Business Crime Conference highlights importance of collaborative approach to crime-fighting

Left To Right: James Kelly, Fraser Halliday, Simon Gordon, Assistant Chief Constable Allyn Thomas, Professor Martin Gill

Closer Police and industry partnership to fight business crime and deliver effective Olympic security were some of the themes that delegates were treated to at the inaugural Business Crime Conference held in Surrey on the 30th of November.

The event, organised by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) in partnership with Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Kent and Thames Valley Police forces, and in conjunction with the Federation of Small Businesses, aimed at providing advice and guidance to key decision-makers from a range of industries and business sectors, including local authorities, retailers, blue chip companies, SMEs, health authorities, facilities managers, consultants and the police.

During this free-to-attend event, formally opened by Superintendent Matt Bristow of Surrey Police, delegates and exhibitors heard from a number of key police and industry representatives as part of a comprehensive seminar programme:

  • Fraser Halliday – from event sponsor Securitas Security Services Ltd, opened the seminar programme highlighting the importance of collaboration – between Police, the security industry and businesses – to overcome commercial crime
  • Assistant Chief Constable Allyn Thomas – from Kent Police and former ACPO Lead on Business Crime – spoke about some of the challenges faced by the Police in dealing with today’s Changing Business World, including considerable cuts to Police budgets and continuing economic challenges, the development of less predictable patterns of disorder and the growing importance of ensuring a social media presence
  • Professor Martin Gill – from Perpetuity Group – presented an initiative in association with Secured by Design aimed at encouraging businesses and organisations to run security more effectively and focus on essential areas of business activity
  • Mark Beale – Crime Prevention Coordinator at the Metropolitan Police Flying Squad – proved how closer transparency and collaboration between police and industries can greatly impact on reducing the incidence of crime in affected industries, drawing examples from the work carried out by the Safe Bet Alliance in London
  • Chief Inspector Colin Green – Community Relations Team, ACPO/MPS Olympic and Paralympic Policing Coordination (OPC) – spoke about Policing and security at the Olympics, and encouraged businesses across the UK to make use of the advice available to plan security during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

The day was an all-round success despite unplanned motorway closures affecting the route to the venue and the National Strikes across the UK’s public sector.

“The subject of today’s conference, business partnership against crime, [..] has come out very strongly today,” commented speaker Fraser Halliday. “It is all about collaboration, between the security industry, businesses and the Police. […] and I think the event has gone down absolutely superbly.”

Adam Chandler, from a BSIA company exhibiting at the event, commented: “From an exhibitor’s point of view, the event provided us with the potential to make some very good contacts from the police force as well as from the business community. Whilst we came to support the BSIA and showcase our products, we attended the seminars too and found them greatly insightful with an exceptional selection of speakers.”

James Kelly, Chief Executive of the BSIA, chaired the event and said: “The first Business Crime Conference was a great success and gave delegates a deeper understanding of the many security challenges businesses face in today’s environment.

“We were very lucky to secure such a high calibre of experts for the seminar programme. Each speaker provided the audience with an insight into the importance of a closer partnership between the Police and the commercial and security sectors, to reduce the incidence of business crime and keep staff, goods and premises protected. A diverse range of exhibitors was also on hand throughout the day, showcasing the wide array of security measures and initiatives available to keep businesses safe.

“I would like to thank our partners – the Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Kent and Thames Valley Police forces – the Federation of Small Businesses and the event’s sponsor – Securitas Security Services Ltd – for helping us making the day such a success.”

Jamie Robinson, Force Crime Reduction Advisor from Surrey Police, echoed the positive feedback and concluded: “From a Police perspective the event was a great success and the attendance from so many delegates highlighted the benefits of organising an event in partnership with the BSIA, FSB and our police colleagues from across the South East region. The seminar was extremely topical and informative and this coupled with the security exhibition will significantly contribute to reducing the potential impact of crime on all of the businesses in attendance.”

For more information about how to keep your business safe, or to find out about upcoming events, visit the BSIA’s website .