Adam Bannister

Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

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.
March 31, 2017

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Critical national infrastructure

Thames Water could have avoided £20m fine with decentralised access authentication, says Abloy UK

Thames Water’s recent record fine for polluting the River Thames could have been avoided with better access control technology, Abloy UK’s head of critical national infrastructure has claimed.

Thames Water was fined more than £20m for pumping 1.4 billion litres of raw sewage into the River Thames. The spills, which took place at four separate sites in 2013 and 2014, caused the deaths of fish and birds.

Addressing Aylesbury Crown Court, Judge Francis Sheridan described the incidents as a “shocking and disgraceful state of affairs”.

A shortage of manpower meant that the company was slow to respond to alarms raised, with one alarm ignored for 37 hours.

Steve Wintle, Head of CNI at Abloy UK, says the company might have dealt with the incident more promptly had access been granted remotely. “We can see from the example of Thames Water that many businesses are under resourced, and this is often how mistakes and accidents can happen,” he said.

“Investment in a system such as CLIQ Connect could have saved a business such as Thames a significant fine – not to mention the cost of negative publicity and the impact this could have on share price.

“By decentralising the authentication of access, the system can act as a secondary confirmation, and access and actions can be double checked, preventing costly incidents such as this.”

IFSEC International is launching Borders and Infrastructure for its 2017 edition. Find out more about this new “show within a show” dedicated to the protection of utilities and other critical national infrastructure, counter terror and border security

Check out Abloy’s access control solutions at IFSEC International, 20-22 June 2017, London ExCeL. You can find Abloy UK on stand C1560. Get your free badge now.

PROTEC2 CLIQ with CLIQ Connect from Abloy UK allows for the remote management of disparate or large electronic master-keyed sites, provides audit trails on locks and padlocks, and allows lost or stolen keys to be invalidated. CLIQ® Connect enables PROTEC2 CLIQ® keys to be activated through a smartphone using Bluetooth 4.0 technology. 

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