UK Security Protects Global Business Expansion
In February 2014, the Home Secretary launched the first Government Security Exports Strategy. This is a joint initiative by UKTI’s Defence and Security Organisation (UKTI DSO) and the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT) at the Home Office.
The UK has gained a strong reputation internationally for its security expertise. The Government lists a number of reasons for this including, “Our agencies and police are amongst the best in the world; our strategies for tackling terrorism and crime are well regarded.”
The UK is noted too for the level of cooperation between the private security sector and the police and other agencies – not least through such forums as the City of London Crime Prevention Association.
The latest Government initiative recognises that “achieving a significant increase in security exports is important to industry as well as to the UK’s National Security Strategy. Security exports facilitate security cooperation and contribute to our prosperity”.
UK service providers that offer full guarding, CCTV monitoring, investigations and investigations services across Europe are increasingly in demand by UK clients to support their overseas expansion. For the user this ensures consistency in operational processes and systems, to maintain common standards across the organisation.
Also, UK providers are seen as more independent than indigenous service providers and less prone to local influence – such as from criminal gangs. This is particularly the case for businesses that want to realise new commercial opportunities in the EU accession states, quickly and securely.
The Bribery Act 2010 probably reinforces the UK’s standing because of the trans-national application of the Act for UK companies. Described as “the toughest anti-corruption legislation in the world”, it allows for the prosecution of an individual or company with links to the United Kingdom, regardless of where the crime occurs.
New opportunities are presented by the range of security systems and processes that can now be operated remotely over IP (Internet Protocol) from the UK, particularly with improvements in national telecoms networks globally.
This is achievable through the service provider that can monitor and manage premises, staff and vehicle fleets remotely through an intelligence network from a UK control centre. Almost any system that is web-enabled can be supported remotely – including not only security but other building services, such as lighting and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning). This contributes considerably to the total return on investment.
The range of services and signals monitored can include: CCTV, staff time and attendance, vehicle tracking, access control and lift, RFID tags and fire and intruder alarms. The security centre can despatch local emergency response teams 24-7, and deploy security staff daily, based on business needs, recorded incidents and the risk profile of each site location.
Protecting areas of vulnerability
Logistical chains and movement of goods in particular present a major area of vulnerability, both from the threat of hijacking as well as criminal collusion with drivers. Remote monitoring with GPS and two-way communication enables the intelligence centre to track delivery vehicles from the warehouse to the retail outlet, with the arrival viewed on live CCTV.
Remote monitoring and security-assisted deliveries have proven to offer major cost savings for retailers by reducing the size of teams required for delivery and receiving goods, and also achieving faster turnarounds – particularly at night and in remote locations.
Internal alarms in access areas and loading bays can be switched off from the control centre and illuminated, whilst a ‘man down’ device offers additional worker protection during unloading. The process is reversed and the area locked down securely when the delivery is completed.
An intelligence network of this kind also enables a wealth of data to be collected and mined centrally. This includes information not only on security related issues, but also on footfall and space occupancy for marketing and other purposes, which all contributes to the return on security investment.
In conclusion, the availability of web-based security technology is enabling retailers and corporates operating overseas to benefit directly from UK’s expertise in the sector cost-effectively. For a copy of the “UK Exporters’ Security Report” E: firstname.lastname@example.org
International Security Strategy Tips
The following tips can help security managers to protect multiple properties in international territories:
- Understand the risks: assess the risk profiles of the key stages of your business processes in each country – they will almost certainly vary from one territory to another.
- Centralise or localise? An overarching international strategy is required, with ‘ownership’ at board level. ‘Tactical’ decision-making at country-level can then take account of local conditions and security needs – but consider point 3.
- Monitoring and management: the deployment of security services over IP from the UK offers a high level of management control and protection from one central location – such as for CCTV monitoring, access control and alarm monitoring.
- Find a security partner: there is usually a steep learning curve for each new country, so seek out a specialist services’ provider experienced in overseas markets.
- Be prepared to ‘trouble-shoot’ at short notice: be ready to fly to the location to resolve problems directly. Ensure regular security audits and vulnerability testing – and test purchasing for retail operations.
Simon Chapman, Managing Director, Lodge Service