Thought leaders from police and security associations look ahead to 2015
In our winter edition at the end of 2014, we asked senior officers from a range of security organisations for their views on security in 2015: What should be the main priorities for those developing and delivering security? What barriers are there to overcome to deliver effective security? What do you see as the emerging trends and opportunities for all those working in security in 2015?
The following security thought leaders gave us their thoughts:
- Don Randall, MBE, Chair, City of London Crime Prevention Association
- Adrian Leppard, QPM, Commissioner,City of London Police (at time of writing)
- Paul Crowther, OBE, Chief Constable, British Transport Police
- Iain Livingstone, Deputy Chief Constable, Police Scotland
- Ron Dobson, CBE QFSM, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRN(E)) Lead Chief Fire Officers Association (at time of writing)
- Emma Shaw, MBA, Chairman, Security Institute (at time of writing)
- Michael Stack, CEO, ASIS International (at time of writing)
- Sue Seaby, Chair, Women’s Security Society (at time of writing)
- James Kelly, Chief Executive, British Security Industry Association
- Sir David Veness, CBE QPM, Chairman Executive board, London First
Don Randall, MBE, Chair, City of London Crime Prevention Association
The considerable threat to our safety posed by the terrorist activity linked to Islamic State, not least with the dangers of British jihadists returning to the UK, continues to be headline news. The proposed increased legislation to deal with potential terrorists returning to the UK from the conflicts in Syria and Iraq highlights how international events can be brought to our shores. Taking this threat into account must be a priority for all those working in security.
Criminals will always strive to be a step ahead and take advantage of any opportunities available to them. As one gap is filled, they will be searching for the next. This means information technology provides a whole range of opportunities, from the criminally minded computer skilled individuals through to state actors and serious/organised crime. For business and individuals, the vigilance to combat cyber crime must remain constant.
In 2015 CSSC will continue to provide crucial security-related information to an audience in excess of 8.5million businesses in less than 30 minutes. This is an outstanding achievement and a testament to the commitment and dedication of all those involved. In 2014, Project Griffin celebrated 10 years. It continues to educate, inspire and bring together those from the security world with law enforcement to enable a highly acknowledged public/private partnership.
Initiatives such as CSSC and Project Griffin identify the strength and reach of partnership working. Next year and beyond, these partnership initiatives provide a blueprint for joint ventures and show that partnership working is imperative for continued success.
The Security Industry continues to offer interesting, challenging and exciting career opportunities and daily becomes ever more professional, with a range of training, qualifications and opportunities; the Chartered Security Professional Standard being the pinnacle qualification.
Adrian Leppard, QPM, Commissioner,City of London Police (at time of writing)
Everyone will have noticed the increase in the terrorist threat level and we should all be extra vigilant as a result. The square mile has long been a target for terrorism and our tactics have developed as the threat has changed over the years.
Many of you will have seen my officers working alongside security staff from the business community on high visibility patrols across the city. These Project Servator deployments will continue and I would urge all security staff to get involved with my officers.
I am confident that this partnership can help reduce the threat and ensure the square mile remains safe from crime and terrorism.
The nature of security is changing dramatically with the rapid increase in online technology and the potential for remote attacks due to our increasingly online world. The police service and the security industry are having to grapple with ever more sophisticated methods used to commit cybercrime. This challenge will not go away and will only increase in the years to come and I urge every business to take this threat seriously. I have called for a national fraud and cyber crime campaign to educate everyone against this increasing threat. It is only through education that we will arm the public as well as the business community with the necessary skills to prevent cybercrime.
Paul Crowther, OBE, Chief Constable, British Transport Police
Terrorism, by its very nature, is unpredictable but our people are our greatest asset and their skill in remaining observant, and reacting to incidents in a calm, professional and proportionate manner, is vitally important if we are to meet the challenge of providing a safe rail environment which is not governed or driven by fear.
World events portrayed in the media, both traditional and particularly digital, continue to have an influence on the threats we face and the perception of risk, and keeping pace with them is one of our biggest challenges. However, it is not a challenge met by police alone.
Encouraging everyone, rail passengers and staff alike, to be vigilant is vital if we are to continue to work to prevent atrocities, but it must be proportionate. We need to get the balance right and ensure people don’t become complacent and immune to the events and issues around them. Yet we must achieve this whilst not increasing fear, which could, inadvertently, help terrorists. Either extreme can ‘do the terrorists’ job for them’.
Nearly 10 years on from the 7/7 attacks in London, all who are concerned with protecting the public from further acts of terrorism need to remain focused on the task. Sharing knowledge, experience and good practice through training, exercising and working together is key to keeping one step ahead of a potential attack.
Iain Livingstone, Deputy Chief Constable, Police Scotland
I hear it said, many times, that the biggest barrier to improving protective security is the challenging financial climate that we all have to operate within. There is no denying this is an issue, but it also presents an opportunity to focus on arguably the single biggest threat to our collective security – COMPLACENCY.
Effective security is about understanding the basic premise that security is first and foremost everybody’s responsibility. In this respect a fundamental part of developing and maintaining a good security culture is understanding that security procedures need not be seen as a set of rules imposed upon us but rather as standards intended to keep us safe in today’s threat environment.
Standards that should be incorporated within your site security plan include guidance on bomb threat management, search and evacuation procedures; how to stay safe in the event of a weapons attack; access control procedures; mail handling procedures; and the importance of how and when to report suspicious activity.
This type of security planning is something we can and should all be doing. It makes good business sense and is relevant to all types of criminality. The best bit – it won’t cost you a penny.
Police Scotland is here to support you and further advice around security planning is available from our Counter Terrorism Security Advisors.
Ron Dobson, CBE QFSM, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRN(E)) Lead Chief Fire Officers Association (at time of writing)
On the 29th August the Home Secretary, Theresa May, announced the National threat level had increased to Severe. The increase in the threat level was related to developments in Syria and Iraq where terrorist groups are planning attacks against the West.
Global acts of terror serve on a daily basis as a constant reminder that the threat to the UK from terrorism remains both real and serious. But even if the likelihood of being directly targeted is small, organisations should still do all they can to prepare.
Organisations should consider how they would respond to security threats, not only in an operational context, but also in a protective context.
No single response can provide protection against every type of event. However, a well thought out and regularly reviewed security plan, which is proportionate to the risks faced by an organisation, can help to protect against what could, potentially, result in very significant consequences.
Delivering an effective security strategy requires the commitment of all staff to adopt a security culture. Staff right across an organisation should be fully engaged and understand the part they play.
Given the current threat environment, implementing an effective strategy is more important now than ever before, but it doesn’t need to be complicated!
In an age of competing priorities the sharing of information and best practice in a security context is essential.
Emma Shaw, MBA, Chairman, Security Institute (at time of writing)
These are dynamic and rapidly changing times for Security and the professionals that work within the sector and 2015 will be challenging.
In the fifteen years since the Security Institute was founded the world, from a risk perspective, has become an increasingly complex place. In terms of national and regional security, it seems clear that there is little possibility of a conventional threat in Europe as was the case under the old cold war alignment.
In the main, the current threats to national and individual security arise from socio-economic imbalances in many developing countries. These lead to two main outcomes: firstly, increasing levels of migration and, secondly, the spread of radical ideologies, which in some instances permit groups of extremists to spread terrorism on a global scale. This in turn has led to an increasing national interdependence in the field of security. The diversity of risk and threat is now enormous, the development of the global village effectively means that global threats are now local threats.
These threats are not merely physical: due to the increasing impact of globalisation and the accelerated evolution of accessible information technologies, both individuals and states are increasingly subject to the so-called cyber threat and to the threat presented by disruptive technologies.
In response to these challenges and developments, the Security Institute has launched its manifesto for professional security. Our vision is that the sector as a whole should become recognised, respected and professional. Our manifesto is a call for closer co-operation and collaboration between the professional bodies, the forums and networks within the security sector.
Michael Stack, CEO, ASIS International (at time of writing)
With the many threats confronting security professionals worldwide it is essential to have effective risk assessment policies and procedures to undertake a balanced prioritisation of those risks based on the exposure of a given enterprise, in a given environment, in order to undertake an appropriate level of investment in resources to mitigate the prioritised risk(s). These approaches are well documented in the security industry body of knowledge and supported by universally accepted standards of practice.
The understanding and acknowledgement of executive enterprise management (the C–Suite level), that investments need to be undertaken in risk mitigation before an incident takes place, and that a proactive versus reactive management policy is essential. Frequently security practice is predicated upon senior enterprise executives reacting to an incident as opposed to the aforementioned risk assessment procedures that allow the enterprise to get into the forefront of an effective risk mitigation strategy. It becomes ever more essential that security professionals have the ability to professionally communicate with the top levels of the enterprise in language that they understand and respect. Investment in the present to avoid future threats exposed through effective up-to-date assessment policies, and procedures.
Security is a collaborative effort, requiring that all elements of a given enterprise, not merely the security professionals, participate in identifying current and future risk potential. All plans for risk mitigation should involve other disciplines impacted by risks that are identified in documenting and testing policies and procedures surrounding effective risk management. Security management is a business discipline and requires the recognition and participation of all enterprise elements in order to be effective in the protection of people, property and information, whether it comes from natural, or human threat factors.
Sue Seaby, Chair, Women’s Security Society (at time of writing)
At this time of heightened threat, it is crucial to take a holistic approach and consider all risks to the security of your organisation.
With the media spotlight on cyber crime, bringing with it the corporate focus, remember that a large percentage of cyber attacks begin with a breach of physical security or with an insider. Everyone involved in security should have a good understanding of what’s normal and be alert to any changes in behaviour or normal operation.
It is a challenge to maintain an ongoing awareness of the increased security threat, with attention needed on the ever-increasing range of risks, such as the Ebola crisis and the ongoing impact of budget constraints. By working together, developing an understanding of roles and responsibilities and where security can be integrated, it is possible to continually improve your security response. Include your complete supply chain within your approach.
Many organisations want more females within their security teams, but numbers are still relatively low. A more flexible approach to work would help both men and women.
The time is right to look into working practices and create a better reputation for security roles.
An opportunity to bring more women into security exists as the military downsizes and budget cuts impact police forces. The skills of both the women and men in these organisations often match what is needed in the corporate world.
Of course, they must be realistic about the opportunities open to them but it would help everyone in security to support the integration of this well-trained and experienced group of people.
James Kelly, Chief Executive, British Security Industry Association
Since the UK’s terror threat level was increased from ‘substantial’ to ‘severe’ in August this year, organisations in both public and private sectors have taken a renewed interest in preventative security measures and intelligent solutions.
One of the most important factors ensuring the success of national security – as well as the security of the UK’s businesses, infrastructure and public places – is joint partnership working between all agencies involved. Private security providers continue to play a vital role in this work, and often provide essential support services and state-of-the-art security equipment to police and critical national infrastructure sites.
In the past few years, there have been a number of examples where the private security industry has provided such support, from helping to secure major events like the Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations and the Olympic Torch Relay to providing back-office police support functions on a local level. Projects like the Cross-Sector Safety and Security Communications (CSSC) initiative demonstrate the appetite for closer partnership working on both sides.
In light of the increased terror threat, ensuring that there is a central focal point from which such partnerships can be forged and developed is a crucial next step for these projects as we move into 2015.
The launch of the Police and Security Group (PaS) Initiative in December this year is an important step forward in bringing together the private security industry, the Metropolitan Police and the Mayor of London’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), and signals a new era of closer partnership that will benefit our industry as well as its customers and public sector clients.
Sir David Veness, CBE QPM, Chairman Executive board, London First
Global threat and response developments in 2014 are significant. Four aspects are especially relevant. Firstly, the instability of states allowing the presence of organised crime and permitting high rates of violent offences.
Secondly, expanding violent extremism on a broader agenda. Thirdly, growing economic crime with a shift in the forensic balance between public and private sector defences.
Finally, the weakness of the capacity and capability of nations to address basic issues of security including public health.
These issues are particularly pertinent to those with corporate/NGO/media responsibilities across Europe, Asia (including the Middle East) and Africa. Many such operations are based in London. Staff safety and security is a key priority.
Self-help is essential but is not a comprehensive policy and all available assets should be leveraged including private sector peer groups. The protection of female members of staff, both expatriate and nationally employed, is a vital aspect. For all staff, counter hostage taking measures are critical.
High grade and bespoke hostile environment awareness is increasingly important as is exercising crisis management at all levels.
Effective staff safety and security against the likely threat pattern for 2015 needs greater recognition and integration across corporate structures to ensure that enterprise enthusiasm for emerging markets does not run ahead of the duty of care for those exposed to potential harm.