over the course of their 123 years, they’ve naturally made huge strides, seeing a colossal £166 million in 2022.
First established over 30 years ago in 1988, Wilson James has seen inexorable growth and expansion in that time. It’s their expansion that truly seals the deal when it comes to their fiscal standings. 2022 saw a further increase over the previous years’ turnovers, clocking in at a huge £229 million, with substantial profits being made as part of that.
An internationally renowned security firm that hails from the small Swedish town of Helsingborg, Securitas’s reach extends far beyond the Scandinavian peaks and valleys. Their international reach, as well as its well-established position in more localised markets, means Securitas commands one of the highest turnovers on our list, with 2022 seeing a massive intake of £258 million.
As such a recognisable name in the security, it’s perhaps no surprise to see Bidvest Noonan in the podium places of our list of the UK’s biggest security companies. Of course, that’s nothing without the figures to back it up, and Bidvest more than meet that requirement. 2022 saw a record turnover of £357 million, with 2023 set to see an even greater profit margin.
The second largest security company in the UK, and a major player on the worldwide security stage too, G4S are perhaps as close to a household security name as it’s possible to get. It’s their large-scale projects that are arguably the largest contributor towards G4S’s exceptionally high turnovers, with the company recording a record turnover of £797 million in 2022.
Officially the UK’s biggest security company, Mitie may not be a name that’s immediately familiar to you, but their presence is one that’s impactful across a huge range of sectors and industries. Mitie now find themselves seeing unfathomable profits each year, and 2022 saw their biggest turnover yet, with the company earning £883 million across all of its ventures.
While a massive annual turnover and wide profit margins are ideal for those who’ve financially invested in the company, they don’t always represent the best choice for your security needs. In fact, many would argue that companies with massive earnings are less able to afford you the same personal care and attention that a smaller firm can.
We know, of course, that every customer has their unique requirements and will choose the company that best fits them. But many need a place to start. Arguably a better benchmark of quality is the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) score.
The industry itself is largely measured by the ACS scheme. Given the fact that over 800 security companies are measured against one set of criteria, isn’t this is a better benchmark of how we compare against each other in terms of quality?
It’s with this in mind that I’ve picked out five key aspects you need to look for when considering your security solutions. Over my time as Chief Operating Officer here at Churchill, these are the crucial things I’ve seen that make a huge difference to the service you receive, and that guarantee you the best quality service.
As a predominantly people-based industry, it follows that companies who treat their staff the best, will thrive. The companies that create an inclusive culture, and that provide people with a sense of belonging and purpose, will stand out as attractive to both employees and customers alike.
Wellbeing and safe working environments are key to this. Post-COVID, people are naturally seeking more flexibility in their working environment, and therefore businesses are looking to ways to make sure employees feel comfortable and enjoy the experience of coming into their office.
We find that customers want to work with people that have the same values, and that help them to achieve their goals so diversity, inclusion and wellbeing are huge factors in what makes a company a great place to work.
Customers sense this too. They want to be associated with companies that treat every member of staff well and with respect because that translates into stability on their contracts, and ultimately, happy people do great work.
A strong system of virtues and values give you a good indication of what you can expect from that company, and what they prioritise when it comes to the contracts and the service they provide. You’ll have seen that from some of the companies we included in our list above.
My advice, and something that I’ve ensured I keep close in all I do at Churchill, is to find a company that has values that resonate with you and your business. You’ll be able to form a trust and a bond that goes much deeper than a contract.
For instance, Churchill’s core virtues forefront a passionate approach that places people first. In my eyes, that boils down to offering a service we’re passionate about, and that we’re really proud to push forward, to people who’ll always come first in what we do. It’s something the company’s held fast to since our opening back in 1996.
Customers place a huge amount of value in a company that’s able to respond quickly to their needs, and to emerging threats or situations. In such a fast-paced world, the swifter a response can be, the more it can be integrated into the solutions a modern business requires.
Companies that are connected and collaborative will deliver better results because they are creating a positive ecosystem of partners in the local community, and with wider security networks such as the Blue Lights and Counter-Terror experts.
It makes sense when it’s considered logically. Customers simply want to feel as though they’re in safe and experienced hands – having that close-knit network of relevant resources, information and other professionals ensures that you’re in the prime position to do just that.
That’s one of the things we value most at Churchill Support Services. We’ve established strong and meaningful relationships throughout the industry, and we’ve continually been at the bleeding edge of the security sector.
That’s no more apparent than our response to the changes in Martyn’s Law, which have seen us implement numerous new training methods and courses that allow our security personnel, regardless of where they are, to be fully up to date.
We’re constantly striving to provide the highest possible standard of service, and we understand how the vast majority of that comes down to the results we provide, and how effectively they meet the unique demands of our customers.
It’s my belief that every business is unique in the issues and challenges it faces. Whether that’s in regards to security, finances, operational headaches, or something else entirely, no two companies are the same.
It makes sense, then, that no two security solutions should be the same. They need to be tailored to the company they’re designed for, and built to ensure that they meet the rigours of that industry and sector.
A huge part of that is understanding not just when a security presence is needed, but what kind of security is needed and why. Larger sites will naturally require more security, and that’s a key distinction that many larger firms simply won’t make.
I’m exceptionally proud that we’re be able to tailormake every security solution we provide, and from the get-go we’ll be in constant contact with you to ensure that we understand every nuance of what you need from your security package.
This is what I thrive on, overseeing the process from start to finish, and adding that personal touch to each of the contracts my team designs. You understand your business and its needs better than anyone, and that’s something I place at the very core of everything me and my expert team provide.
The Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) is one of the pillars of the security industry, and their Pacesetters initiative is a representation of the quality, service and excellence that providers across the industry can offer.
It’s something all security companies (ourselves included) look to be a part of, acting as a definitive and objective ranking of every approved provider of security across the whole of the UK. Their comprehensive auditing process means a company needs to consistently provide high-quality service.
Checking how a company ranks in the ACS Pacesetters scheme should always form part of your research, regardless of the size or scope of the company you’re considering.
I’m ecstatic to say that Churchill have consistently scored 144/145 on our ACS audits, with our 2023 audit being the third consecutive year that we got such an unprecedented rating. In context, that places us in the top 0.1% of all security providers nationwide – something I’m personally incredibly proud of.
It’s industry-specific measures like this that I’d always recommend keeping an eye out for, especially as they can give you the edge when choosing your ideal security company.
While a custom-built solution is an ideal first step, it’s the staff that implement it that can really make or break how well it’s put into place.
Dedication and diligence is something that’s often mentioned across the security industry, and some of the companies we’ve seen in our list have some aspect of that in their service. However, in my experience that’s only surface level, and can mean you’re let down further down the line, or even in those initial stages of contact.
That’s an aspect where we truly excel. Myself and the close-knit team I’ve handpicked means you’ll have unwavering support and guidance from the first time we talk. That’s further compounded by our dedicated Site Management teams, and your own personal point of contact.
This approach is what truly sets Churchill apart in my eyes, and something you should aim to prioritise with any security firm you choose. Our exceptionally good management and auditing structure means that, in the event you’re unhappy or something happens, you’ll receive a rapid and appropriate response that ensures you can continue as quickly as possible.
Plus, when you know you’ve always got someone on hand to deal with any quibbles or queries you might have, you can rest easy in the knowledge that your site will be looked after as though it were our own property.
Disaster can strike at any moment, and that’s often the most terrifying aspect about it – we can’t always prepare for it. Whether that’s criminal activity, natural disasters, or unwanted trespassers, it can be a daunting prospect to face as a business owner.
What’s absolutely necessary, and a key factor to consider when looking at any possible security solution, is the hours that your chosen company can provide coverage, and how quickly they can respond to an incident.
Larger security firms may have thousands of clients to keep track of, and while this does indicate some semblance of quality, it might also mean that your premises can get lost in a sea of high-profile clients.
That’s something we stand firmly against here at Churchill. We provide every single one of our clients with the same level of care and due diligence, and with our Communications Centre that’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, you’re always in safe hands.
Not only that, but our expertly trained operatives can deliver a swift and effective response to any disturbances or issues at your site, with action able to be taken in as little as 30 minutes. We’re well-versed in providing support in the event of an issue, and it’s something we take the utmost consideration in doing.