Project Griffin – National Counter Terrorism initiative takes off at Gatwick Airport
Project Griffin goes from strength to strength at Gatwick Airport. Gatwick is recognised as the lead airport in the country for the project. Detective Sergeant Neville Hay from the Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit (formerly Special Branch) of Ports Policing at Gatwick Airport took over Griffin from their uniform colleagues in 2009 following its introduction in 2008.
Supported by DCI Lorraine Morrison and DI Padwick, it is built on the foundation that had been laid, taking it to another dimension, constantly reviewing and updating their presentation. DS Hay has built a dedicated team around him drawing from the expertise within the department, making use of their knowledge dealing with counter terrorism. Sussex is the only Force in the Country where Project Griffin is delivered by CTIU officers. The news letter they produce has been well received and has been used as a template for Project Pegasus and Project Kraken within Sussex and has been sent to other forces both nationally and internationally.
Working in partnership
DS Hay says, “Griffin demonstrates partnership working at its best.” He has developed partnerships with the airport agencies, the closest being with London Gatwick. The team regularly provides a presentation to students on LGW’s current security induction programme. Partnerships have been forged with British Airways. Some 500 BA staff have attended dedicated BA events, proving so popular there is now a waiting list for these events.
The team has recently formed a partnership with Phil Budgen from OCS, a national company employed within the aviation industry where they deliver an hour’s counter terrorism awareness to the staff at Gatwick. EasyJet and Emirates have also had dedicated presentations from the team; all presentations have included an awareness concerning the active shooter.
Spreading awareness about Project Griffin
The main Griffin airport awareness day is held at the Hilton Hotel in the south terminal every other month. The events are fully booked two months in advance, attended by 70 candidates each time. Karys Hughes, the course administrator, ensures the day’s events run smoothly. Bookings for these days are taken up to four months in advance and there is a waiting list for those wanting to attend the day’s event, which features a buffet served in comfortable surroundings of a Four Star Hotel. Delegates for these events come from all types of employment at the airport, including recently a reporter from Amateur Photographer who wrote a favourable piece on the Gatwick Griffin presentation.
The team has presented to aviation students at Redhill College and held presentations for Olympic training venues, hotels and events in the County of Sussex, organised by the CTSAs. Neville and his team work closely with the PCSOs at the airport and have been involved with the airport hotel management group. Griffin is also featured in the risk assessment for the airport.
CTIU at Gatwick has its own dedicated Cash Investigation Team and has seized cash under the proceeds of crime, a sum of £284,147 from January of this year. The Griffin project has been funded as a direct result of a successful bid for forfeited monies, another fantastic example of team and partnership working. The product delivered by the team has been witnessed by visitors from around the world, including governments and NGOs.
Project Griffin on the world stage
DS Hay has been honoured with presenting the concept of the project and partnership working approach to delegates on the world stage at Passenger Terminal Expo, working alongside Art Kosatka, CEO, TranSecure Inc and Chairperson Brian Engle, Station Manager, Southwest Airlines. The event organiser, Janine McEvilly of UKIP Media and Events, has invited DS Hay to the last three yearly events to speak to delegates at the aviation security conference. Neville informed delegates how Project Griffin works at Gatwick Airport and how it can enhance their security by a partnership approach with little cost.
As a result Neville was invited by Chairperson, Urs Haldimann from the European Civil Aviation Conference Forum (ECAC), to attend its bi-annual security conference forum at its headquarters in Paris. Neville presented to 44 European member states who represented aviation security in their states; present was the EU commission, the USA Transport Security Association (TSA) and delegates from Israel and Africa. This again was a great opportunity to show how Griffin works in the airport environment and was very well received.Neville says that the project has enabled him to show members from the aviation world first hand experience of how Project Griffin works in the aviation environment. He says that it is one of the best community engagement programmes he has been involved in his near 28 years service.
The police need the help of the public and industry to protect the public and pursue individuals involved in crime or terrorism and prepare the organisations by raising their awareness through education. Partnerships are important so we can work together and help one another by the exchange of ideas to promote best practice.
What is the Project Griffin Refresher package?
Originally devised in 2007 as a means by which Griffin attendees would be able to refresh their knowledge gained at an awareness day.
It is an e-learning online modular based package that began with 5 modules, later expanded to 7. The intention is for it to be easily accessible at your workplace or training centre by becoming an accredited centre through Skills for Security.
It is an interactive, easy to use system that should take each delegate between 40 to 60 minutes to complete.
It has recently been reviewed and brought up to date, and there are plans to add further modules over the forthcoming months.
For more information please contact www.skillsforsecurity.org.uk