Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

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James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry.James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
October 7, 2022


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IPSA and NUJ collaborate to create guidelines for engagement between private security officers and journalists

Designed to support both journalists and Private Security Officers (PSOs) better understand each other’s roles, the International Professional Security Association (IPSA) and National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have collaborated to produce new guidance for frontline sector professionals.

JournalistMedia-Security-22With frontline journalists and private security officers often experiencing direct engagement and occasional conflict between each other’s duties, the two organisations are aiming to foster improved relationships between the two sectors. Ultimately, it is designed to facilitate the understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities, and how to engage when dealing with incidents in a mutually respectful manner.

It includes information on the UK press card, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) card and advice on practical ways to resolve disputes. It is said to be the first time the security and media industries have collaborated to develop such a guideline.

Access and read the guide for engagement between private security officers and journalists >>

While the vast majority of interaction between press and private security officers is well managed, there are occasions where roles will conflict – a journalist trying to access private property to report on what it is deemed to be a newsworthy event in the public interest, for instance, where a security officer has been clearly instructed to not allow anyone in.

Both organisations believe that there is a gap in resources and education on how engagement could be professionalised and handled with mutual respect, especially when working under pressure.

Natasha Hirst, NUJ vice president, said, “There is no legal requirement for PSOs to receive training on engaging with journalists. We are pleased to be working with IPSA to fill this knowledge gap.

“We have started an essential conversation about the important role of journalists and how best private security officers can respond when journalists seek to document or report on incidents. Equally, our members will gain a better insight into the role of PSOs.

“The guidance provides key tips for verifying each other’s accreditation and resolving disputes. We will continue to work with IPSA to develop further training for PSOs and encourage constructive conversations with employers and contractors responsible for instructing PSOs at work.”

Both the associations worked together for over 12 months to develop this pioneering guide to encourage professional working relationships between private security officers and journalists. The guidance is now available online for free of charge to both sectors.

Una Riley, IPSA Chief Executive, adds: “This has been a ground-breaking collaboration between NUJ and IPSA. We hope this is just a start and that there are more things to come. We are looking forward to further collaboration with the media.”


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