Report from the Cross Sector Security & Communications (CSSC) AGM 2019
The CSSC AGM was held in June 2019 in central London, with high-level police input and regional progress updates from around the UK. Below are highlights from each speaker.
Ian Dyson, City of London Police Commissioner
The Commissioner outlined the current context for policing and how its role is paramount in today’s world. He explained how the City of London Police has the Lead on Economic Crime and how fraud is now the biggest crime, with a shift online. He highlighted the work of the National Business Crime Centre: this includes a web site and a range of initiatives, it aims to be a one stop shop for business and enables police and business working together. Their current focuses are developing a consistent definition of business crime, in consultation with partners and stakeholders, determining the true scale of business crime and a more consistent approach across policing. They want to identify how policing can work with business to better protect staff and business, together with improving intelligence sharing.
Neil Basu, Assistant Commissioner, Specialist Ops. Metropolitan Police
The Assistant Commissioner explained his role working together against a rising terrorist threat and thanked everyone for their voluntary and discretionary work on CSSC. In the last 2 years, 19 terrorist attacks have been stopped: 14 Islamist and 5 right-wing. He noted the current high-risk environment: simple attack methods, encrypted communications, speed to mobilisation. He summarised the areas of concern for the next twelve months, including:
- The continuing threat from Islamist related terrorism
- The dramatic rise of the extreme right-wing, for example Christchurch, New Zealand
- Lone actors, especially those with mental health issues
- The dark web: end-to-end encryption
- Home grown extremism
- Radicalisation in prisons
- Returning fighters
- Cohesion – home instability
- Crowded spaces
He explained that greater collaboration was needed after 2017 and the review by David Anderson QC, which highlighted 103 ways to improve and how many of these changes are now implemented, or in the process of being, including:
- Better storage, management and sharing of data
- Mobilising more partners. Last year, 3 packages posted to business; information on these was shared very quickly
- Parity between domestic extremism and extreme right wing
- Encouraging all citizens to help: Every good cop is a CT good, every good citizen is a CT citizen: Evil triumphs when good people do nothing.
- Get gearing right on Intelligence: If get more intel, need to be able to deal with it. If we are to share intelligence, we need to get the ethics right.
- Prevent: the most important pillar of the Counter Terrorism strategy. This is where business can help: terrorists need a job. Be aware of the behaviour of people working in your organisation. Of the 700 recent referrals – less than 1 per cent from business.
Adam Thomson, Supt, NCTPHQ
Supt Thomson explained how the police are communicating in a range of ways: Sector engagement, Regional engagement (key partner is CSSC), Public campaigns, UK protect bulletins (cascaded via CSSC).
He explained how Step Change, with CSSC support is now cross-governmental and organised into four areas:
- Travel and Tourism
- Security and resilience
- Crowded places
He advised everyone to follow @TerrorismPolice, sign up for elearning available for counter terrorism and to support CSSC.
Gun and knife crime – Superintendent Sean Yates
Superintendent Yates outlined the approach to tackling violent crime across London and changes that have been recently, including more engagement with communities, Op Septre, a 2 weeks enforcement – every month across the summer; Increased working on Drug related violence; working in partnership with Community Safety Partnerships, the MPS knife crime strategy. He commended the video film #Londonneedsyou
Sean Hipgrave – Home Office – JSARC (Joint security and resilience centre)
Sean explained that the primary aim of the JSARC is to drive collaboration and an integrated agenda between industry, academia and the private sector to support the security in the UK. He outlined some of the key initiatives that JSARC are involved with:
- Work with policy holders, for example around crowded places
- Projects, for example the information sharing platform being developed with Pool Re
- They provide the SIA secretariat
Don Randall MBE, CSSC Deputy Chairman,
Don provided an update on the progress of the national rollout of CSSC, which was launched at the June 2017 Step Change Summit (a partnership event organised in response to the upsurge in terror attacks). All ten CSSC regions are now in place, with some small issues to resolve; some areas are maturing and getting great benefits, others are learning from and maximising on what has been done before and developing fast.
Don noted that this was the third CSSC AGM: the structure is growing and individuality is emerging; the Trustees meet, challenge, endorse and support; the hub is supported by Graham Tucker and Irona Wilson. The Consultative Board is chaired by Sir David Veness.
Don went on to outline how the finance for the CSSC now has a more sustainable model. He explained how initially, this initiative relied on people giving their time voluntarily and individual donations. This year, the CSSC has been in receipt of donations from the Security Commonwealth and MOPAC.
Going forward, the CSSC would like to create a sustainable model. The board has written to 500 organisations to request a donation: this is not a membership fee, it is a gift to help continue to finance the important work of the CSSC.
Below are highlights from the regional updates
CSSC Region updates:
South East – Guy Mathias
- The South East is making good progress, with a steady trickle of Industry Sector Leads (ISLs).
- They have facilitated a large tabletop event at Bluewater Shopping Centre.
- In November, they plan a faith sector seminar, to include secular and faith groups.
CSSC Eastern – Guy Mathias (on behalf of David Ward)
- A mature region with 500 ISLs and associate levels in all industry sectors.
- They have delivered a presentation on Protect and Prepare across the region.
- Board members from the NHS and Police, Motor, Retail, Research and Development have been recruited.
South West – Karen Ramirez
- There is strong representation across the region including retail and tourism, education, utilities, small businesses.
- The incident in Salisbury highlighted how everyone should be prepared for major incidents to impact their areas.
- They have hosted a CT event which was well received.
Wales – Karen Ramirez (on behalf of Steve Morris)
- The first meeting was held in June. A test bridge call is planned within weeks.
- This is a huge region, but there is good coverage.
- The next meeting will be held in mid-Wales.
East Midlands – Andrew Nichols
- There are 200 organisations on the East Midlands hub, with two to three new members a week.
- The board is established with representation from police and business: portfolios are agreed for each board member, they have also adopted a county area.
- Initiatives include: senior executives briefing paper, new member welcome pack, membership survey, established ISL award, quarterly newsletter, case study report.
North East – Andrew Nichols (on their behalf)
- This region has been in place for 12 months.
- The hub is provided by Kings Secure Technology.
- Following the AGM, at a recent Consultative Board, Andy Davis, CSyP was appointed Chairman for this region.
Scotland – David McCrinnon
- Established in 2013 in preparation for the Commonwealth Games and now a mature region. From 1st Jan, there have been 46 new registrations, including Nationwide.
- There was support provided around the Extinction Rebellion days of action in Edinburgh on how to protect and prepare your business.
- The major incident at Glasgow School of Art placed massive pressure on the town centre. CSSC Scotland was able to send messages out and support cordons. It took 24 to 26 hours to get under control.
West Midlands – Barrie Millet
- It has been challenging to establish this region, but they are now making serious inroads. It’s all about partnerships: including regional policing and business.
- There is a strong regional board; the hub is provided at Severn Trent Water.
- There are quarterly board meetings, regional events, 171, ISLs, five local BIDs represented, active regional messages, quarterly newsletters.
Sir David Veness
Sir David concluded that the CSSC is now a truly national safety and security initiative and has moved away from wishing and hoping to a more business-like structure. There is not a massive machine and it needs to raise funding by donations.
He noted the sheer number of ISLs and how this local activity is a ‘force multiplier’. Also, he was gratified to see that CSSC regions are the same as CT units, with business crime having the same regions too. He concluded with his areas of particular note from the presentations:
- Prevent – we need to think very carefully about the business contribution.
- Increase liaison with JSARC – in particular, the intelligence sharing platform; he is confident we will have even better partnership with input from Pool Re.
- Private sector – we need to develop this term. Perhaps ‘non-public sector’ – terrorism has no borders. We need to recognise the role of faith and business.
For more updates on the CSSC, see related category of articles: CSSC Article Category