Changing the face of security services in Liverpool

Dave Potts

GSTS owner Dave Potts, was recently interviewed by the Mayoral 100 Club in Liverpool about rewriting the narrative of security in Liverpool. He spoke about his vision for the business, the industry and the city.

After 15 years in the police force and 23 years in private security, Dave Potts doesn’t just want to be a part of the industry – he wants to change it.

GSTS is an accredited training school and manned guard and security supplier in Liverpool. While the company has been in operation since 2011, Dave is the new sole owner and director as of 2017. But simply supplying the goods isn’t enough for him.

Stuart (left) and Dave (centre) at a Mayoral 100 Club event held at Fazenda in 2017.

“Security in Liverpool was a bad word really. It had a bad reputation. So GSTS, because of our military heritage, and our police background, we’re looking to change how people see Liverpool security companies,”

Dave explains. For him, this change starts with providing quality training. “I saw how the industry was neglecting training. I saw how the front end, the staff on the front line were being neglected and not encouraged, and I decided that training would be an essential element to what we provide,” he says. From door supervision and CCTV training to close protection training and physical intervention courses, GSTS employs managers with military and police backgrounds to facilitate the training courses.

A new service for a new kind of security
There’s more than just a business transaction taking place here. GSTS is taking their employees, clients and services and creating a community that supports each other. GSTS’s total facilities management service offers their clients a one-stop solution for their premises, and it gives the company an opportunity to see employees develop and build careers.

Dave elaborates: “I’m particularly passionate about seeing people grow within the industry. I want all of our security officers and cleaners to develop and grow and have the possibility of becoming supervisors and then into the wider management team.”

The strength of a building’s security lies in its frontline staff, according to Dave.

“[What we do is] take the whole of the building and put it under scrutiny from a risk management perspective. We’re trying to join up evacuation plans and critical incident plans, so instead of having diverse frontline staff within the building, say cleaners, concierges, security or receptionists, we join all that up and give them all our knowledge,” he reveals. This approach will see all frontline staff in a building, regardless of their job title, equipped with the skills to handle a crisis. As Dave says: “A little bit of knowledge can save your life.”

A city of one mind
GSTS joined the Mayoral 100 Club in 2017 to come together with people and businesses of one mind. “There comes a time where you’ve got to put your money where your mouth is. You’ve got to say ‘well I’m standing up for this city’,” says Dave.

Stuart Fitzgerald, non-executive director of CSR and partnerships, is dedicated to fostering mutually beneficial business. Dave expands: “If Liverpool companies are using other Liverpool companies, as Stuart calls it ‘the Liverpool pound’, it stays within the city, and it’s great for everyone.” To build mutually beneficial relationships, a shared value is needed. GSTS’s core value is a commitment to making a positive impact on the communities within which it operates. Dave hopes the recognition of this value-driven approach, together with accredited training and the nurturing of staff, will begin to shift the reputation of the security industry in Liverpool.

A commitment with action
Dave and Stuart are both incredibly proud to support veterans through GSTS. The company has signed the Armed Forces Covenant, showing their commitment to ensuring reservists and veterans are treated fairly. Dave knows you need to deliver the goods on promises like this, so he’s taken it one step further: “We give free places [on our training courses] to veterans; we will help veterans in any way we can.”