Daily Archives: 23/05/2013

Attack in Woolwich: expert analysis by Matthew Henman (JTIC)

Matthew Henman, a senior analyst at IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre (JTIC), has reflected on yesterday’s tragic events that unfolded in Woolwich. Matthew writes…

“While it remains too early to definitively attribute a motive for the attack, Prime Minister David Cameron stated several hours after the incident that there were “strong indications” that it was terrorism-related.

“The potential militant Islamist angle was underlined by several aspects of the attack, firstly in that it appeared to specifically target a UK soldier near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, London with the attackers making no attempt to attack any other person in the vicinity.

“The subsequent claim that the victim was killed specifically because he was a soldier may also indicate that the attack was pre-planned.

“The fact that the attackers made no attempt to flee the scene, combined with their interaction with bystanders, may indicate an effort to maximise publicity of the attack and to ensure that their message was recorded and publicised.

“Finally, the reported attempt to attack the police responders may well have been in the expectation that they would be shot dead, perhaps with the aim that they would thereby be considered martyrs within the wider militant Islamist community.

“As of early 23 May, though, there has been no indication of any links between the attackers and an established group, militant Islamist or otherwise.

Yesterday's tragic episode saw a member of the Armed Forces killed in Woolwich

Yesterday’s tragic episode saw a member of the Armed Forces killed in Woolwich

“While media reports have claimed that one of the suspects had previously attempted to travel to Somalia to join militant Islamist group the Shabab, this remains completely unconfirmed.

“Similarly, media conjecture billing the attackers as self-radicalised ‘lone wolves’ cannot be seriously considered until further details regarding the attackers’ backgrounds and profiles can be established.”

Background to yesterday’s events

The IHS Communications Team writes…

“A man, subsequently confirmed by authorities as an off-duty member of the United Kingdom Armed Forces, was attacked and killed by two assailants in the Woolwich area of South East London on 22 May.

“The attackers reportedly drove a vehicle into the victim before exiting the vehicle and repeatedly stabbing him with a series of edged-weapons – variously described in reports as a collection of meat cleavers, butcher’s knives and a machete – with unconfirmed reports stating that the victim was beheaded.

“Following the attack, the assailants remained at the scene but did not attack anyone else. When armed police arrived approximately 20 minutes later, the attackers reportedly made to attack the police before being shot and wounded, and were later taken into custody.

“While waiting for the police to arrive, the two attackers interacted with bystanders, inviting them to take photographs of them and answered questions, reportedly in a calm and lucid fashion according to eyewitnesses.

Prime Minister David Cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron

“An eyewitness video from the scene showed one of the attackers reciting what may have been a pre-memorised statement. Speaking with a London accent, he said: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, adding: “You people will never be safe. Remove your Government. They don’t care about you… Get rid of them. Tell them to bring our troops back so you can all live in peace.”

“The implied reference to UK participation in the United States-led war on terrorism was underlined in a statement given by an eyewitness, quoted in a 23 May Reuters report: “He said: ‘I killed him because he killed Muslims and I am fed up with people killing Muslims in Afghanistan.'”

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Sodexo’s Jane Farrell scoops Women in Security Industry Award

Sodexo’s skills development manager Jane Farrell has won a top award for her work aimed at bringing more women into the security industry.

Farrell, who’s Sodexo’s Centre of Excellence development manager, scooped the Women in Security Industry Award at the IFSEC and FIREX Awards in Birmingham.

Jane, who is responsible for security training and compliance across the UK and Ireland, spearheads the Sodexo Women in Security Group and ensures that all reports, findings, recommendations and advice are directly communicated to the Sodexo executive management team, remaining a priority for all her senior colleagues.

As part of Secure (Sodexo’s on-site security service), Jane has worked to increase the percentage of female security officers in the organisation from 9% to 14% over the last three years.

Left to right: Professional Security's md Roy Cooper, Jane Farrell and Una Riley

Left to right: Professional Security’s md Roy Cooper, Jane Farrell and Una Riley

Jane has worked for Sodexo for 30 years. Speaking about this award, she commented: “It’s great to be recognised for my contribution to the security industry. I’ve always found that some women have a fear about a career in security as it’s seen as a male-dominated industry. What we’ve tried to do is take that fear away and open up more opportunities for women.”

Farrell continued: “I’ve always seen my role as one of helping people, men and women, to develop their careers. It was never viewed like that before, but the security industry is about having a professional career path and developing their skills.”

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“Phenomenal levels of interest” for The Security Institute’s pioneering Diploma in Security Management

The Security Institute, the UK’s largest membership body for security professionals, has reported “phenomenal levels of interest” in its pioneering Diploma in Security Management, proving that the image, perception and importance of the industry is at an all-time high.

A key part of the organisation’s ongoing commitment to raising professional standards, The Security Institute’s Diploma in Security Management was launched in 2009 and is aimed at middle and senior managers seeking career advancement via an industry-specific qualification. Its popularity has rapidly grown year-on-year, and over 100 people successfully completed the Diploma in 2012.

“The qualification is open to all those who work within the private and public security sectors and who possess a minimum of five years’ security management experience,” explained Di Thomas, general manager at The Security Institute.

The Security Institute has seen a phenomenal level of interest around its Diploma in Security Management

The Security Institute has seen a phenomenal level of interest around its Diploma in Security Management

“It offers a logical progression from our Certificate in Security Management. Those currently on the course include security managers, Health and Safety managers, facilities managers, senior police officers, fire service personnel and experienced members of the Armed Forces.”

Combination of theoretical and practical content

Combining theoretical and practical content, the Diploma is available as a distance-learning course and duly recognised by four of the UK’s top universities – The University of Lancaster, The University of Leicester, Buckinghamshire New University and The University of Portsmouth.

The course consists of five mandatory modules and usually takes no more than 12 months to complete.

Many of those taking the course have full-time jobs and, as such, the Diploma has been carefully designed to allow students to configure their coursework around their daytime activities. Support, advice and guidance is also offered from a number of expert tutors who, as well as configuring the course content, are also members of The Security Institute and holders of Masters degrees in security.

Successful students are awarded an Edexcel accredited BTEC Level 5 Professional Award in Security Management.

The Diploma in Security Management acts as a stepping stone to higher education and is now recognised as a part of existing degree courses. The Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at The University of Portsmouth recognises the Diploma, and awards 80 credits towards a total of 360 for its BSc (Hons) qualification in Risk and Security Management.

The University of Lancaster awards the Diploma to those completing its Foundation Degree in Security Management at Blackburn College, while The University of Leicester exempts students from three core modules on its Foundation Degree in Security and Risk Management.

Buckinghamshire New University in High Wycombe offers credits towards the second year of its BA in Security Consultancy.

Membership of The Security Institute

Upon embarking on the course, individuals are encouraged to apply for student membership of The Security Institute, which remains valid while they are studying. Blackburn College and the University of Leicester offer this as standard to all their security students.

After they have finished the course, students then become eligible to apply for full membership grade and can gain access to the complete range of benefits.

Emma Shaw CSyP: chairman of The Security Institute

Emma Shaw CSyP: chairman of The Security Institute

“We’re thrilled with the part the Diploma in Security Management continues to play in enhancing the professionalism of the security industry,” concluded Emma Shaw CSyP, chairman of The Security Institute.

“Given the tough economic climate the high demand we are seeing for the course is exceptional and illustrates the growing popularity of the sector and the calibre of the people working within it.”

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