Just prior to Christmas, The Lowry in Manchester was the venue for another conference organised by Reliance Security and aimed squarely at security professionals.
Presenters included a range of security industry experts, offering their advice, knowledge and a detailed insight into their experiences.
Simi Bath (assistant director of strategy and change management at the Security Industry Authority) gave an update on how the SIA has managed the licensing process to date.
In total, the Regulator has dealt with approximately 350,000 licence applications per month, working out at an average 15,000 every month. Bath stated that, on average, a licence application is processed within 16 days of receipt.
47,000 individuals have now been removed from the industry as a result of regulation, of whom 1,462 applicants posed a “clear and serious threat” to the public.
Bath went on to explain that ministers have tasked the SIA with putting forward a plan to achieve a phased transition to a new regulatory regime. Planning is underway, and the SIA is working to a number of milestones to achieve a smooth transition (but, as previously reported on SMT Online, it’s not expected that any significant changes will take place before the Olympic Games in 2012).
The phased transition to the new regime will then take place. Subject to agreement, the transition could be completed by 2014.
Risk calculation and communication
Ken Livingstone, director at Perpetuity Training, then gave a thought-provoking insight into how security managers and others calculate risks and how some risks are visible to some and invisible to others.
Livingstone said: “All actions have consequences. Each time we embark upon a course of action we are balancing risks based upon our understanding and view of the world. We’re calculating both desirable and undesirable outcomes.”
He went on to explain: “You should never assume that the risk you see is obvious to others. Don’t believe that simply by explaining the risk you will convince your audience it’s real.”
Livingstone highlighted that the need for risk communication should be targeted to the values of Stakeholders.
Video analytics: a perspective from Honeywell
UK marketing leader for Honeywell, Daniel Wan, then presented on the benefits of video analytics.
Several studies of CCTV operations have noted that operatives can miss several incidents on CCTV after just 12 minutes of monitoring several cameras. The benefits of video analytics include:
- converting mass video data into more useable information
- the ability to detect, track and alert only key incidents
- the fact that they change video from a reactive to a proactive tool
However, it’s important to run trials on sites to ensure analytics will be suitable, which can be carried out by the appropriate provider.
Perimeter protection is one of video analytics’ core strengths as analytics can use existing cameras and false alarms are significantly reduced compared to motion detection and other beams.
Wan stated that the cost of analysing all UK surveillance footage is estimated at GB pound 1.25 billion. Video analytics can automate the process of examining footage, and can save up to 90% of the cost.
Counter-terrorism update from Greater Manchester Police
Nigel Brown, the counter-terrorism security advisor at Greater Manchester Police, offered seminar delegates a useful outline of police approaches to combating local terrorism threats.
Brown stated that the police and National Counter-Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) have removed the ‘cloak and dagger’ image that existed for so long. They now work with the active participation of the security industry, businesses and members of the public as a whole to prevent, detect and deter terrorism in the UK.
He stated the threat level of international terrorism to the UK remained at ‘Severe’meaning that an attack is highly likely. We’re currently just one level below the highest possible level, that of ‘Critical’.
“These threats are real, ongoing and will not go away,” warned Brown, who then mentioned that the threat of Irish-related terrorism on the UK mainland is “substantial”.
He went on to describe the various attack methods that have been used by groups with links affiliated, or ideology similar to that of Al Qaida.
Mass casualties and media coverage are the main aims of these groups. No warnings of an attack are given. In order not to arouse suspicion, those who commit these acts of terrorism are trained to ‘blend in’.
Brown strongly recommended anyone in the UK with a responsibility for security should attend a Project Griffin or Project Argus event as soon as possible. These events will give further guidance on vehicle-borne IEDs, evacuation planning and hostile reconnaissance.
Brown also stated that a self-assessment tool for companies to reduce their vulnerability of terrorism is now available. Security managers can use this confidential tool to help protect their business and employees.
Log on to the National Counter-Terrorism Security Office website (a link is provided on the right hand panel of this page) or contact your local Counter- Terrorism Security Advisor for more information.
Business resilience and terrorism
Richard Bingley, the CEO at City Security Resilience Network (CSARN), discussed risks to the financial well-being of companies. These risks include terrorism as well as extremist political violence and cyber attacks.
Bingley stated that Western companies who have bases and interests in many parts of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East face medium-to-high risk of threat. This threat also applies to staff and business travellers.
After the 7/7 attacks, London lost approximately GB pound 500 million in potential tourism trade. ‘The Troubles’ had a significant business impact in Northern Ireland from 1969 through to the mid-1990s, with some studies showing that growth in Northern Ireland slowed significantly (reportedly by as much as 40%) when compared to the rest of the UK.
After the 1996 bombing in Manchester, 40% of those businesses directly impacted within a half mile radius of the explosion did not continue in business. Some insurance claims took several years to pay out.
As a result, such attacks demonstrate the importance the right location of evacuating/invacuation safeguards.
Bingley also highlighted the lessons that businesses could learn from the 9/11 Commission Report. Most notably, he quoted directly from the report: “The responsibility for preparedness rests with the CEO and the Board of a company. Companies should have full evacuation plans in effect, and these must be practiced by everyone – whatever the cost – at least once or twice a year.”
Before the 9/11 atrocity, Morgan Stanley was the only large company to carry out regular staff-wide evacuation drills since the first World Trade Centre attack in 1993 (and most of its staff members survived).
CSARN works with business and the police in the UK to distribute the twice-monthly CSARN Business Risk Monitor which analyses and reports risks to the UK and Eire from terrorism, political violence, extremism and cyber attacks. To subscribe, send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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