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Keyworker Profiles: Becky Zaffarese, Security Supervisor

After recently being promoted to Security Supervisor, Becky Zaffarese has seen many changes in her new role in order to adapt to the current circumstances. She also reflects on her experience as a Women in Maritime and how important it is to the industry.

What is your current role at the Port?

Having worked in the port for 14 years, I have recently been promoted to the role of Port Authority Security Supervisor. I am part of a team of 3 supervisors who manage and maintain the day to day security requirements of the port. This includes the searching of staff, contractors, passengers and their vehicles including belongings to maintain a safe travel for all.

Other daily duties involve CCTV monitoring, pass application verification, security training drills and prohibited item/declaration checks.

How has this changed during the current coronavirus crisis?

Since the very start of the pandemic and lockdown, the port has seen dramatic changes including the terminal being shut down, social distancing and one way systems being inforced along with a very thorough cleaning regime.

In March the terminal closed to all of the travelling public, operating freight only services. A new temporary restricted area was created to enable us to still carry out our duties safely and professionally to insure other port users still felt safe and welcome. This has thrown many challenging situations in our direction but as a team I have been impressed by how people and places can adapt to meet the requirements set out by the Department for Transport.

Security teams have had to adapt in every aspect of health and safety such as limiting the touching of person and paperwork, wearing of PPE and the welcomed arrival of sneeze guards installed to further minimise contact.

How do you feel being identified as a keyworker?

I am humbled to be identified as a keyworker. There are so many amazing heroes out there that have come together to make this current situation a little easier by doing their part. The port staff have always been one big family and together we have proven that no matter what is thrown at us we will move forward with minimum disruption and continue to deliver the best, safely.

We have also assisted in accommodating the repatriation of cruise ship workers who have been stuck at sea, which has been a tough but rewarding operation.

Becky is also an ambassador for Women in Maritime, a network ran by Maritime UK as part of the Diversity in Maritime campaign. 

Women in maritime is important to me because, all bar a few years, my whole working life so far has been at the port. Years ago this was largely male dominated, but I have seen this rapidly change over the last 5 years. More women are working in operations that were once, never heard of. My time at the port has been very successful due to the training and support that was always offered to me.

What is your favourite part of your job/working at Portsmouth International Port?

Being in a job where it’s my responsibility to make sure customers and staff are safe is something that I am passionate about. Safety and security is of highest priority to make sure everyone can travel safely within the port. Plus no two days ever the same, especially the weather!