Monthly Archives: July 2012

Info4Security End User News

Security is dominating the national media’s agenda just now, whether it be Olympic Games or law enforcement-related issues. 

As official security provider for London 2012, G4S is presently the fulcrum of all attentions, with CEO Nick Buckles having appeared in front of the Home Affairs Committee

Remaining with the political theme, MPs have called for tough action on rogue investigators, new powers are being put in place to confront alcohol-fuelled criminality and there’s a concerted effort to support a Private Member’s Bill on metal theft

Physical Security Information Management remains a hot topic, with our regular blogger The Security Analyst committing some thoughts to video. 

Speaking of video content, make sure you watch our edited highlights of the phenomenally successful IFSEC International 2012

Another of our regular bloggers – The Forensic Technologist – has written on current trends in digital investigations while, in the same arena, an international plan aimed at beating the cyber criminals is up-and-running at Belfast’s Queen’s University.

Top Stories on Info4Security 

G4S issues statement on Games contract

In a statement issued from head office, G4S outlines its “total commitment” to delivering a safe, secure and successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games 

IFSEC International 2012: the official event video

IFSEC International 2012 organiser UBM Live has completed production of the show’s official video, complete with comments from many of the event’s Premier Partners 

The Forensic Technologist: trends in digital investigations

Simon Placks reviews the new forensic technologies and emerging trends uncovered at the Computer Enterprise and Investigations Conference 

Company insiders unmasked as biggest fraud perpetrators

The extent of fraud perpetrated by management and employees has been exposed after a rapid decline in fraud super cases coming to court during the first six months of 2012 

IPCC chairman calls for greater powers

The chairman of the Independent Police Complaints Commission has called for additional powers and resources to further strengthen the important agency’s work 

MITIE unveils Command Centre Excellence programme

MITIE has launched its all-new Command Centre Excellence programme designed to train Control Room operators and supervisors within the TSM business division 

Topsgrup completes acquisition of The Shield Guarding Company

India’s largest security company, Topsgrup, has now formally completed its acquisition of The Shield Guarding Company 

Sheriffs’ Award 2012 launched by Worshipful Company of Security Professionals

The 2012 Sheriffs’ Award has been officially launched by The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, and nominations for this year’s scheme are now being invited 

100 in 100 2012: meeting the minister

Members of the 100 in 100 2012 campaign are set to meet with the Government’s skills minister John Hayes and debate the way forward on apprenticeships across the UK’s security sector 

The BSIA Briefing: July 2012

Security technology in the transport sector, Operation Tornado and emergency services reform north of the border all feature in the latest BSIA Briefing, brought to you by Amanda Beesley 

Memoori report: Partnerships and alliances – winning market share in security

Alliances and partnership arrangements in the physical security business are proving the keys to success for many companies. Allan McHale explains why 

Inspiration in HR Award 2012: Call for Entries

SSR Personnel and Info4Security have issued a Call for Entries in relation to the 2012 Inspiration in HR Award 

Buyers found for Norbain’s SA and Benelux businesses

Smartwares Home Essentials takes over the Norbain operation in the Benelux region while Norbain South Africa has been acquired through a management buy-out 

Door staff found working illegally in Met crackdown

The Metropolitan Police Service has led an operation targeting more than 400 door staff across London to crack down on unlicensed workers 

Until next time 

Brian Sims
Media Solutions Manager
UBM Live Security and Fire Portfolio

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The Olympic Games: calling for an independent security review

Brian Sims and Bobby Logue are calling for an independent review to examine the failures that have caused the shortage of security manpower for the 2012 Games. 

Politicians and the national media have spent the last week and more lobbing verbal and written ‘rotten eggs’ at security provider G4S for its alleged ‘dismal failure’ in attempting to provide sufficient security personnel for the 2012 Olympic Games. 

Yesterday afternoon, we were subjected to a ‘performance’ by MPs on the Home Affairs Committee who appeared to be competing with each other to see which one of them could deride G4S CEO Nick Buckles and his company the most. 

We are of the firm and frank opinion that the seemingly crowd-pleasing trend of politicians and elements of the media deliberately attempting to humiliate industry leaders often goes way too far and must be reined in. 

Calling for an independent review 

We would wish to see an independent review – possibly conducted by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), the Regulator of the private security industry – on the root causes of the security contractor’s inability to provide sufficient security personnel in time for the start of the Games. 

It’s apparent there have been some failures within G4S that have contributed to this situation. However, there could be more deep-rooted causes driven by the almost impossible contractual timescales involved, not to mention the ability of any private security contractor to wholly deliver on an event of this magnitude when operating in isolation – no matter how hard they try. 

On that note, could the contractual Terms and Conditions for London 2012 have perhaps been successfully executed by a private consortium of security contractors – led by the BSIA, for example – rather than a lone solutions provider? 

Global event, massive scale 

Anecdotal evidence suggests that this is the first occasion a private security contractor has been required to provide security for a global event on the massive scale of the Olympic Games. 

To date, G4S has enjoyed an excellent track record of delivering on security at high profile events, the All-England Lawn Tennis Club Championships at Wimbledon among them. 

Historically, of course, the security of global events has been the remit of both the police service and Armed Forces personnel. The failure of G4S to meet all of its contractual requirements this time around has resulted in the Government resorting to ‘Plan B’ by relying on some of those troops and serving police officers to make up the numbers. 

Unfortunately, this national headline-hitting situation has not only affected the London Stock Exchange value of G4S in the short term and impinged on the company’s credibility, but also tarnished in some measure the hard-fought improved reputation of the UK’s private security sector post-regulation and licensing. 

What was the objective? 

MPs sitting on the Home Affairs Committee were convened to discover what has caused G4S’ failure to provide sufficient security officers for the 2012 Olympic Games. However, as stated the MPs’ at times crass line of questioning merely seemed to serve an objective of trying to humiliate Nick Buckles while singularly failing to elicit clarity on what has actually gone awry. 

At times, the MPs involved exhibited a clear lack of understanding of the sheer complexities around providing 10,400 security personnel in the space of seven months, and failed to recognise how far removed from the frontline the CEO of any big company – but particularly “the third largest employer in the world” – might actually be on a practical, day-to-day basis. 

Indeed, the MPs displayed ignorance in relation to the workings of the security industry. At one point in the proceedings, Committee chairman Keith Vaz suggested that Buckles should have sought the help of other named outsourcing companies who, in fact, do not deploy licensed security personnel. 

During the intense period of questioning by the MPs on the Home Affairs Committee, G4S’ CEO rightly alluded to the fact that, if G4S – as the largest provider in the country – couldn’t produce the required security personnel for the 2012 Olympic Games, which private security solutions concern could have done so? 

Right to work in security 

The regulated private security industry harbours several ‘hoops’ for a prospective candidate to jump through before being able to legitimately work as a security officer in the UK. Potential licensed security personnel are required to undertake a training course. The process also includes thorough criminality, right to work and other necessary security checks. 

In addition, applicants who have not been permanently resident in the UK are subject to time consuming and rigorous overseas criminality checks, and necessarily so. 

In cases like the Olympic Games, where certain venues are classified by the SIA as licensed premises, security personnel are expected to have a door supervisor licence. Due to the security risks surrounding the Olympics, security personnel are also required to be trained in counter-terror screening activities. On top of that, personnel must be vetted to a British Standard. 

It appears that it’s more difficult to vet the unemployed than it is to employ individuals with a consistent employment record. 

Potential labour pools 

The next challenge faced by G4S would have been: ‘Where will the security personnel be recruited from?’ As pointed out during the Home Affairs Committee interrogation of Buckles and his colleague, global events specialist Ian Horseman-Sewell, it’s likely that no person engaged in full-time employment would actively seek a temporary security position during the Olympic Games (unless, of course, some individuals specifically wanted to take time off from their day jobs to be at the events in a working capacity). 

Due to time constraints, employing or introducing overseas personnel would have been challenging to say the least. 

On that basis, this left two potential labour pools: students and the unemployed. A much heralded scheme, the excellent Bridging The Gap was introduced to educational establishments some time ago in order to train students in undertaking security functions at the 2012 Games. 

In addition, a massive training programme was launched to leverage the unemployed. 

The ‘Just in Time’ approach 

In terms of the LOCOG contract, G4S was to be paid for training and actual shifts worked. This effectively created a ‘Just in Time’ approach to the employment of Olympic security personnel as candidates would not have waited around for several months for employment, especially while there has been increased pressure from JobCentre Plus to find people gainful work at a time of fiscal recession and austerity cutbacks. 

Keith Vaz began the Home Affairs Committee grilling of Nick Buckles by asking the G4S CEO why he was still in post. We would respectfully ask Mr Vaz why he stood up in the House of Commons several days before – on 12 July, in fact – and stated that the Olympic security operation presided over by G4S is, in his eyes, a “fiasco”, that G4S has “let the whole country down” and that we have “literally had to send in the troops”. This is popularist rhetoric of the worst kind. 

Isn’t the chairman of any committee – but most importantly this one – not meant to be impartial and shy away from effectively prejudicing such a cross-examination? 

Predictable comment in the House 

These statements were embellished in Parliament by Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, who all-too-predictably referred to “another Home Office shambles” and the “Border Force becoming a Border Farce”. 

This is not a time for cheap political point scoring. 

In the House, Mr Vaz also asked Home Secretary Theresa May to “confirm that G4S will suffer penalties” as a result of this situation before we’ve even found out the whole background to what has gone wrong (and why) through an independent review process. 

That review process is absolutely necessary before anyone is pilloried. 

Brian Sims, Media Solutions Manager, UBM Live Security and Fire Portfolio

Bobby Logue, Publisher,

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Info4Security End User News

Once again, the BSIA – now with new chairman Geoff Zeidler in situ – has rightly honoured the magnificent contribution of security personnel to the business community

Indeed, there has been much success for security guarding specialists of late, with Wilson James, MITIE and ISS winning awards and gaining new contracts. 

G4S UK CEO David Taylor-Smith has sparked a healthy debate with his comments on the future of policing. At the same time, all the talk at ACPO is around delivering on the budget cuts

Speaking of money… Sound financial husbandry is in evidence at the Security Industry Authority. In the wider world, though, CIFAS states that card fraud is on the rise

Don’t forget to check out the best read stories on Info4Security during the (not so sunny) month of June, and also MI5 leader Jonathan Evans’ latest speech on emerging threats and Olympics preparedness

Top Stories on Info4Security 

MI5 leader Jonathan Evans: ‘The Olympics and emerging threats’

Jonathan Evans, director general of the Security Service, gave an address entitled ‘The Olympics and Beyond’ at the Lord Mayor of London’s annual Defence and Security Lecture 

Business community questions SFO’s appetite to enforce Bribery Act

The lack of a corporate prosecution under the Bribery Act has led to businesses questioning the Serious Fraud Office’s appetite for enforcement, states Ernst & Young 

G4S UK boss expects bigger role for private security in policing

David Taylor-Smith, CEO of G4S UK and Africa, comments that the public ‘don’t really care’ who provides policing services 

BSIA Security Personnel Awards 2012: the winners

15 dedicated security professionals have triumphed in this year’s BSIA Security Personnel Awards presented at the Association’s Annual Luncheon 

The Training Platform: Experience or training – which is more important?

Experience or training? Can the latter ever make up for a lack of the former, and would you ever be able to succeed with one and not the other? 

YouGov survey unveils “privacy invasion” as companies exploit data

According to a YouGov survey, only 35% of UK adults trust businesses to use their personal data as directed by them while 30% suggest they’ve had their data exploited by companies in the past 

HMIC report: Antisocial behaviour victims “slipping through the net”

Police are becoming better at dealing with antisocial behaviour but, according to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, some victims are still “slipping through the net” 

Shaw and Evanson take on new vice chairman roles at TSI

Chartered Security Professionals Emma Shaw and Garry Evanson have been named by chairman Mike Bluestone CSyP as vice-chairmen of The Security Institute 

Norbain acquired by Newbury Investments

Norbain has announced that its UK operation (including export) has been acquired by Newbury Investments (UK) Ltd from the administrator KPMG 

Security reviews “essential” as card fraud rises

According to the latest figures issued by CIFAS – the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service – fraud against plastic card accounts (including credit cards) continues to rise 

Police and Crime Commissioners to determine local victims’ services

Offenders will now be forced to pay up to £50 million each year to help crime victims, with much of the money made available to PCCs to spend on services in their area 

BSIA Annual Luncheon 2012: Chairman’s Address by Geoff Zeidler

Geoff Zeidler speaks about the benefits of BSIA membership, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and private sector security companies working with the police 

SIA Annual Report shows £5.9 million income rise

A surplus of £5.4 million has been achieved through increased income and reduction in costs in real terms 

ACPO blog: delivering the budget cuts

Nigel Brook reviews how the police service is managing to cope under the strain of fiscal cuts outlined in the coalition Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review 

Until next time

Brian Sims
Media Solutions Manager
UBM Live Security and Fire Portfolio

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