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March 9, 2022


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Thought Leadership Summit 2022

OSPAs Thought Leadership Summit 2022 – Strengthening the relationship between police and the security industry

Chaired by Professor Martin Gill, OSPAs Thought Leadership Summit returned for 2022 at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London, on Thursday 24th February. Speaking at the Summit, retired senior British police officer, Ian Dyson, looked ahead to the future of policing, focusing on improving the relationship between police and the security industry.   

With a career spanning over 40 years, Ian Dyson, Commissioner of the City of London Police, retired from his position earlier this year. At the first Thought Leadership Summit since 2019, Ian discussed the changes that have occurred in the police service since his career began in 1983.

Ian also highlighted the crucial nature of a symbiotic relationship between police and the security industry as cybercrime continues to be one of the fastest growing criminal activities across the world.

He argued that the forces need to look beyond ‘physical crimes’, claiming the role of the police is no longer as straightforward as it once was.

According to Ian, police can often feel as though the world is against them. This was particularly evident during the pandemic, when police were instructed to enforce contradictory and inconsistent COVID-19 restrictions. Partnership with the private security industry is now more important than ever, and professionals need to shift their focus to collaboration as opposed to competition.

During his talk, Ian discussed the increase in demand for police intervention, with the number of 999 calls increasing.

He praised the success of ECHO in reducing that demand and pioneering new ways of working, with over 200,000 intruder and hold-up alarm systems registered with the Metropolitan Police and Essex Police now being transmitted via ECHO’s automated signalling service.

Can security sit in the ‘physical’ world?

Ian argued that security technology can aid the police in their thinking, and discussed his views on the Protect Duty, aiming to make the public safer at publicly accessible locations, believing it will prove to be a great opportunity for the sector.

The Protect Duty argues that it’s important to consider security as a system, a combination of physical and/or behavioural interventions deployed in a complimentary manner to mitigate risks.

The police should be viewing their relationship with the security industry as mutually beneficial, the sector providing them with the means to complete their work to the highest standards with the highest accuracy, Ian explained.

Police and Security Group (PaS) Chair, Geoff Zeilder responded to Ian’s talk, discussing police-industry relations from his perspective.

He underlined the increase in collaboration between the industry and police, using their handling of terror attacks in recent years as an example of successful teamwork, arguing that seminal moments of partnership are positively changing the way things are done in the field.

Moving forward, Geoff argued that the security industry needs to be asking itself: Is there an appetite for collaboration? And, if so, how can we begin to build trust with the police? How can we engage with the police on a more ‘serious’ level? Are we ready to facilitate that change?

The summit also featured talks from Security Industry Authority (SIA) CEO, Michelle Russell, who discussed what the industry can expect from the SIA moving forward, answering the question – what is it realistic to expect from the regulator? A panel of experts also discussed the implications of the Protect Duty and opportunities for the sector, reviewing the consultation and opportunities for improved collaboration to support the broader Protect agenda.

In a recent IFSEC Global webinar, Mark Taylor, General Manager at ECHO (Electronic Call Handling Operations) and David Mair, Manager of Security Systems Unit at the Metropolitan Police, highlighted the importance of implementing ECHO technology as the alarm industry continues to evolve. To watch the webinar on-demand, click here. 

Register today for IFSEC 2023

16-18 May 2023, ExCeL London | IFSEC 2023: Recognising the past, embracing the future

Join thousands of likeminded security and risk professionals at IFSEC 2023 in May, as the UK's largest and longest running security event looks ahead to what's next in the sector as it celebrates its 50th birthday. This year will see the launch of the IFSEC distributor network, while London's new Elizabeth Line makes travel to the venue easier than ever!

You’ll find hundreds of leading exhibitors from the physical and integrated security sector, showcasing all the latest in video surveillance, access control, intruder detection, perimeter protection and software solutions. Join the community and secure your ticket today!


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