Forum Prepares Industry To Challenge Security By Minimising Risk

The recent forum held by manned security specialists, First Security, part of Interserve, allowed industry professionals to share current knowledge around the two topical themes of traveller safety and hostile reconnaissance.

The event, held at Vintners Hall on the 9th May welcomed sixty delegates to partake in industry-focussed discussions and is the second of a continual series of forums held by First Security, to support the exchange of industry best practice.

Traveller safety

Mike ONeill - BSIA Close Protection Chairman
Mike ONeill - BSIA Close Protection Chairman

Speaking on the issues around traveller safety, Mike O’Neill, chair of the British Security Industry Association’s (BSIA) Close Protection Section explained how the traditional boundaries of security are changing.

O’Neill suggested that security is no longer about simply securing a building. The focus needs to be as much about the movement of people – whether in the immediate vicinity or whilst travelling overseas.

This means that the role of the security manager becomes more challenging, as he or she has a duty of care towards personnel working outside the physical office space of a building – so the need for forward planning of associated risk is critical to ensure an organisation remains resilient.

O’Neill advised the industry to make sure that risk assessments for any destinations that an organisation has involvement with are kept up to date. Companies should also ensure that they have the appropriate insurance and liability cover in place, as well as systems that are able to monitor risk in geographical areas and provide incident updates.

Hostile Reconnaissance

Pictured (From left to right): Stuart Hicks, Mike O'Neill, Tony Sanders, John Briggs and Tony Byrne
Pictured (From left to right): Stuart Hicks, Mike O'Neill, Tony Sanders, John Briggs and Tony Byrne

Another key industry concern addressed during the forum was the security implications of managing the threat of terrorist attack.

Stuart Hicks, regional general manager for First Security’s London-based clients, shared his expertise in this area, known as hostile reconnaissance, detailing how patterns of behaviour can make a business predictable and therefore more vulnerable.

He discussed that knowing how terrorists work can help security teams to identify weak areas and breach points in an organisation. For instance, evacuation points are a prime target as they are an area where potentially large numbers of people will congregate. Equipped with this knowledge, security managers can, for example, ensure that refuge points are kept completely clear, using simple tactics such as removing waste bins and keeping trees cut back as much as possible.

Hicks also explained how security should be embedded in an organisation’s culture, with an infrastructure in place to allow personnel the foresight and the means to report suspicious activity.

First Security Website