Former sleuth helps businesses fight crime
29 February 2012
A former South Yorkshire Police detective is using his skills to build a new business catching people breaking the law.
Mick Dransfield, who spent 19 years in CID before he retired last year, has set up Drantec in Barnsley, which specialises in CCTV surveillance for businesses.
As well as CCTV cameras Drantec supplies burglar alarms and LED lighting systems. Mick has worked on installations at Doncaster Racecourse, Barnsley Football Club, Burton Albion Football Club and Doncaster Robin Hood Airport, as well as factories, haulage companies and freight distributors.
Before he joined the force he worked as an electrician. “I started out as an electrician at Grimethorpe Colliery and throughout the years in the police I kept up with the regulations for electrical work. And it has paid off,” said Mick, who is being helped by the business support programme Genesis, which is part of Enterprising Barnsley.
Most of the CCTV cameras Drantec installs are visible to the public, but the company is also involved in fitting covert cameras to catch out people up to no good - and that is where Mick’s police experience is vital.
“The cameras act as deterrent so that businesses and organisations shouldn’t become the victims of crime in the first place, but if they do then they have evidence to catch the culprits and get a prosecution,” said Mick.
“There are very strict rules about when you can use covert cameras. You can’t just use them to spy on people without good reason and you can’t put them in certain sensitive places.
“It is also important that cameras, particularly those that might lead to evidence to be used in court, are in a position, and of a quality, that gives clear pictures that identify people.
“I lost count of the hours I spent as a police officer studying grainy CCTV footage of the top of someone’s head!”
Drantec has already been involved in various sensitive covert operations, including filming at a garage where a member of staff was caught out fiddling MOT results and fitting cameras to a safe house for victims of people trafficking.
The company has recently fitted a number of cameras inside and outside Tudor International Freight Limited’s distribution centre and offices in Leeds.
Dave Johnson, Tudor’s managing director, said: “This is a really busy place with lots of vehicles coming and going every day bringing cargo to be transported worldwide. Their safety and that of our staff is paramount.
“So it was vital for us to get a system that works and one that covers all the areas in order that we can see that our cargo is handled in a proper and safe manner in addition to providing a safe and secure environment. You could see that Mick brought with him all that knowledge he has gained from working for the police and we are really happy with the results.”
Mick says that none of this might have happened if it hadn’t been for the backing he has had from the Genesis programme.
“I am an ex-detective sergeant and have always worked hard, but I don’t have a particular business mind. The support I have received from Genesis has been absolutely fantastic. I certainly wouldn’t have been as successful as I am now without it and I might well have given up,” said Mick.
Through the Genesis project Mick has a rent-free office at Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC), at Wilthorpe, and receives business mentoring and advice.
The Genesis project is part of the Enterprising Barnsley Programme which is supported financially by the European Union. The project has attracted £2,259,511 investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.
Business support through Genesis is available to early-stage high-growth businesses in the Barnsley area. The business sectors eligible are: advanced manufacturing and materials, digital and creative industries, financial and business services, bioscience, sports technology, environmental technology, and food and drink technologies.
Notes to News Editors
Mick Dransfield is available on 01226 249590 or 07792 175308.
The Enterprising Barnsley programme is a partnership between Barnsley Development Agency (BDA) and Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC).