Monthly Archives: January 2014

Security and Counter-Terrorism: Operation Penna hailed a success by Metropolitan Police Service

More than 11,000 people were briefed about the importance of security and counter-terrorism policing in London during a two-week major Metropolitan Police Service initiative.

The initiative – known as Operation Penna – is the second of its kind run by the Metropolitan Police Service. It involved co-ordinated activity focused on reminding members of the public of the vital role they can play in helping to protect the capital.

Activity took place across all 32 London Boroughs between 16 and 24 January 2014. Officers held 537 external briefings involving a total audience of 11,390 people, providing information explaining the ongoing threat from terrorism and what can be done to protect the capital against it.

Key role in counter-terrorism policing

Briefings were also held for officers and staff on every Borough to highlight the key part they play in counter-terrorism policing by providing a link between national expertise and mainstream neighbourhood policing.

During the course of the operation, no less than 4,300 officers and staff were briefed at 335 separate events.

More than 11,000 people were briefed about the importance of security and counter terrorism policing in London during a two-week major Metropolitan Police Service initiative

More than 11,000 people were briefed about the importance of security and counter terrorism policing in London during a two-week major Metropolitan Police Service initiative

Operational activity included high visibility patrols around crowded places such as shopping centres and transport hubs, which in turn resulted in other criminality being detected and disrupted.

Across London there were 181 arrests for offences including theft, burglary and drugs supply and 32 vehicles seized by police officers.

Officers also distributed 45,700 leaflets to the public as part of the operation.

Briefing businesses and the public

Commander Richard Morris from the Met’s Specialist Operations Division said: “A key element of this operation is briefing businesses and members of the public to raise awareness of how they can help keep London safe. I’m extremely pleased that we have managed to brief more than 11,000 individuals on such an important subject. Such work will continue.”

Morris added: “The operation also shows how proactive policing focused on counter terrorism can also contribute towards combating other criminality.”

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Improved TUPE Regulations come into force

Improvements to make the process of transferring business ownership fairer and more effective have come into force today, Friday 31 January 2014.

Changes have been made to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE), which protect the employment Terms and Conditions of employees who are transferred from one organisation to another.

The regulations have been improved to make sure both employers and staff are treated fairly when a transfer takes place.

Under the new regulations:

• Businesses will now be able to renegotiate Terms and Conditions in collective agreements one year after a transfer has taken place, provided that the overall change is no less favourable
• Micro businesses will be able to inform and consult employees directly when there are no existing appropriate representatives. Under existing TUPE Regulations businesses usually have to inform, and sometimes also consult, employee representatives such as Trade Union representatives. For micro businesses with ten or fewer employees there are often no representatives which means that they have to be specifically elected for this purpose. This change will make this process much less bureaucratic
• The new employer will be able to engage in pre-redundancy consultation with employees with the consent of the old employer
• Contractual changes will be permitted for economic, technical or organisational reasons with the agreement of the employee and/or where a contractual right of variation exists

Employment relations minister Jenny Willott

Employment relations minister Jenny Willott

Clarifying the existing law

The new regulations also clarify the existing law in a number of areas.

In cases where employees’ Terms and conditions are provided for in collective agreements, only the Terms and Conditions in the collective agreements that are in place before the date of transfer will apply. Any future changes will not bind the new employer unless it has taken part in the bargaining process that brought about the changes.

The test for service provision changes will make clear that activities carried out after the change in provider must be fundamentally the same as those carried out by the previous person who has ceased to carry them out. This means that if businesses radically change the way they provide services, that change is unlikely to be subject to the TUPE Regulations.

Employment relations minister Jenny Willott said: “When a business is transferred from one company to another we want to make sure that TUPE continues to provide appropriate levels of employee protection while also making the process as smooth as possible for the businesses involved.”

Willott added: “Making these changes will give businesses more clarity about conducting transfers and provide them with the tools to create new opportunities in the UK labour market while protecting fairness for all.”

The TUPE Regulations are amended by the Collective Redundancies and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, which come into force on 31 January 2014. These amendments do not extend to Northern Ireland and will apply in respect of transfers which take place on or after 31 January 2014.

The changes to the TUPE Regulations form part of the Employment Law Review, started by BIS in 2010 and ending in 2015. The review is looking at all employment laws to make sure they offer maximum flexibility for employers and employees. This should encourage employers to take on more staff, in turn supporting enterprise and growth.

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Security Industry Authority: a statistical update

The Security Industry Authority has issued some statistics on its licensing operations, intelligence gathering, enforcement actions and for the Approved Contractor Scheme.

Individual licensing

As of 21 January 2014 there are 382,777 active Security Industry Authority (SIA) licences held by 339,940 individuals.

The breakdown of the licence holders in the licensable sectors is as follows:
• Door Supervision: 221,926 (58%)
• Security Guarding: 93,664 (24%)
• Public Space Surveillance CCTV: 43,149 (11%)
• Close Protection: 13,412 (4%)
• Cash and Valuables in Transit: 9,873 (3%)
• Key Holding: 259 (0.07%)
• Vehicle Immobilisation: 94 (0.02%)

Since the first SIA licence was issued in April 2004, the Regulator has issued over 1,000,000 licences.

Year-on-year, the number of licences issued has increased. In 2012, there was an exceptional demand as 163,000 licences were issued. This spike was most likely a result of security relating to the Olympic Games.

Licence processing times

As a result of improved licensing systems, the SIA is able to process licence applications well above its target. In 2013, 87% of all licence applications were processed within 25 working days against a target of 85%.

Bill Butler: CEO of the Security Industry Authority

Bill Butler: CEO of the Security Industry Authority

Processing times have exceeded this target for the past four years.

Licence regions and demographic

The regions where the most SIA licences are issued are as follows1:
• London: 27%
• North West: 13%
• South East: 11%
• North East: 11%

Male licensees make up 92% of the holders2, and the majority of licensees are aged between 26 and 453. UK nationals make up (77%) of licence holders4.


Information is important for the SIA to be successful in maintaining compliance with the law.

Between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2013 the SIA received 10,578 intelligence logs.

The most common source of intelligence received was via the SIA website (38%), with other common sources being intelligence received from our enforcement partners (15%) and Crimestoppers (14%).

These statistics exemplify the close working relationship the SIA has developed with the public, the industry, charities and other Government enforcement agencies.


Since March 2013 there have been 17 successful SIA prosecutions against companies and individuals. The Regulator has issued 337 written warnings and 59 improvement notices to security companies.

Between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2013, 22,722 licence applications were refused and 33,945 licences revoked.

Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS)

The SIA currently lists 770 approved contractors that deploy 133,000 operatives (in turn accounting for approximately 66% of the licensable operatives within the private security sector).

The first ACS Forums were held back in November 2006. Since then, the SIA has run over 100 regional events across the UK.

Elizabeth France CBE: the SIA's new chairman

Elizabeth France CBE: the SIA’s new chairman

At the last round of ACS Forums in November 2013, the SIA took 350 delegate bookings and had 161 Approved Contractors represented.


Since March 2013, the Regulator’s digital community has grown by over 18%. The SIA welcomes 6,070 followers on Facebook and 4,164 on Twitter.

he Since March, the Facebook page has been ‘reached’ over 205,000 times.

Tmonthly SIA Update news e-mails are received by over 16,000 subscribers and the ACS Update by 1,500 ACS contacts.

1Based on licence applicant’s postcode aggregated into geographic regions, and based on data from 1 April 2004 to 20 November 2013
2Based on data from 1 April 2004 to 20 November 2013
3Based on data from 1 April 2004 to 20 November 2013
4Based on nationality as stated on licence application form then aggregated into UK and non-UK groupings, and based on data from 1 April 2004 to 20 November 2013

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Security and access control: the key trends for 2014

John Davies (managing director) and Mike Sussman (engineering and operations director) of TDSi forecast that access control will exhibit much innovation in 2014 by embracing new technology.

Last year saw a big rise in integrated systems across the security sector, and 2014 looks set to follow this pattern with a number of technologies and trends coming to the fore.

With the integration of different security, IT and building services coming together, 2014 looks set to be a year of evolution rather than revolution. From a business point of view, this places the industry in a strong position to maintain growth.

Near Field Communications (NFC)

A technology that has been promising to do big things for some time is Near Field Communications (NFC). While the technology for it has been available for some time, NFC’s success will be determined by the tipping point from the number of enabled mobile devices and the public’s willingness to use them to gain secure access to secure doorways.

However, the use of NFC has also been spurred on by a number of new compatible stand-alone locks particularly well suited to access control using a smart device.

At the moment NFC is more popular in the consumer market. For example, landlords can send a key to the smart phone of a tenant which can then be activated or revoked as necessary (without the inconveniences of having to immediately issue traditional metal keys).

John Davies: md at TDSi

John Davies: md at TDSi

History has shown us that public acceptance of a technology will push its adoption in the commercial market too, as experience of the technology and trust in its ability is cemented.

NFC offers exciting possibilities for securing access and the signs are that the market is poised to increase adoption very soon.

Cloud-based security

The adoption of cloud-based security is another area that has gained enormous ground in recent years, and looks set to continue vehemently in 2014.

It’s fair to say there were concerns over the security of using the cloud voiced by some commentators and potential users when cloud-based access control was first muted. However, these concerns were largely quashed by a wider acceptance of online use of services such as banking or retail which have demonstrated that using IP needn’t compromise vital security.

As well as ease of use and installation, cloud-based services also rapidly roll out updates (which is particularly useful in an emergency situation) and there is no need to store large servers onsite (which could be attacked or hacked directly), in turn freeing space and resources.

Security integration

The momentum of security integration is unlikely to slow in 2014. In fact, it will continue to be a key market driver moving forward.

The benefits are unquestionable, with the drive for efficiency savings being the core proposition. It enhances security reaction times – for instance if a door is forced the combined system will sound an alarm, lock-down key areas and direct the security team to the location of the potential incursion.

Integration makes installation and upgrades easier and more cost-effective and it renders full use of legacy and existing systems possible. There’s a massive growth in the use of BACnet protocols as well. These are adding a new level of software integration which is helping the move away from the remaining proprietary software that was once commonplace in the security sector.

Mike Sussman: TDSi's engineering and operations director

Mike Sussman: TDSi’s engineering and operations director

Of late, there has been some debate within the security world about the effectiveness and convenience of using passwords (both for physical access to premises and logical access to IT systems). Integrated security systems allow authorised users to minimise the security details they have to memorise and are likely to gain further interest this year because of this advantage.

The ability of integrated systems to intelligently provide access also means that workforce management is much easier using integrated security. From managing working hours to activating building services only when they are needed (and thus saving energy and resources), integration is providing intelligent solutions that will save real money in 2014 and beyond.

The increase in mobile working and the use of smart devices will also continue to steer security demands, offering convenient and secure access to integrated systems. However, by their (highly portable) nature, mobile devices pose the potential risk of unauthorised misuse.

Accordingly, though, mobile device manufacturers have ‘beefed up’ handset security and this has offset many of the potential concerns – in some ways echoing developments in the security sector itself.

Biometric security

Long promoted as convenient and highly secure, biometrics recently received further mainstream consumer adoption with the inclusion of fingerprint readers on iPhone 5s handsets late last year.

This use of biometrics has wider repercussions, too. As with mobile devices, experience shows that consumer adoption helps to facilitate business use so we would expect biometrics to find even greater popularity in 2014.

The quality and accuracy of biometrics have rapidly improved in recent years, moving on from fingerprint readers and now readily incorporating facial recognition (which is very well suited to ‘clean’ areas) and moving on towards previously niche and more complicated systems such as palm, vein and heartbeat recognition readers.

Security legislation

As well as the technology, legislation is moving forward to meet the demands of the security sector.

In 2014, we will see the publication of IEC 60839 entitled: ‘Alarm and Electronic Security Systems/ Electronic Access Control Systems – System and Components Requirements’ which aims to update the standard to take into account the latest integrated systems.

It’s being published at the IEC level (ie world standard) and also published by the BSI as a European (EN) standard.

As is the case with all new standards, IEC 60839 will have a profound impact on the security sector in 2014, pushing solutions providers further towards modern integrated systems and ensuring that they adhere to the developing needs of all customers reliant upon them.

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IHS Technology Research Note: ‘Top 3 Global Mechanical Lock Trends’

Adi Pavlovic – analyst for access control, fire and security at IHS – has identified the top global trends in the mechanical locks industry.

IHS has recently released its first industry report on the mechanical and peripheral locking devices market. IHS estimates the world market (which includes products such as electromagnetic locks, electric strikes, mechanical locks, exit devices and accessories) to be valued at $5.2 billion in 2013.

Mechanical locks accounted for the largest portion of global revenues (43.2% in 2013).

The following are the top three trends in the global mechanical lock market…

(1) Interconnected locks

Also referred to as multi-point locks, interconnected locks are projected to be the strongest growing mechanical lock type globally with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.9% from 2013 to 2017. That’s according to the latest IHS study.

Interconnected locks combine a primary locking device and a deadbolt that are controlled by a single internal mechanism when the inside knob or lever is turned to open the door. These locks are mostly used in multi-family applications and are growing in popularity due to their convenience and robust security.

Detail of a typical mechanical combination lock

Detail of a typical mechanical combination lock

IHS anticipates that the increasing adoption of interconnected locks will have a negative impact on the sales of traditional deadbolts which are most common in Western European and North American markets.

(2) Rising material cost

In 2014, the average sales price (ASP) for mechanical locks is expected to see an increase of 1.0% and 0.5% in the Americas and EMEA regions respectively.

Although low-cost Asian suppliers have been increasing their presence in these regions over the last few years, IHS expects the rise of material costs to offset the decline in ASP from price competition, with the price trending upwards.

Mechanical locks can have many different finishes and designs depending on applications and regional preference. However, IHS assumes that zinc, copper and steel are the three most commonly used components in mechanical lock production.

The rising cost of these three materials suggests a strong cost increase in 2014 which is assumed to ultimately trickle down to the consumer.

The Asian market is the only region projected to see a decline in the ASP for mechanical locks year-over-year due to stable material cost prices and strong price competition.

(3) Grade Level 2 locks

IHS projects that Grade Level 2 mechanical locks (based on ANSI grade level standards) will experience the strongest growth globally with a CAGR of 4.3% from 2013 to 2017.

This is due to an optimistic outlook for commercial construction in the United States and Europe as well as the increasing use of Grade Level 2 locks in emerging regions.

Grade Level 2 locks are best defined as a standard lock commonly used in commercial settings. These locks are forecast to represent a third of all mechanic locks sold globally by 2017.

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Assa Abloy White Paper: ‘Meeting the Security Challenge for Serviced Office Providers’

Assa Abloy Access Control has launched a new downloadable White Paper in order to open a discussion on the security challenges faced by serviced office providers.

Entitled ‘Meeting the Security Challenge for Serviced Office Providers’, the White Paper is now available to download at and looks at the growing number of issues faced by serviced office operators and owners.

Taken into account in the White Paper are the latest predictions reported by the Business Centre Association (BCA) that the serviced office sector will double in the next five years.

The White Paper notes the need to ensure high security is a critical factor in the general upkeep of serviced office facilities, in turn citing evidence of the increase in internal criminal activity due to opportunist trends and desperation crime as a direct result of the present economic difficulties.

The front cover of Assa Abloy's latest security White Paper

The front cover of Assa Abloy’s latest security White Paper

Impact on brand and reputation

Damian Marsh (md of Assa Abloy Access Control and author of the White Paper) commented: “The serviced office sector has undeniably evolved into one of the fastest-growing sectors in the global commercial property market, providing innovative flexible property solutions as an alternative to traditional long lease terms. While this is great news for the serviced office operator and/or owner, it does mean that the need to keep improving the quality and the competitive ability of their offering remains of paramount importance so as to maintain a positive welcoming feel for tenants and retain their business.”

Marsh continued: “Security and the associated legal and financial consequences of a breach can have a detrimental impact on future business for a serviced office location, notably with the inevitable vitriolic review that could make an instant impact on a brand’s reputation.”

Damian Marsh: md of Assa Abloy Access Control in the UK

Damian Marsh: md of Assa Abloy Access Control in the UK

Of the White Paper itself, Marsh explained: “We have carefully broken down the issues to open a discussion on how to meet these security challenges. We look forward to opinions, experience and comments on this very complex and challenging issue, and will take all responses on board with our supply channel partners to seek bespoke solutions for serviced officer providers.”

The White Paper is now available to download at: and encourages responses to a dedicated facebook page at:

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Showsec md Mark Harding presents UKCMA case on business licensing

Mark Harding has drawn encouragement from an opportunity to discuss elements of proposed new licencing and regulation developments in a meeting with leading figures from the Security Industry Authority.

Showsec’s managing director met with Bill Butler, CEO of the SIA, and Christy Hopkins (the SIA’s head of transition) during their visit to the company’s Head Office in Leicester.

Harding reaffirmed a rational argument relating to some of the proposed changes on behalf of many throughout the security sector.

Left to right: Christy Hopkins and Bill Butler of the SIA with Showsec's md and UKCMA chairman Mark Harding

Left to right: Christy Hopkins and Bill Butler of the SIA with Showsec’s md and UKCMA chairman Mark Harding

In his capacity as chairman of the United Kingdom Crowd Management Association (UKCMA), Harding has represented the views of many security specialists (particularly those companies employing part-time staff) in voicing concerns to the Regulator around aspects of the proposed transition to business licencing.

Exchange of ideas and concerns

Following the meeting, Harding stated: “The fact that both parties have exchanged ideas and concerns about the next phase of business licencing is due to the credibility of the crowd management industry, a commitment to the idealism of the SIA and years of nurturing professional and organisational relationships with the Regulator, not to mention its willingness to engage with industry.”

He continued: “We were delighted that Bill and Christy took the time to come here to listen to what we have to say. It also provided them with an opportunity to experience the professionalism of our back office and support services, while also demonstrating how the industry has progressed.”

Harding added: “The case that the UKCMA has been arguing all the way through this process is important to the progression of the industry as a whole. Industry success is fundamentally attributable to the independent governance by the SIA and the cohesive effect it has had on industry. The UKCMA believes this ongoing governance is paramount to future success and is fully in favour of business licencing. However, the primary commercial concern raised by members is the disproportionate cost of business licencing for companies using part-time staff.”

Embellishing this theme, Harding stressed: “In essence, the UKCMA does not want to be burdened with another disproportionate charge similar to the one levied under the Approved Contractor Scheme. It wants to see a much fairer distribution of the financial burden. What we’re trying to secure is a future for the industry.”

Calling for unified standards and career paths

Harding, who also sits on the Strategic Advisory Group for the SIA and is part of the Security Regulation Alliance, said: “We want a platform where there is the capacity for new companies to regenerate the industry, where there are unified standards, where there are businesses acting legitimately and where there are career paths for individuals.”

He explained: “The reality is, however, that the impact of that transition will be very challenging in terms of it leading to more administration, while the premiums are disproportionate for companies employing part-time staff.”

The UKCMA represents in the region of 20% of the total number of SIA licence holders in the country, either through direct work or sub-contracting.

“We have a strong voice,” said Harding, ” and a positive approach towards finding industry-wide solutions. We have aligned industry development with the SIA’s idealism.”

In conclusion, Showsec’s md said: “It is to be hoped that we can find a positive solution to a commercial concern. I would once again like to thank Bill and Christy for coming here to listen to our argument.”

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