Success of Barnsley security services firm brings jobs boost

25 March 2013

 A Barnsley security services firm has increased its staff by 50 per cent over the last few months after winning a name for itself on its industry’s national stage.

Active Response Security Services was set up only seven years ago by Michelle Bailey, one of only a handful of female security firm owners in the country.

It is now rated by its regulatory body as being in the top five per cent of private security firms nationally and also reached the finals of a national award, beating competition from major players.

The number of permanent, full-time security officers employed by Active Response has risen from 40 to 61 since November after a recruitment drive to help meet new contracts with a further five posts to be filled. 

The company has also moved in to new premises at Berneslai Close, in the town centre, after outgrowing its former base at Mount Osborne Business Centre.  The expansion is being backed by business support organisation Enterprising Barnsley.

Michelle, who took the plunge to launch her own business after 17 years’ experience in security management, said:  “We’re operating in a very competitive area but winning recognition all the time. 

“We’ve secured contracts with a number of prestigious companies and are an approved supplier to the country’s biggest property management company.

“When we were first accredited by the Security Industry Authority three years ago, we ranked in the top 25 per cent. This year we’ve made the top five per cent which only applies to 37 companies and is something we are extremely proud of.” 

Active Response provides round-the clock security and other services throughout the Yorkshire region and in the North West, including Manchester and Liverpool. 

Michelle said she believes Active Response stands out from competitors in the way it manages its contracts– earning a coveted finalists’ place in the 2012 Security Excellence Awards for Customer Care Initiative of the Year.

She said:  “Our approach has always been to offer a personalised service and to set ourselves apart from our peers by doing many things differently. 

“We have face-to-face management meetings, plus we send out ‘mystery shoppers’ to sites to check quality. Our staff retention rate is very high and we don’t circulate staff around sites so there are familiar faces.”

The company is also committed to changing the way the private security sector is perceived, stressing that it is a professional industry and a far cry from its old image of a ‘man with a torch’.  Indeed, Active Response has a number of women security officers on its team.

And Active Response is playing a central role preparing new workers for the industry through a training link-up with Dearne Valley College and Job Centre Plus. 

Active Response helps jobseekers earn their all-important security officers’ licence and the scheme has proved so successful it is being expanded to involve other companies.  

Business support organisation Enterprising Barnsley has been on hand to support the company’s rapid growth. It has assisted with recruitment, a re-design of the company’s website and provided help with bidding for tenders.

 “It’s really good to know that there is someone at the end of the phone to offer advice. The help has been invaluable as we grow,” said Michelle.

For more information about Active Response, visit call 01226 288886

The Enterprising Barnsley programme is a partnership between Barnsley Development Agency (BDA) and Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC).  It aims to help Barnsley-based businesses develop and expand, generating economic growth and creating new jobs.

Enterprising Barnsley is supported financially by the European Union. The project has attracted £2,259,511 investment into Barnsley 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.


Attached picture shows managing director Michelle Bailey at the new premises.

For any further information about Active Response, please contact business development manager Lynsey Morris on 01226 288886 or email


The Enterprising Barnsley programme is part financed by the Yorkshire and Humber European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit

For more information about Enterprising Barnsley go to or contact Martin Beasley on 01226 772648 or at

Additional media contact: Deborah Wain on 07903 466228 or at or Kate Betts on 01226 766900 or at

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