Our services

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Alarm Monitoring

  • Fire Detection
  • Building Safety and Security (intruder, radio lone worker and personal attack alarms)
  • Critical System, Environmental and Building Management Alarms

We provide a 24/7 alarm monitoring service for approximately 3,500 individual alarms across the University estate at our Control Centres in the Old Observatory and on the Old Road Campus, with a link to Thames Valley Police.

Collaborating with the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Chief Fire Officers Association and the University Safety Office, we operate in accordance with the University Fire Safety Policy Statement S2/05.

This service supports local Fire Risk Management Plans as part of a duty of care to keep all University staff, students, visitors and residents safe and secure. We provide a year-round out-of-hours response, supporting departments in dealing with alarm activations to ensure University staff, students and properties are safe. This includes a mobilised response during the ‘sleep risk’ hours.

Our Command and Control information management system provides detailed information on alarm activations and their causes, supporting local problem-solving and corrective action. We also support departments with alarm testing, system maintenance and incident investigation.

Effective collaboration and information-sharing with departments in relation to alarm systems enables effective and timely response.

Effective detection systems provide a safe and secure working environment for staff and students, and increases the security of University property and assets.

Integrating systems will provide future opportunities for increased safety and security, including links between alarms and CCTV.

CCTV Monitoring

The objective of CCTV is the prevention and detection of crime and to support public safety. The system is operated in accordance with Data Protection and Human Rights Acts 1998 and the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. It is accredited by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Code of Practice.

The University CCTV system is operated by trained Security Services staff at its secure CCTV suites at the Old Observatory and the Old Road Campus. We have a live link to the Thames Valley Police CCTV suite to facilitate live streaming of incidents as part of an Information Sharing Agreement.

The Estates Services CCTV platform managed by OUSS has scope to integrate with departments’ local CCTV systems, where compatible, and provide data storage. Further information can be found on our website.

CCTV Camera Recording and Storage

The Security Services team manages the Estates Services CCTV network hosted on the Orion IP Platform. With appropriate permissions, we can also integrate compatible systems onto the platform.

This will enable us to view, review, and store and download department CCTV systems in response to an adverse event, an intruder or fire alarm activation.


Uniformed Patrol Officers provide intelligenceled foot and vehicle patrols of the University estate to reassure staff, students and visitors whilst being a visible deterrent against those wishing to commit crimes or disrupt the University’s day-to-day functions.
Officers will respond to incidents and, where necessary, request help from emergency services.

Crime Reduction Advice

Our specialist Crime Prevention Design Advisor (CPDA) and our Crime Prevention & Reduction Advisor (CPRA) can provide advice and guidance on:

  • Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED), advising on building design and security for new builds and refurbishment projects.
  • Development and review of building security plans and emergency action plans in support of the University Physical Security Policy.
  • Tailored Crime Prevention measures to reduce the incidence of crime and anti-social behaviour, along with problem-solving where persistent issues are identified.
  • The care of victims and welfare support.
  • Personal property and bicycle security and safety advice.

Crime Prevention Design Advice

Our Crime Prevention Design Advisers can help with improving the security of all buildings and sites and designing out the opportunity for crime. They carry out full security surveys and provide advice and support for all aspects of crime prevention. 

Key holding

We provide a key-holding service to departments that includes response to emergency situations 365 days a year. Through our secure key management system we can provide a fully auditable intelligent key storage facility, with biometric access controls for authorised personnel. Effective key management also reduces the cost of replacing keys and locks.

Lone worker protection

The Security Services team provides a flexible monitoring service to protect lone workers. This can be tailored to the needs of the department or individual. Contact us to discuss your lone worker requirements or concerns.

Personnel Security

Personnel security (vetting and screening) provides assurance as to the trustworthiness, identity, integrity and reliability of employees, visitors, contractors and temporary staff.

Personnel Services publish advice, guidance and regulations on pre-employment screening processes and procedures which can be found at:


Security Services provide a range of screening solutions for University departments, colleges and other University related organisations including:

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

Formerly known as the CRB (Criminal Records Bureau), the role of the DBS is to help employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups. More information on the DBS can be found at: ´╗┐www.gov.uk/dbs

DBS checks should be carried out for certain posts involving regulated activity with children under the age of 18 or adults who are vulnerable. Further details on these requirements are available at:


Security Services are able to offer advice and guidance on which types of post are eligible for DBS checks, as well as guidance on processing and submitting completed applications.

Disclosure Scotland

Working through Disclosure Scotland, Security Services coordinate screening for University posts when confirmation of identity and criminal record is required but a DBS check is not applicable.

Disclosure Scotland is an external agency that carries out basic UK criminal record checks and discloses information relating to any unspent criminal convictions recorded on central records.

University Enhanced Level Screening

Working with our external contractor, Security Services provide a bespoke enhanced screening service to meet the needs of departments and colleges.  In certain posts this enhanced level is a mandatory requirement and details of these can be found at:


Overseas Criminal Records Checks

The University of Oxford is a cosmopolitan place of work, attracting staff from all around the world.  Security Services offer an overseas criminal record checking service for overseas applicants who are unlikely to have any historical data on the UK criminal records database.  This is often easier to achieve before the applicant comes to the UK so please contact us for early advice.

Departmental screening policy

Any personnel vetting and screening system can only provide a snapshot in time and a holistic approach to the whole issue of personnel security should be applied.  Screening should be fair, transparent, proportionate and carried out in line with the University guidance on pre-employment screening and Data Protection principles.  Departments may wish to provide local guidance detailing who is responsible for the different functions, how these will be authorised and who is ultimately responsible for the appointment of staff.

Security Services can provide advice and guidance on producing a departmental screening policy and establishing effective security controls.

Contact us

To contact the OUSS Vetting and Screening team please e-mail screening@admin.ox.ac.uk or phone 01865 (2)82152

VIP Visits

Security Services offer first-rate security and safety cover for all University VIP visits. Please get in touch to discuss your needs.

Car Parking Enforcement

Security Services are the authorised operator of the University-controlled car parking scheme. The team is responsible for the regulation and enforcement of both departmental and non-departmental spaces within the University estate. 

Further information is available here.

Scale of Charges

Security Services Scale of Charges (247kb)