There are more than 4,000 workers on site at Hinkley Point C and they are all under virtually constant surveillance.
G4S, which has the site security contract for client EDF Energy has revealed the scale of its operations on the £20bn construction project.
G4S has a team of 180 specially-trained guards on the project – it calls them enhanced security officers – and roughly half are ex-military, including ex-Marines, Special Forces and Gurkhas.
Some walk the beat across the 430 acre site, while others keep watch from a central control room.
In a temporary building near the centre of the 430-acre site, officers sit in the security control room monitoring hundreds of remotely operated cameras and an advanced perimeter detection system. They are in constant communication with mobile patrols around the site.
Almost always, every single person at Hinkley Point C is being watched, G4S says. Frank Cannon is EDF Energy’s site security manager for Hinkley Point C, in charge of G4S’s security contract. He too is ex-military. He says that these enhanced security officers (ESOs) have been put through special training specific to the needs of this site, which could be a potential target for various categories of militant activists.
“If you took an ESO from Hinkley Point C and put them at a supermarket, they would be the wrong person. The uniquie selling point is how appropriate the training is for the working environment. They’ve got enhanced skills for the services I want on a complex and ever-changing construction site”, Frank Cannon says.
“Each of those officers would know how to manage a potential crime scene. They would know how to approach an activist posing as a dog walker. They would know what to say to that person. I think I’ve probably got the best security team in the UK”.