Adam Bannister

Editor, IFSEC Global

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Adam Bannister is editor of IFSEC Global. A former managing editor at Dynamis Online Media Group, he has been at the helm of the UK's leading fire and security publication since 2014.
February 2, 2016

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Sector Spotlight: Running Security in the Leisure/Hospitality Industries

What kind of challenges do security professionals face in the leisure and hospitality industries?

This question we put to several security experts from across the supply chain.

From OEMs in video analytics and access control to an ex-head of security for a major pub chain and a professor of strategic risk management, specialists in an array of disciplines share their experiences and advice for safeguarding people and assets in sectors that are often prime terror targets.

“The main challenge is the continuous and unrestricted flow of people in and out of a facility”

Professor Alexandros ParaskevasAlexandros Paraskevas, professor of strategic risk management; chair, hospitality management, International Centre for Hotel and Resort Management, University of West London 

When it comes to protection and security in the leisure/hospitality sector the main challenge is the continuous and unrestricted flow of people in and out of a facility. These facilities are also places where people congregate in large numbers, making them prime targets for criminals and terrorists.

The main security products deployed in such facilities primarily concern surveillance and access control – both indispensible for the protection of leisure and hospitality facilities, but not without their weaknesses.

And they cannot substitute the human dimension. They can succeed only in conjunction with the analysis and decision-making that only professional security providers can offer.

The industry’s challenges are increasing exponentially alng with the sophistication of ‘adverseries’, whether criminal gangs, insurgents or terrorists.

Successful terrorist attacks in ‘hardened’ hotels in Kabul, Jakarta, Bamako etc, ‘lone wolf’ active shooter attacks in museums and beaches, the hacking of electronic door locks in hotels, and the various fraud incidents with POS, loyalty card schemes, travel agent commission systems etc demand continuous vigilance and improvement and further elaboration of security technology and intelligence to cope with the security threats of today and tomorrow.

“When I started as head of security and licensing at Mitchells & Butlers it became clear to me that there was no clear strategy”

Andrew NichollsAndrew Nicholls MSyI, deputy chairman, Security Institute; former head of security and licensing, Mitchells & Butlers

Managing security risk in any large retail organisation will always be demanding as the business operation is constantly changing.

The challenge involves the management of two principal areas: people and equipment. For example, do your people understand the correct operation of the equipment you’ve provided? And have you specified the correct equipment to go in the right place?

When I started as head of security and licensing at Mitchells & Butlers it became clear to me that there was no such clear strategy, so I developed a risk-related process for the supply of electronic security systems. For example, we lacked a standard specification for the supply of CCTV digital recorders, so couldn’t compare like for like and see the value that good equipment could bring to the business.

By reviewing the use of five principal digital recorders, not only could we assess the effectiveness of equipment but also substantially reduce costs. This project was the start of building an excellent working relationship with a contractor who now has responsibility for the supply and maintenance of all MAB electronic security equipment across the UK.

Part of this partnership’s success was down to reviewing performance at a monthly business meeting. A great formula it has achieved some great results through a strong partnership with a trusted supplier.

“As ever in the events industry, a major challenge is the short lead-in times”

justine shephard iscJustine Shepherd, head of operations, Integrated Security Consultants (ISC)

The right service for a Christmas party in the City of London is very different to the one needed to protect the public and performers at an event attended by 90,000 people.  We do both.

The scale and detail is very different, yet the aim is the same. Because in addition to providing a first-class service every client wants to be understood and have that applied to everything you do for them.

A key priority is recruitment and training and delivering a strong, clear briefing to staff in advance of the event. It’s also about understanding which roles and environments will best suit your staff.

Some team members’ strengths lie in meeting and greeting, while others are better suited to more tactical roles. Get that right and it will show in how smoothly the event goes, how attendees perceive the event and how your staff deal with expected – and unexpected – situations.

As ever in the events industry, another challenge is short lead-in times.

Any event can face intense scrutiny from press, public and clients – more so than ever now that smartphones can film and share footage online within seconds. In a crisis situation your company’s reputation is at risk in the most public way possible, and your planning, preparation and policies must be completely on point.

“The potential liability for someone injuring themselves on amusement park equipment or falling from a stadium roof after hours can justify the cost of effective perimeter security”

matthew naylor xtralisMatthew Naylor, senior product line manager, video analytics, Xtralis

Reliable perimeter protection technology is ideal for amusement parks, leisure parks and large stadiums, which are prone to unauthorised entry and vandalism. It can detect entry early and deal with threats before damage is done.

The potential liability for someone injuring themselves on amusement park equipment or falling from a stadium roof after hours can justify the cost of effective perimeter security including PIR and video analytics technology. For city-based buildings such as restaurants, gymnasiums, casinos and hotels, video analytics allows detection of loitering near entrances after hours, detection of movement in and around car parks, and monitoring of secluded alleys at times when traffic and pedestrians are scarce.

Parameters and detection areas can be adjusted to suit conditions day and night and analytic algorithms and licences chosen to best meet requirements. Furthermore, PIR technology and video analytics are perfectly matched to video verification, providing monitoring stations with pertinent information in a timely manner to allow effective monitoring of unusual behaviour.

With audio capability, control-room personnel can talk to offenders to defuse situations and disperse them before any harm is done. PIR technology in combination with video analytics combines the advantages of different detection principles to maximise the number of real alarms and minimise nuisance alarms.

“Access control gives an accurate record of who is within the perimeter and occupancy numbers, to guard against intruders and overcrowding and associated dangers”

sarah phillips tdsiSarah Phillips, product and marketing manager, TDSi

With large numbers of people, shared public access and restricted areas (often in a relatively compact location), the leisure and hospitality sector offers a perfect market for modern security suppliers.

Integrating readers with security turnstiles shows how access control can help manage and protect a sports stadium, gym, event hall or venue.

Staff access can be controlled via cards/tokens/biometrics whilst visitors or season ticket holders/members present their passes. This gives an accurate record of who is within the perimeter and occupancy numbers, to guard against intruders and overcrowding and associated dangers.

Anti-tailgating and anti-passback technology is also highly effective, using CCTV and access control to ensure potential criminals/intruders can’t enter secure areas undetected. This prevents ticket fraud and the multiple use of membership, ensuring accurate occupancy monitoring.

These automated systems accurately and reliably help the leisure and hospitality industry combat fraud whilst ensuring the safety of customers and staff.

“A wide variety of hotels are finding peace of mind through the use of barriers, bollards, barricades and crash gates for vehicle-based physical access control at the perimeter”

Greg Hamm delta scientificGreg Hamm, vice president, sales and marketing, Delta Scientific

Every time a terrorist group attacks another hotel Delta Scientific are inundated with calls from hospitality venues around the world.  It doesn’t take a security analyst to figure out that terrorists are now concentrating on soft targets, such as hotels, more than ever.

Keeping visitors safe, shielding structures from accidental or intentional automobile crashes, protecting hotel patrons from suicide car bombers and keeping employees and visitors from harm have always been a concern – today more so than ever.  A wide variety of hotels are finding peace of mind through the use of barriers, bollards, barricades and crash gates for vehicle-based physical access control at the perimeter.

For those areas where a vehicle will never enter, fixed bollards and barriers are the norm.  However, at entrances, barriers that go up and down are needed to let authorised vehicles through.

With today’s smart designs, it’s no longer necessary to choose between form and function with vehicle access protection. Hotels can have them both with designer bollards that can take on any motif and crash gates that match the décor of the rest of the wall.

Designers of vehicle access control equipment are creating secure environments with more compatible and aesthetically pleasing architectural elements.

Free Download: Access control in the connected workplace 2017

Sponsored by HID Global this report will help you to integrate smart building technologies with one another in a range of building types, from offices to industrial premises, it will also help ascertain whether integration is associated with a heightened cybersecurity risk.

Click here to download now

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1 Comment on "Sector Spotlight: Running Security in the Leisure/Hospitality Industries"

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StephenGoodridge
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I have to say this was a little light weight with no real meaty content.

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