Capita Symonds has launched a national infrastructure security division in response to a growing demand from clients for protection from events such as terrorist attacks.

The Critical National Infrastructure Resilience (CNIR) team will focus on the security of communications and utilities networks in the UK and Europe.

The division will be headed by Beverli Rhodes, previously director of security and head of critical national infrastructure at Hyder Consulting.

Rhodes has also worked for Metronet Rail and Norwich Union. The division will form part of Capita Symonds’ management division, led by director Jonathan Goring.

The Capita Group, Capita Symonds’ parent company, was this week selected by Southampton council as preferred bidder to develop a 10-year strategic partnership valued at £290m.

Under the deal, Capita will deliver a range of services including property and procurement.