Northwick Park Hospital’s security guard with the gentle touch

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Azar means ‘fire’ in Persian but Azar Khalili prefers the gentle touch when faced with confrontational situations as Northwick Park’s only female security expert.

“I’m strong but always prefer to reason with people. It usually works although it’s difficult when someone has drunk too much.”

The team constantly patrol the 14.3 acre site which includes a maze of rooms and buildings that have to be secured after hours.

It can take up to three hours to lock more than 200 doors and Azar is often called upon to calm aggressive or difficult patients, especially in the ‘crazy busy’ A&E.

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“People get tired and frustrated about waiting times or come in the worse the wear because of alcohol or drugs. I’m firm but polite and you can usually reason with them that they need to calm down and behave in hospital.

“You have to be good at reading body language and take it from there. I’ve been shouted and sworn at but no-one has physically assaulted me yet.”

The trained security experts are always taught to diffuse situations first and attend an annual conflict resolution and managing challenging behaviour course,

“We have the option of calling the Police if things get out of hand but we can usually handle things without them getting involved.”

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