City Security magazine autumn issue 2021: Editor’s introduction
Security has evolved during the pandemic – will these changes be permanent?
Looking back across the past fifteen months of the pandemic, with its wide-ranging impact on all our lives, the important role security has played in the overall response is clear. This has led to rapid developments across the sector. These have included the expanding role of the security officer, innovation in security technology and evolving views about managing health and wellbeing. All areas we cover in this issue and ask whether these changes will be permanent,
We are now making our uncertain way out of the pandemic and there are signs that the economy may be beginning to recover. The UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) most recent data shows that the labour market continues to pick up and the UK gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have increased by 4.8%.
But as we take these tentative steps back to the normal, other risks to security have not gone away. The UK terrorism threat is set at Substantial, meaning an attack is likely. The recent seizure of power in Afghanistan by the Taliban with the evacuation from Kabal airport provided shocking scenes. The following months and years will reveal how this impacts the UK. Many areas of the world are experiencing severe weather conditions, including flooding in western Europe, extreme heat in southern Europe, Canada and USA.
Against this backdrop, as we return to business, we analyse how to assess an organisation’s readiness to deal with all these future threats. We cover the development of the new counter terrorism regulation known as Martyn’s Law with a report on the recent City of London Crime Prevention Association webinar hosted by chair Don Randall MBE. And we look at how to secure business premises that continue to be vacant, including those in retail.
There are hopes that the critical role played by security during the pandemic will help to raise the perception around the sector and this in turn will encourage people to make it a career of choice. In support of this, we include two calls to action: firstly, to continue efforts to professionalise the service and secondly, to increase activity around creating an inclusive culture.