The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has welcomed the Home Office’s appointment of Stephen Phipson as the new Director of Security Industry Engagement in its Office for Security and Counter Terrorism.
This announcement comes as a result of last year’s publication of a white paper relating to defence and security, entitled ‘New Security Through Technology’, which recommended the creation of a ‘Senior Responsible Owner’ post to coordinate the interaction between Government and the UK’s private security industry.
James Kelly, Chief Executive of the BSIA – the trade body representing over 70% of security firms in the UK – welcomes this appointment for the closer ties it will create between industry and Government. He says: “The appointment of a single point of contact within Government will provide our industry with a greater opportunity to demonstrate its value to a wider range of government departments, while facilitating a more streamlined approach to Government purchasing of security products and services.”
Taking up his post in the early summer, Stephen Phipson – an experienced security industry professional – will also support work across Government, led by UKTI, to promote security exports, a move that is especially welcomed by the BSIA’s Export Council, a forum dedicated to establishing and cultivating relationships between UK security providers and overseas buyers.
John Davies, Chairman of the Export Council, supports this move in light of a recent House of Lords report, which recommended greater Government support for SMEs looking to break into export markets. John comments: “The Export Council of the BSIA welcomes the appointment of Stephen Phipson as Director of Security Industry Engagement at the OSCT. We really appreciated Stephen’s work as the chair of the Security Sector Advisory Group for UKTI DSO. Stephen’s exemplary knowledge of the security industry across the UK and his understanding of government and the Whitehall apparatus, will be a real asset to the security industry and the UK Government’s ambitions to assist the growth in exports from this dynamic sector.”
Closer engagement with Government will also enable the security industry’s expertise to be harnessed more quickly in the delivery and support of the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST, which has had the full support of the BSIA since its inception.
RISC, the UK Security and Resilience Industry Suppliers’ Community – of which the BSIA is a founder member – has also been the leading advocate of close engagement between Government and industry.
James Kelly concludes: “The appointment of a single point of Government contact for our industry will contribute significantly to our already active public affairs programme, and I look forward to meeting with Mr. Phipson in the coming months to discuss how our two organisations – and also RISC – might work together and support each other in safeguarding the UK’s citizens and businesses.”