A TECHNICAL security firm that carried out counter intelligence work for the London Olympics has invested around £500,000 in a new North East training school.
London firm Verrimus Ltd, which was set up in 2011, offers technical surveillance counter measures (TSCM) services to commercial, Government and private individuals.
The firm’s work includes preventing electronic eavesdropping and detecting surveillance devices, such as covert listening and video surveillance devices. Millions of pounds are spent in the UK by organisations which seek to threaten the privacy of competitors to gain an advantage within the market place.
The new school on the Newcastle Quayside will employ five staff, and cater for up to 1,000 students a year.
Many of these are already TSCM operators, seeking to improve their skills within Government agencies or commercial organisations they work for. Close protection bodyguard teams are among those signing up to attend the school.
The firm hopes the new school, which will carry out TSCM training for commercial and Government teams from the UK and overseas, will also help it generate £1.2m in the next three years.
The company could not comment on its clients. However, it revealed they are from the financial, legal, oil and gas, defence and aerospace sectors. Its Government clients are from Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The firm has decided to base its training operations in the city as three of its directors hail from the North East. They felt the region’s transport infrastructure makes it globally accessible – especially for overseas clients.
Commercial director, Paul Barrett, said: “Having been fortunate enough to train students in facilities all over the world, I’m proud to say the facilities we can offer in Newcastle match and exceed any other facility. Newcastle not only offers the specialised training facilities required for our service, it also offers international clients an insight into what the North East can offer commercially and culturally.”
Students will receive threat awareness training, take part in search procedures, get training on specialist equipment and be evaluated by experienced operators. Operations director, Sarah Hopkins, added: “The North East is a vibrant, energetic and hospitable region that meets all of our requirements. It beats London hands-down on accessibility, transport and affordable facilities. We look forward to bringing our international clients to the area and promoting the best of the region.”