Airport-Style Scanners in Schools a Step too Far, says Security Expert
Better cooperation between schools and the police is the best way to prevent a recurrence of last month’s fatal stabbing of a teacher, says the CEO of a leading integrator.
Ann Maguire was stabbed to death in front of horrified pupils at Corpus Christi Catholic College just weeks away from retirement.
But Chris Percy, CEO and founder of Direct Security Integration Inc and DirectCCTV.co.uk, said that subsequent calls for airport-style security, which is already commonplace across the Atlantic, were an overreaction.
“We don’t think that the UK has an appetite for introducing US-style security in schools and we can understand why,” said Percy. “We have introduced numerous security systems into schools and we don’t think airport-style scanners answer the problem.
“If you keep with the comparison with airports, more than 99% of problems are identified by the police long before people get to the airport. The same should be true in schools.”
Intelligence gathering and sharing between schools, the police and other relevant parties, should instead be the priority, Percy argues.
“Rather than introduce airport style scanners I would like to see far closer cooperation between schools and the police. The police usually know who the dangerous children are and if they worked with the school, issues could be averted before a tragedy happened. Scanners can be cheated if the child is determined.
“Schools should be able to focus on education, scanners and other intrusive security can create the wrong environment.”
There is a place in school for technology of the less intrusive kind, suggests Percy. “I do believe in access control and CCTV,” he said.
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