What will security look like in ten years’ time?
Have you ever wondered how the provision of security in the UK will look in ten years’ time?
What will we have at our disposal in terms of technology?
How will the role of the security officer change?
In fact, will there even be such a role?
Future of security jobs
According to researchers at Oxford University and Deloitte, about 35% of current jobs are at high risk of computerisation over the next 20 years and high on the list (55th out of 366 roles) is that of the security officer.
This move to a more computerised approach to security will be driven by a number of factors: the pressure on security providers to reduce the cost of delivery in the face of increased labour charges; the potential for a shortage of available manpower for the industry post Brexit; as well as the desire for customers to adopt innovative technologies.
The shortage of manpower in Singapore has accelerated the need to embrace technology. In October 2014, the government there recognised a 25% manpower shortage in the security industry, representing over 10,000 unfilled roles.
Coupled with this were the levels of deployment and expectation placed on security officers that meant the best protection for either customer or officer could not always be provided. This was not through lack of ability or desire, but through the nature of what was expected. Officers are human and, as such, limited by human ability and, of course, subject to human error.
Monitoring a site
How can technology be used to monitor a site; to be everywhere at all times; to provide that definite failsafe link; to provide the smart information that would then be handled appropriately through human intervention?
One possible solution is a mobile command and control centre, equipped with advanced monitoring and wireless communication equipment managed by a team of specially trained security officers.
Wirelessly connected to a cluster of buildings, this system provides security surveillance to these buildings and responds immediately to any security incidents. The combined use of Wi-Fi and TVWS (TV white space) technology allows the team to receive information gained from CCTV as well as various sensors within a building, before providing the appropriate response. The use of a privately designed secured network using TVWS may also act as a defence against the increasing threat of cyber attack.
A patented provision of this kind to an organisation in Singapore that operates over a cluster of fourteen buildings has seen a security requirement for fifteen night-time officers reduced down to just two. The team are fully trained to use the advanced technologies, allowing them to have a specific knowledge of the organisation’s requirements and to swiftly respond to any incidents on site.
Singapore’s Smart city provides a wealth of data from building sensors. Clearly, a number of these are in need of an immediate response. Fire, flood and temperature fluctuations can require swift action to limit any potential damage or disruption. A mobile command and control central equipped with the right communication equipment can become a platform to receive sensor information and respond appropriately. It also means that the homes and condition of vulnerable members of the community can be monitored.
Further advances to a mobile command and control centre include a roof-top UAV launch site and even a security patrolling robot. These are deployed to investigate the nature of any intrusion or incident. Images and information relayed back allow the on-board team to assess and then provide the correct response, while the whole incident is recorded.
The future of security for the UK?
Could this be the future of security in the UK? The solution could add value as well as delivering potentially very impressive cost savings. However, as in Singapore, we may find tradition and a reluctance to change still offer notable resistance.
When we consider that according to a survey conducted by the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and Scottish electrical trade body SELECT,“40% of professionals who protect and manage buildings admit they are ‘unfamiliar’ with the term ‘internet of things’ and that 61% of those polled say they don’t have any plans to ‘evaluate and install connected technology’. the road to change may still be a long one. However, we aim to make that road to change a definite one in the shortest time!
Alan Chua Owner, and John Naughton MD,
Concorde Security Pte