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Court Security in the UK | Benchmark Your Own Operation

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When you choose Shergroup Security as your integrated security provider, you are choosing a company with heritage and integrity.

As many of our readers know, Shergroup’s heritage links back to its strong connections to the UK legal system and as the oldest operating Sheriff Office in England. We can date our start date back to 1780 – just 5 years after the American War of Independence! Unlike our American cousins, our role in the English legal system has evolved in a Sheriff Department where we are responsible for civil law enforcement – not criminal court enforcement.


Even today we are attending the High Court in London on a daily basis to issue new Writs to enforce on behalf of the prestigious Office held by our CEO as an appointed and authorized High Court Enforcement Officer. In fact, Claire Sandbrook has been involved in this oldest Sheriffs Office since 1980 and has been managing and building the Shergroup brand since 2003.


As some of you may know, we made the jump from being purely an enforcement business into new lines of work which as the Americans say, “are in our wheelhouse”. In 2007, we created security services as a new addition to complement our role as Sheriffs and High Court Enforcement Officers.

It was in this vein, that we blogged about “Tampongate” where an insensitive approach to the contents of a female lawyer’s bag was highlighted by Claire. The story originated in The Law Society Gazette, which is the weekly journal of The Law Society of England and Wales, so it was a good reliable source for the story. Having been through the same sort of security check herself and had her bag checked by the court security officer, Court security officer (England and Wales) working in the role of court security guards, Claire was a little surprised at the crass approach. To have any item of a personal nature tipped out on a bench for the world to see is not pleasant and this is what happened to the poor person in this reported story.


However, as the story was out there, we looked to see what any follow up might be. Clearly, it raised eyebrows and had to be put in the context of a proper risk assessment, surveillance as part of ongoing security checks. The following came from Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) who procure the guarding service at the High Court. This large government agency which supplies staff to all the courts in the UK has started a regular bulletin about all things happening in the UK courtroom security. Perhaps they read Claire’s “Tampongate” blog and decided to take some positive action.


In this blog piece, HMCTS, shared some insight from a courtroom security officer, court support officer who was explaining the role of security in her workplace and how it keeps and her environment safe from threats. It’s a simple and relatable read for many of our readers. She explains, “People who unknowingly carry pocket knives or work tools are responsible for most confiscated items. Furthermore, individuals also take seemingly harmless everyday items such as perfumes, umbrellas, and bottles of makeup. Handling objects with extra care within a criminal court becomes necessary due to their potential to be offensive weapons in public areas. In such a setting, someone else could potentially misuse them to cause harm or create disturbances.”


You can read the short blog in full here and it got us thinking.

Is your organization proactively assessing potential weapons like pocket knives, acid-containing perfume bottles, and umbrellas? Are you conducting visitor bag searches and comprehensive risk assessments to ensure the safety of people and property? Whether you run a court, hotel, theme park, or public-facing law office, everyday items can turn into weapons when someone holds a grudge. It’s time to benchmark your security operation, raise security standards, and protect against injury or even death. In today’s world, complaints can escalate to dangerous levels. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Stay informed, stay secure. Visit us at to enhance your security measures and stay ahead of potential threats.


A risk assessment should give you a workable plan, and assess the risk of something nasty happening in an objective way. Maybe you don’t have anything to worry about or maybe you need to make tweaks to processing your visitors so they leave potential items at the front desk to prevent an escalating situation.


If you need support on how to do this book a call with Claire and her team to discuss how to go about tackling workplace safety so you anticipate risks and get a plan on how to deal with them. And well done to HMCTS for sharing this insight. Good to know ????

Content Writer​


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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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