Security conference of the year (SCY’10)

Insafe International Ltd held its fourth Security Conference of the Year (SCY’10) on 22nd April at the prestigious Mercedes-Benz World conference centre within the legendary Brooklands banked circuit, the birthplace of British Motor Racing. Opening the event, SCY co-founder and conference facilitator Alan Townsend, welcomed over eighty delegates from numerous industry sectors including representatives from financial institutions, retail, cash in transit, insurance and travel industries.

Alan outlined the arrangements for the day and explained that SCY was intended to bring delegates a new and stimulating experience to security conferencing.  He explained that Insafe’s ambition was to provide delegates with essential and topical security themes, delivered by the finest speakers and at a great venue.  He said, “The annual SCY series of conferences is delegate driven with the subjects chosen by you.  Insafe is committed to ensuring that this event will continue to be the Security Conference of the Year.” Six of the UK’s top speakers in the area of security provided perceptive presentations on a variety of issues including meeting the challenge of cash-in-transit security, innovative retail security initiatives, protecting staff and customers in the banking industry and how academia can work in partnership with the security industry.

Gennaro Varriale, Head of Crime & Intelligence for Barclays Bank, provided delegates with an overview of banking crime during the past fifteen years, highlighting the challenges of keeping one step ahead of offenders across the variety of criminal activity that affected financial institutions.  Clearly crime that involved the safety of staff, customers and others using bank premises was of greatest concern and considerable resources were employed to combat this type of offence.

Head of the Department of Colour & Polymer Chemistry, University of Leeds, Professor Long Lin gave a fascinating presentation on Innovation through Collaboration, emphasising the “pros and cons” of academia and industry working in partnership.  There could be pitfalls, but get the combination right and there were significant advantages in working together, particularly in the area of security; recent collaboration included work with the cash-in-transit industry in providing new and exciting technologies.

Catherine Bowen, British Retail Consortium Crime Policy Executive and Philip Hagon QPM, Head of Corporate Security at J. Sainsbury’s gave a joint presentation detailing the industry’s experience in dealing with crime in the retail environment.  Catherine outlined the priorities and challenges of retail crime and how the BRC represented the views of its members to Government, local authorities, the European Union, media and public. 

Philip Hagon gave a fascinating talk on the development of Cooperative Human Security Alliances in these uncertain financial times when there would be reduced Government spending affecting the security of retailers and the public at large.  In order to compensate for reduced Police budgets, his company had developed the Sainsbury’s Neighbourhood Policing Initiative that provides Police patrol bases from thirty-two of their stores.

Resident SCY speaker Andrew Nicholls, Security & Licensing Manager for Mitchells & Butlers, returned to SCY for a third consecutive year and again provided an honest and extremely informative presentation on the challenges of protecting the UK’s largest retail leisure group.  Specialising in theme premises catering for all age groups, he explained that his security team needed to be constantly aware of the ever changing brand and business culture, while continuing to apply sound security principles to protect customers, staff and assets.

Keynote speaker Ian Nisbet, Chief Executive, G4S Cash Solutions UK & Ireland, spoke authoritatively on the need to adopt a holistic approach in tackling cash-in-transit crime.  He pointed out that in 2008, 77% of all European cash-in-transit attacks occurred in the UK and that national, regional and local economies were severely disrupted by the criminal interruption to the cash supply chain.  Ian said that much good work had been done in reducing attacks, but the numbers were still too high and there was a continued need for all stakeholders to work together in developing best practice through co-operation. In concluding the conference Alan Townsend thanked the speakers and delegates for attending.  He said, “The quality of this year’s speakers has been truly exceptional, bringing a wealth of knowledge and understanding that has been shared with us all and I thank them for taking the time to join us at SCY.”

Insafe International Ltd