Looking Ahead to 2016
We asked lead officers from police and security organisations: what do you see as the major threats to security in 2016, in particular from terrorism and cybercrime? What role has the private security industry in the response to these threats? How can partnership working support these efforts?
Below are the responses from:
- Don Randall, MBE, CSyP, Chair, City of London Crime Prevention Association
- Adrian Leppard, QPM, MBA, Commissioner, City of London Police (at time of writing)
- Jon Boutcher, QPM, Mst (Cantab), Chief Constable, Bedfordshire Police
- Paul Crowther, OBE, Chief Constable, British Transport Police
- Paul Hancock, Chief Fire Officers’ Association President and Chief Fire Officer, Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service (at time of writing)
- Garry Evanson, BA, MSc, PgDip, PGCE, CSyP, FSyl, Chairman, Security Institute (at time of writing)
- Godfried Hendriks, MBA, BSc, CPP, RSE, Member of the Global Board of Directors, ASIS International
- James Kelly, Chief Executive, British Security Industry Association
- Andrew Nicholls, MSyI, CSSC Lead
- Sue Seaby, Chair, Women’s Security Society (at time of writing)
- Gloria Laycock, OBE, BSc, PhD, FRSA, Jill Dando Professor of Crime Science UCL
- Sir David Veness, CBE, QPM, Senior advisor, Pilgrims Group (at time of writing)
Don Randall, MBE, CSyP, Chair, City of London Crime Prevention Association
The backdrop to how we deal with security will continue to raise serious concerns in 2016: the increasing sophistication of terrorism, not least with the extensive use of social media to spread its doctrine; the growing strength of ISIL with its barbaric activities, plus the relentless and international threat from cybercrime both to high-profile organisations and SMEs; the increasing pressures on the police, with significant anticipated cuts in public spending and the mass migration in Europe. Terrorists and other criminals are always ready to exploit weaknesses in our defences and we are increasingly being expected to protect everything and everyone from everything all the time.
But far from being pessimistic, I am optimistic that the security world is developing and responding to this ever-growing list of challenges and threats. The importance of a partnership approach cannot be underestimated. All around I see evidence of deepening links between public and private organisations, working together to keep people, businesses and the world at large safe. It is becoming ever more apparent that we must share information, ideas and resources within our partnership structures. The CSSC project is a testament to the enthusiasm and commitment across the security profession. It can reach in excess of 8 million people within 30 minutes. Project Griffin continues to grow in stature and spread with regular events across the nation and the world. As we face 2016, we must refresh and renew our efforts to work in partnership and continually develop our response to the ever increasing and demanding challenges we face.
Adrian Leppard, QPM, MBA, Commissioner, City of London Police (at time of writing)
In 2015 the Crime Survey of England and Wales included questions on fraud and cybercrime for the first time, which added over five million crimes to the national crime statistics. In 2016, there will be renewed efforts from Government and law enforcement, as we partner with the private sector to develop new and effective methods to prevent fraud and cybercrime. Fraud and cybercrime have grown exponentially in the past decade, with much originating overseas and enabled by the anonymity of the internet. If we are to tackle this most pervasive of crimes, we need to ensure the tools to enable businesses and individuals to protect themselves are available and utilised effectively. Partnership working can bring with it challenges alongside its many rewards but it is only through merging the talents and resources of the private and public sector that we will develop innovative approaches to preventing fraud.
I, however, will be watching with interest from the sidelines as this work progresses, having decided to retire from policing at the end of 2015. I have thoroughly enjoyed my five years as Commissioner of the City of London Police and I will look back on my time in the Square Mile with immense pride. It truly is the beating heart of London, the finest City in the world. I’ll leave you in the capable hands of Ian Dyson, currently our Assistant Commissioner, to carry on our fight against fraud and cybercrime.
Jon Boutcher, QPM, Mst (Cantab), Chief Constable, Bedfordshire Police
Many challenges cause me concern but the current threats from terrorism and cyber set against a landscape of unprecedented cuts in policing provide previously unseen challenges for the police service. The progress made in understanding the cyber threat since 2010, when it was defined as a Tier 1 threat in the National Security Strategy, has been somewhat disappointing. More needs to be done and quickly to properly record and describe the cyber threat. I conducted research that found poor recording processes with accurate levels of cybercrime not being captured by policing or the Home Office. The research found cybercrimes had not been well investigated; we are putting that right across policing. Criminals who we spoke to regarded the UK as a safe haven rather than a hostile environment for cyber. Contrary to claims that crime is down, criminals have moved to the Internet and citizens face new risks of being victims of crime that are not recognised or counted by existing recording processes. Cyber presents a game-changing threat that the existing 43 police force structure is not able to tackle effectively or efficiently;
We all need to think more radically if we are to properly tackle cybercrime and terrorism in a period of policing budgets being halved between 2010 and 2015. The last structural changes in policing occurred at the time of the Royal Commission 53 years ago. Officers in the 1960s did not contend on a daily basis with terrorism and cybercrime. I lead a police force that has been inadequately funded for 10 years compared with others yet has unprecedented terrorism and crime threats only rivalled by Metropolitan Forces. By tackling such threats in Bedfordshire we protect London as well as our local communities. Any other profession would have changed its shape and structure to provide a modern response to changing threats and expectations from the public.
We need structural reform of the service to tackle these issues.
Paul Crowther, OBE, Chief Constable, British Transport Police
There can be little doubt that the threat to the UK from terrorism remains very real. But our experiences in living through the possibility of extremist action for several years have allowed us to develop plans and strategies to counter such threats.
Working with the rail industry – and those whose businesses fall within our footprint – we have sought to target-harden against terrorist activity and have developed specific training for those same people to ensure they are not only aware of the threat, but also a key asset in potentially identifying those who may pose a threat to the security of the railway.
This is where, I believe, the private security industry has a significant role to play.
BTP’s resources are finite and, though we would like to be at all stations at all times, this is simply not possible. The private security sector can, therefore, act as the eyes and ears of the rail network, plugging the intelligence gaps that any police force – not just BTP – could not hope to fill.
Through specific training, delivered by BTP’s specialist officers, we can ensure that staff are fully equipped – through behavioural training and finely tuned patrol strategies – to actively monitor those using the railway and bring to our attention those few individuals who may pose a threat to the security of the network.
Paul Hancock, Chief Fire Officers’ Association President and Chief Fire Officer, Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service (at time of writing)
2016 will see all areas of the public sector facing significant further budget cuts – the fire service, police and security services. Once we know how deep these go, the question will be what services will be able to do to mitigate them while also maintaining our capabilities.
Collaboration is clearly going to be one of the significant ways services look to save money, and the government is looking to drive greater joint working between emergency services, in particular between fire and police. We expect the new flexibilities allowing greater collaboration to be in place by the first half of 2016, but how widely they are implemented and whether they impact on other successful partnerships – such as between fire and health – will remain to be seen. Existing collaborative efforts such as JESIP will continue and services across the country are already working more closely and sharing resources and staff to ensure that resilience remains robust despite the need for ongoing efficiencies.
Garry Evanson, BA, MSc, PgDip, PGCE, CSyP, FSyl, Chairman, Security Institute (at time of writing)
Key challenges facing security professionals in 2016 will continue to be threats to critical infrastructure, key resources, national leadership figures, commercial organisations and major events from terrorist attacks and other hazards. Increasingly we will see threats from cyberspace converging with traditional threat channels. Whilst this latter does not ordinarily carry with it the threat of physical harm or death, the capability of cyberattack to disrupt national, organisational and commercial infrastructure becomes more significant year on year.
Cybercrime costs are climbing for companies globally, with a large number of high-profile breaches in 2015. A study by the Ponemon Institute in the US puts average annual costs of cybercrime per large company at $15.4 million, up 19% on the 2014 figure. I see, therefore, a significant opportunity that the security profession and all we practitioners must seize – to change the way security is perceived as a cost centre and instead move it towards recognition as a real source of competitive advantage within an organisation. This shift in perception can be enjoyed by all sectors and elements of the profession but requires a paradigm shift in the way we offer our services, with emphasis not on cost but on delivered, measurable value.
Godfried Hendriks, MBA, BSc, CPP, RSE, Member of the Global Board of Directors, ASIS International
There are no signs that criminal and terroristic threats will be declining in 2016, which means that we should further intensify the cooperation between public and private parties globally. Our adversaries are often unbounded so our protective approach needs to be transnational but also more proactive and more creative. At the same time, we should further develop and expand the many successful local public-private partnerships in the prevention of crime and terrorism, and make sure that we share these best practices internationally.
Additionally, I see many opportunities in the further development and introduction of new and improved technology and methods. Large scale mobile phone and social media monitoring can detect the preparation of attacks and ensure early detection and response, especially when combined with advanced video analytics with behavioural analysis. Predictive and protective security intelligence and predictive profiling methods will enable us to focus on those who are more likely to pose a threat.
At the same time, security professionals need to make sure that security adds value to their organisation and society. The ASIS Foundation published ground-breaking research on security metrics in 2014, providing security practitioners with powerful resources to measure and demonstrate the value of the security function. We should strive to achieve security excellence by doing the right things and doing things right.
James Kelly, Chief Executive, British Security Industry Association
The past year has seen many changes take place affecting the UK’s private security industry, from the impact of a new Government and changing legislation to developments in standards and best practice. Looking forward to 2016, I expect to continue driving forward a number of important industry issues.
Firstly, through its lobbying and campaigning efforts, the BSIA will work with Government to gain clarity on the future of the regulatory arena for the private security industry. Attending political party conferences in Autumn 2015, the Association has already outlined its requirements and expectations – on behalf of the private security industry – to the Rt Hon Mike Penning MP, who is responsible for regulation.
As part of this activity, the Association will work closely with the Security Industry Authority on the development of the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) and the possibility of complementing the existing scheme with higher quality hallmarks.
Recognising the impact that public sector expenditure cuts are having on the Police and other public services has highlighted the need for the Association to continue championing the industry as a key service delivery partner to police forces across the country. The BSIA will continue to drive this through the successful Police and Security (PaS) Initiative, in association with the Mayor of London’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and the Metropolitan Police.
On the electronic side of the industry, priorities include continuing to lobby for pan-European certification, further campaigning for the expansion of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Code of Practice to cover privately owned systems and the expansion of Lone Worker services outside the UK. Through the Association’s involvement in Euralarm, it will also continue to influence CENELEC on the speeding up of the standardisation process in developing European standards.
Promoting UK security exports will continue to be an important role of the Association. As the UKTI Approved Trade Organisation for the security industry, the BSIA will assist British companies to exhibit at overseas trade shows including Intersec Dubai, IFSEC Southeast Asia and Security Essen.
Finally, the BSIA will continue to educate security buyers on the importance of procuring security goods and services on the basis of quality rather than initial purchase price. This will help end users to avoid the many potential pitfalls of the procurement process and avoid the hidden costs of choosing lower quality solutions. In relation to this, providing the industry with the tools to promote itself as a vital facet of any business and to consider the provision of security services in the context of the wider facilities management and health and safety drivers, will be a key priority.
Andrew Nicholls, MSyI, CSSC Lead
The challenges for security management in the next year will certainly be demanding. Business is increasingly under pressure to justify all costs and at the same time ensure that the necessary precautions are in place. The threat of terrorism across the world has become almost part of our daily lives and in the event of any emergency people will always turn to the security function for their help.
The threat of terrorism is something that every organisation must be prepared for. The reality is that every day in every way our defences are being tested and we simply won’t be successful unless every employee knows that they have a part to play. Security management is increasingly about sharing the security message. Good communication is therefore key and the use of the company intranet is just as important for security as it is for other matters.
Being a security professional is all about knowledge and experience. One way of achieving this standard of excellence is by joining an organisation such as The Security Institute which will help you achieve the necessary qualification. There is now increased pressure on all authorities and with the inevitable reduction in police officers, then the role of security will continue to become more important than ever. Joining up the with Cross-sector Safety and Security Communication process is a very efficient and free way of keeping fully up to date with essential security information.
Sue Seaby, Chair, Women’s Security Society (at time of writing)
For many of us, looking ahead to 2016 involves meticulous calendar planning: When will we launch our new service? What are the board meeting dates? When does Easter fall this year? But, unlike these fairly predictable dates, we don’t know when a terrorist incident or a cyber attack may take out a critical part of our business. This is one of the main challenges for us in security: keeping a high-level of focus on all parts of our service 24/7 throughout the whole of 2016, at a time of a continuing heightened threat level and increasing complexity.
We do know that world events continue to influence what may happen here. The war in Syria gets ever more complex, and continuing problems in the rest of the Middle East, not least the mass movement of people, and the increasing sophistication and power of ISIL are concerning situations that will influence events in 2016.
In addition, police budgets decrease and other public sector cuts are made, so the reliance on the private security industry increases. In response to this, I believe we must continue to extend the diversity of people working in security and develop the skills of everyone involved by sharing best practice and knowledge. In 2016, I am certain the WSS will continue work in partnership with enthusiasm and commitment, continuing to bring our considerable experience and expertise to support the police and other security partners. And, by the way, Easter 2016 is 26th March.
Gloria Laycock, OBE, BSc, PhD, FRSA, Jill Dando Professor of Crime Science UCL
Generally speaking crystal balls don’t work; when we look ahead we are often wrong. That said, there are a few good bets for 2016. Terrorism will remain a threat, cyber crime will get worse, and if we are lucky, ‘regular’ crime (burglary, car crime, theft) will continue on the downward trajectory. And the solution to the crime problem will increasingly be seen to lie in the private sector rather than with the police.
It is the better design of goods, services and management systems that will prevent crime. Imagine how much safer we would be if the Internet had been designed with crime prevention in mind rather than evolved with no thought to the crime consequences? The idea that chasing after criminals can reduce crime is fading fast.
That does not, of course, mean that we can ditch the criminal justice system or continue to reduce the resources on policing. They are necessary to the delivery of justice, retribution and, in some circumstances, to deterrence. But the best way to reduce the number of crimes committed is to design crime out. That should be the focus of 2016, and for quite a few years beyond.
Sir David Veness, CBE, QPM, Senior advisor, Pilgrims Group (at time of writing)
The year of 2016 presents a compelling and beckoning opportunity to advance partnership and co-operation to enhance international and national security. The imperatives are the persistence of unresolved conflict and the consequence of the mass movement of people escaping violent extremism. Recent history has been defined by geographic locations of instability which have endured and markedly deteriorated. New layers of tension and complexity add to the intractability of these crises.
Closely connected to these imperatives are continuing trends which have further evolved during 2014/15. The spread of terrorist groups, directed plots, recruitment of foreign fighters, inspired attacks and the expansion of terrorist methodology have been exacerbated by co-operative deficiencies. Transport in all forms is a persistently vulnerable target.
A similar rationale applies to organised crime, the cyber threat and the malaise of corruption.
Partnership and co-operation has resonance at international, regional, national and local (including city) tiers. Mankind has never ever possessed such a map of conflict resolution and security structures and mechanisms. Successful action by these assets is assisted by clear recognition of risks, realisation of the benefits of mutual action and practical operational initiatives. Mobilisation is hindered by failure to think beyond organisational boundaries.
The UK, especially London, has a commendable range of productive partners. These include an excellent wider corporate (plus business representative organisations) record of engagement, world class private sector security expertise, innovative public/private initiatives and leading global centres of relevant academic research and innovation.
The agenda of understanding risk, enlightened co-operation and positive actions is key for 2016. It will be driven either by wise prevention or belated response.