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Entrepreneurs Panel

Steve Purdham
Brian Hay
David Pollock
Michael Oliver
Julie Meyer
Jeremy Roberts
Debbie Pierce
Laura Tenison
Tony Caldeira
Charlie Mullins
Richard O'Sullivan
Jennie Johnson

Risky business

Brian Hay

Co-founded freight forwarding company Cardinal Maritime in 1998 using a £5,000 loan. The firm has offices in South Africa, Ireland and Holland, as well as its headquarters in Eccles and aims to open six more in Europe by 2012. It made a profit before interest and tax of over £1 million on a turnover of £38 million to March 2009.

Question: 

I operate from a couple of units on an industrial estate outside a small town and I often find kids hanging around the place after dark. In the mornings I find beer cans lying around and there’s been some minor vandalism but nothing more. Some staff have mentioned that they don’t feel safe and are afraid things might escalate.

What do you recommend I do? The police aren’t interested because currently it’s relatively minor stuff.

Answer: 

Operating on the outskirts of Wythenshawe we too have had our fair share of problems along the lines you have mentioned. In fairness to the police, in the absence of any criminal activity there is little they can do.

In order to manage the risk we have introduced a number of measures to protect both the premises and, importantly, to help create a safe environment for our colleagues. These have included the installation of CCTVs, external lighting and perimeter fencing. Additionally, we employ a local security company, from whom all keyholders have received safety awareness training, which helps mitigate the risk still further.

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