Tag Archives: ACPO

Send For Help Group acquires Bluechip Technologies to become “Europe’s largest lone worker protection provider”

The Send For Help Group has acquired Bluechip Technologies Ltd (trading as Guardian24), which now makes the Group the largest lone worker protection provider in Europe. Combined with its existing subsidiary Skyguard, the Group has a subscriber base totalling 70,000 users across a diverse range of public and private sector vertical markets.

Formed in 2010, The Send For Help Group was established as the investment vehicle of technology entrepreneur Jan Murray to enable the acquisition of Skyguard. Murray has an established track record in emerging hi-tech industries, having launched the PC World superstores chain and also the Internet Technology Group (which was the largest sale of an independent ISP in the UK).

The latest deal has enabled the Group to take advantage of a number of synergies. Guardian24’s subscribers will be migrated to Skyguard’s state-of-the-art Incident Management Centre in Surrey for alarm management and emergency response. The purpose-built facility is manned 24/7 by Skyguard’s highly-trained controllers and accredited to the highest industry standards: BS 8484, BS 5979 (Category II) and ACPO’s Secured by Design scheme.

The two companies will also share new product development and technical expertise, augmenting their existing portfolio of dedicated personal safety devices, smart phone applications and mobile phone solutions.

Foundation for future growth

The Send For Help Group’s CEO James Murray commented: “This acquisition makes the Group the biggest provider in Europe’s lone worker protection industry and by some margin. The deal provides us with a solid foundation for future expansion and further acquisitions.”

Murray continued: “Thanks to our well-established brands we are industry leaders in the key lone working sectors, from the NHS and the police with Skyguard through to the social housing and charity sectors with Guardian24. This deal allows us to reinforce our leading position at a time when the market is experiencing a period of consolidation.”

The Send For Help Group’s senior management team has over 40 years’ collective experience of working in the lone worker protection industry. Drawing from this specialist expertise, the company has invested in cutting-edge technology to develop exclusive personal safety products, software and infrastructures.

For more information visit the website: www.sendforhelp.co.uk

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Alex Carmichael appointed CEO at the SSAIB

The Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB), which is celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2014, has appointed its next CEO. Alex Carmichael – presently director of technical services and exports at the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) – will be taking over from Geoff Tate who announced earlier this year that he will be stepping down as CEO at the security, fire and telecare certification body after 16 years in the role.

At the BSIA, Carmichael – who joined the Trade Association back in 1998 in the role of technical officer – is responsible for co-ordinating all technical and quality matters within the Association. These duties include acting as the organisation’s representative on various UK and European standards committees and serving as the UK’s representative on various Cenelec and Euralarm committees monitoring EU Directives that directly impact BSIA members.

In addition, Carmichael’s responsible for membership liaison within the BSIA’s technical sections, and works closely with other industry organisations such as the ABI, ACPO, ACPOS and several inspectorates on technical and any other issues that may affect BSIA members.

Indeed, Carmichael’s existing duties on those UK and European committees, along with his strong technical background and close working relationship with a variety of industry organisations, afford him the ideal credentials to steer the SSAIB in its next phase of growth.

Carmichael’s background also includes over 20 years’ experience in the Army across various technical/engineering support roles with REME, as well as a short spell as an electromedical engineer with the NHS.

For the time being, Carmichael will remain at the BSIA and take up his new post next March following a handover period shadowing his successor. The BSIA is presently seeking a replacement for Carmichael to head the technical team at Kirkham House in Worcester.

Alex Carmichael: the new CEO at the SSAIB

Alex Carmichael: the new CEO at the SSAIB

Widely known and respected

“I’m delighted that someone with Alex’s skill set will be heading up the SSAIB,” enthused Geoff Tate. “I’ll be handing over the reins to someone with over 15 years’ involvement in the security sector where he’s widely known and respected.”

Tate continued: “Besides working with him during a transitional handover, I’ll remain in close contact with Alex as the SSAIB’s chairman. It’s a significant boost for the SSAIB to appoint a new CEO of such calibre and provides the foundation for our future. SSAIB-certificated organisations in the security, fire and telecare industries can rest assured that they’ll be in good hands with our staff under Alex’s capable guidance.”

Founded in 1994 and based in Tyne & Wear, the SSAIB is a leading certification body for organisations providing electronic security systems, guarding security services, fire protection, alarm and telecare services systems in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

In addition to its product schemes, SSAIB also offers a range of management systems certification schemes, including ISO 9001 quality management systems certification and ISO 14001 environmental management systems certification.

Over 1,500 companies are now listed on the SSAIB’s register.

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Reductions in false alarms and police response times revealed at CSL Insurers’ Forum

CSL DualCom’s seventh annual Insurers’ Forum witnessed an excellent turnout of over 50 senior professionals and consultants from leading insurance companies who gathered at Vodafone’s headquarters in Newbury.

Ray Kay, head of Vodafone M2M UK, kicked off the discussions by outlining Vodafone’s vision that 50% of organisations will have adopted M2M by 2015. Kay also outlined the substantial investments being made in 2G, 3G and 4G networks in order to ensure perfect voice calls, competitive 3G coverage and 98% indoor 4G coverage by the end of next year.

National Security Inspectorate (NSI) CEO Richard Jenkins then described his organisation’s focus on raising standards in the industry and how becoming an NSI approved company directly impacts on this. The NSI believes that robust services, tougher regulation and police response measures are all key contributing factors.

CSL DualCom’s group managing director Simon Banks also touched on standards and reviewed a specific example of how CSL DualCom takes responsibility for the entire journey of an alarm signal.

Future proofing and carbon footprint reduction via Remote Servicing and Diagnostics (RSD) was touched upon, a message mirrored by Mark Emery from Swift Fire & Security. Emery explained how the additional benefit of reduced engineering costs offered by RSD is a great asset to the company’s engineering armoury.

The NSI's CEO Richard Jenkins addresses the audience at Vodafone's hq

The NSI’s CEO Richard Jenkins addresses the audience at Vodafone’s hq

Ed Barge of EMCS presented an overall picture of the current trends from the Alarm Receiving Centre perspective, noting a particular increase in upgrades from bells-only or Digicom systems to monitored single path solutions very much in keeping with the day’s theme of raising standards.

Geoff Wright of AIG then took the audience through a Case Study focused on a £25 million loss at a large warehouse. In the example given, insufficient management programmes caused delays in calling the fire brigade despite the correct installation of fire detection, sprinkler and security systems.

Reducing risks to the public and property

Pat Allen – chairman of the Fire and Security Association – chose to list measures that can be taken to reduce unwanted alarms. Allen advised that monitored fire systems allow for early detection which reduces risk to the public and property (as well as fire-fighters themselves).

ACPO’s Ken Meanwell highlighted the tremendous reduction in false intruder alarms in recent times which is largely thanks to advances in alarm signalling coupled with more stringent penalties for repeat false alarms. This greater efficiency has also allowed for a reduction in police response times.

The CSL DualCom Insurers' Forum proved popular with delegates

The CSL DualCom Insurers’ Forum proved popular with delegates

Mike Jay – insurance expert and convenor of the RISCAuthority Security Group at the Fire Protection Association – concurred with these findings as his organisation has witnessed a reduction in claims and criminality due to the success of security companies and the police service in increasing the risks involved for criminals.

The BSIA’s technical director Alex Carmichael considered the discrepancies that can arise between test houses for European third party specifications and provided an update on both European and international standards.

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2013-2014 figures show rise in reported physical assaults against NHS staff

NHS Protect has released the 2013-2014 figures for reported physical assaults against NHS staff in England. The figures have been collated from 266 health bodies across the country.

The number of criminal sanctions following reported assaults has risen by 191, from 1,458 to 1,649 – an increase of 13.1%. Overall, there was a rise of 8.7% in total reported assaults from 63,199 in 2012-2013 to 68,683 in 2013-2014. A full breakdown of the results is available at: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Documents/SecurityManagement/Reported_Physical_Assaults_2013-14.pdf

Richard Hampton, head of external engagement and services at NHS Protect, commented: “No member of NHS staff should be physically assaulted, and we encourage staff who are victims of violence to press charges against their assailants. Those who work in the NHS have the right to provide care in a safe environment. Employers must do all they can to support staff in preventing incidents and pursuing offenders.”

Advice for health bodies

NHS Protect is urging health bodies to:

• Note that NHS Protect’s guidelines entitled: ‘Meeting Needs and Reducing Distress – Guidance on the Prevention and Management of Clinically-Related Challenging Behaviour in NHS Settings’ was launched in December 2013 and provides NHS staff with the tools to de-escalate and reduce challenging behaviour within the NHS

• Take advantage of the joint working agreement with the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Crown Prosecution Service and use existing guidance to pursue local arrangements building on this national agreement in order to ensure criminal assaults are identified and do not go unpunished

• Seek advice from the network of NHS Protect’s Area Security Management Specialists. They give guidance to Local Security Management Specialists and assist in assessing risks of violence, addressing these through prevention work and pursuing legal action when assaults do occur

• Ensure staff are trained to use available powers to respond decisively to low-level nuisance behaviour before it escalates into violence against staff (these powers are available under the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008)

• Be aware that NHS Protect has been included in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 in order to provide new tools for dealing with persistent anti-social behaviour within the NHS

Overall, there was a rise of 8.7% in total reported assaults on staff working in the NHS, from 63,199 incidents during 2012-2013 to 68,683 in 2013-2014

Overall, there was a rise of 8.7% in total reported assaults on staff working in the NHS, from 63,199 incidents during 2012-2013 to 68,683 in 2013-2014

Cheshire and Merseyside deal signed to protect NHS staff

A new agreement to help protect nurses, doctors, ambulance crews and other NHS staff from assault and abuse in Cheshire and Merseyside has been signed.

The Service Level Agreement between the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Mersey-Cheshire and NHS Protect commits both bodies to working closely together to ensure that people who attack NHS staff are prosecuted wherever appropriate. This helps implement the national joint working agreement between the Association of Chief Police Officers, the CPS and NHS Protect.

The Mersey-Cheshire Service Level Agreement aims to strengthen the prosecution process, recognising that there’s a strong public interest in prosecuting those who assault NHS staff or commit other offences that disrupt the provision of NHS services to the public.

John Mytton, North West Area Security Management Specialist for NHS Protect, said: “CPS Mersey-Cheshire and NHS Protect have worked hard to reach this point, with both of the CPS regions in the North West now covered by this agreement. We will continue to support health bodies to ensure that all incidents of violence and aggression against staff are addressed and appropriate sanctions brought forward wherever possible. This will improve the confidence and well-being of those who work in the NHS and their patients.”

Claire Lindley, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, added: “No NHS worker should have to do their job in fear of being assaulted. Some staff may feel that these assaults are part and parcel of their work and that they simply have to put up with them. This is not the case. We also know that some NHS staff mistakenly believe that nothing will be done if they report assaults. This is also not the case.”

Lindley continued: “This agreement shows the commitment of the NHS and the Crown Prosecution Service to making sure that the people who commit these assaults are brought to justice. We hope it gives people the confidence to report incidents and that offenders get the message – you will be caught and made to face the consequences.”

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Security seminar to provide free advice for businesses in the South East

Empowering businesses to reduce their risk from crime is the aim of a popular annual event which is set to return to the South East of England next month.

Free to attend, the South East Business Crime Conference is taking place at Westminster’s Church House Conference Centre in central London on Thursday 27 November, giving businesses from across the region the opportunity to learn more about reducing their security risk while meeting security suppliers and experiencing live demonstrations of the latest security technology.

The event is due to be formally opened by a representative from the London Mayor’s Office with other speakers including:

• Crime reduction specialist Neil Henson, who will be speaking on the Anti-Social Behaviour and Policing Act 2014 and its implications for community safety
• Simon Letchford (of the Metropolitan Police Service), who will be speaking about the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime’s (MOPAC) Business Crime Strategy
• DS Chris Felton (from the City of London Police) who will be discussing cyber crime
• Ken Meanwell (representing the Association of Chief Police Officers’ Crime Prevention Initiatives programme), who’s set to talk about Community Safety Accreditation Schemes
• Event sponsor DISC will be speaking about Business Crime Reporting Systems

The South East Business Crime Conference attracted high level delegates for the 2013 event

The South East Business Crime Conference attracted high level delegates for the 2013 event

Kindly sponsored by both DISC and Facewatch, the event is organised by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) alongside the Metropolitan Police Service and neighbouring forces from Thames Valley, City of London, Sussex, Hampshire, Kent and Essex.

Representatives from a range of business sectors

The event makes the move to central London in 2014 to enable easy access for delegates from across the South East region. Feedback from delegates attending last year’s event was positive, with 100% ending the day feeling better informed about the security marketplace and positive that the event had been of practical benefit to them.

Last year’s attendees included representatives from a range of business sectors and sizes in both the public and private sectors, including Waterstones, the University of Portsmouth and the Bank of England.

Alongside the informative conference programme at 2014’s event, a range of exhibitors will also be on hand to provide advice and guidance on the very latest in security services and technology solutions that can help businesses reduce crime.

James Kelly, CEO at the BSIA, commented: “With businesses facing a number of emerging threats such as cyber crime and fraud, the issue of business crime remains at the top of the corporate agenda. Working together with police forces and other local organisations can help organisations reduce the risk they face from crime and anti-social behaviour. Our event aims to bring together the South East business community to provide a wealth of expert advice and facilitate useful networking opportunities for business owners looking to source effective solutions to their security challenges.”

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

Register to attend

Those wishing to attend this year’s South East Business Crime Conference can register to attend by downloading a booking form from the BSIA’s website: http://www.bsia.co.uk/events/P22S11414451

Those wishing to exhibit at this year’s South East Business Crime Conference can also download a booking form from the BSIA’s website: http://bit.ly/1BzLA9J

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National Business Crime Solution helping to “save millions” in fight against retail criminality

The National Business Crime Solution – a not-for-profit initiative providing businesses with access to a collaborative partnership that spans the public and private sectors as well as law enforcement agencies – has revealed how it has helped to cut crimes costing retailers £650,000 per month, which equates to over £8 million per annum1.

Supported by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), the National Business Crime Solution (NBCS) realises a central repository where business crime data is submitted, shared and analysed in order to determine key threats, linked crime series and national targets that can be investigated.

Sue Fish, deputy chief constable at Nottinghamshire Police and ACPO’s national lead on business crime, commented: “At the recent British Retail Consortium Retail Crime Conference, it was great to see both national organisations and police forces speaking highly of the pockets of intelligence that have been enhanced thanks to the sharing of information with the NBCS. It’s brilliant to witness the initiative working independently of policing and with a governance structure that provides all businesses with an opportunity to contribute.”

Retail crime cost an estimated £511 million in 2012-20132 and, with a reported rise in organised crime and further cuts to public sector funding expected, businesses are increasingly recognising the benefits of a not-for-profit initiative that works collaboratively with the business community. As a result, over the past six months membership of the NBCS has increased by over 50% and attracted some of the largest names in the retail sector.

The National Business Crime Solution is supported by ACPO

The National Business Crime Solution is supported by ACPO

Using closer collaboration and an evidence-based approach, the NBCS has supported a number of businesses in reducing their exposure to business crime while at the same time providing a safer environment for customers and staff.

Building a national profile of business crime

Catherine Bowen, policy and stakeholder director at the NBCS, explained: “In just six months we’ve seen significant progress. More importantly, by working in collaboration we’ve proven that we can build a national profile of business crime and actively support the police service by building watertight, cross-border cases that result in real action.”

Bowen continued: “By working with law enforcement officials we can not only ensure that cross-border, serious and organised criminals are pursued but, by working with police analysts, we can also advise businesses on criminal trends and any particular ‘hot spots’ for increased illicit activities.”

In the first half of 2014, the NBCS – ably supported by the National Business Crime Intelligence Bureau (NBCIB) – dealt with over 70 investigations exposing cross-border, serious and organised criminal groups. The body has also provided support to more than 40 national businesses across 33 police force areas resulting in 29 arrests.

Notable successes over the past six months included the NBCS working with one member business alongside cross-border authorities to halt a series of high value thefts valued at over £9,000. In just nine days, 32 recorded offences were committed across a number of force areas. By sharing information and working together, the NBCS quickly established the full nature and scale of the criminal gang’s activities, in turn leading to timely arrests and a subsequent end to the high-value crime spree.

Catherine Bowen: policy and stakeholder director at the NBCS

Catherine Bowen: policy and stakeholder director at the NBCS

Another NBCS member business suffered 11 burglaries in just two months costing the company over £22,000 in lost goods, repairs and lost trade. By working with the NBCS, a pattern of incidents was established proving they were linked and not isolated. As a result of this information being passed to the police and assisting with further case development, the authorities were able to step in and make a successful arrest.

Retailers alerted to crime trends

“Sharing information across the business sector has ensured that retailers are alerted to rising crime trends, enabling them to take preventative action,” added Bowen. “This has also meant that where there are organised crime groups in operation, information is collated and shared with the police to bring criminal activities to a timely end.”

The timing for the NBCS has never been better with major cuts to public sector funding and a greater recognition of the important role businesses can play in cutting crime leading to an increased appetite for data sharing.

“Business crime may have made it back onto the agenda,” asserted Bowen, “but the challenge now is how we keep it there. In order to continue the progress we’ve made so far, we need businesses to join us, share their data and be part of this fast-growing collaborative approach to preventing business crime.”

Retail crime cost an estimated £511 million in 2012-2013

Retail crime cost an estimated £511 million in 2012-2013

*The NBCS was recently awarded top spot in the Best Collaborative Solution category at the 2014 Retail Fraud Awards

*Further information on the NBCS is available by contacting Catherine Bowen via e-mail at: catherine.bowen@nationalbusinesscrimesolution.com

References

1Value of crimes prevented as recorded by a selected number of members. Full potential of savings is significantly higher than the figure quoted
2British Retail Consortium’s Annual Retail Crime Survey 2014

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Sir Hugh Orde to stand down as chief officers replace ACPO with new policing body

At Chief Constables’ Council on October 17, chief constables took key decisions on the development of a new body that will soon replace ACPO in co-ordinating operational policing at the national level.

In July this year, chief officers voted in support of proposals to establish a new co-ordinating body that would be hosted by – but remain independent of – the Metropolitan Police Service and replace the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). These proposals were drawn up by a group of chief officers implementing recommendations made in General Sir Nick Parker’s detailed review of ACPO’s operations.

Following that mandate, the implementation group continued to develop a legal structure, operating model, a new secretariat structure and the process for a chief constable to be selected as an independent leader, seek a name for the new organisation and examine proposals for future funding.

The group consulted all ACPO members on how the new chairman should be elected, the potential name of the body and the emerging operating model. Final decisions were then taken by chief constables.

It was agreed that all chief officers would elect a chairman before the end of 2014. The intention is to ensure that the electorate is inclusive and that there’s broad support. Chief officers agreed a fixed term appointment of two years with a maximum of four years in office subject to satisfactory performance.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) was chosen as the name of the new body to replace ACPO.

Proposals for an operating model

Members were consulted on early proposals for an operating model with three basic components: Chief Constables’ Council, an annual delivery plan and a range of co-ordination committees that will replace the business area structure currently adopted by ACPO. It was also agreed that more work was needed to develop the committee structure.

There will be a small team to support the elected chairman, provide planning and programme management and also communications support. Work is continuing to ensure that legal agreements are in place and that the new body operates both efficiently and effectively.

Sir Hugh Orde OBE QPM: standing down as President of ACPO

Sir Hugh Orde OBE QPM: standing down as President of ACPO

In light of these decisions, ACPO President Sir Hugh Orde OBE QPM is now in a position to stand down at the end of 2014 and allow chief officers to elect a leader who will head the new body. ACPO will continue to provide national co-ordination and leadership until the new body is constituted.

The new co-ordinating body will help the police service cut crime and keep members of the public safe by joining up operational response around the most serious and strategic threats. Focusing on operational delivery and developing national approaches on issues such as finance, technology and Human Resources, the NPCC will work closely with the College of Policing which is now responsible for developing professional standards.

ACPO’s core role of bringing together the expertise of police leadership to co-ordinate operational policing and agree national approaches in the public interest will be transferred into the new body. The aim is to develop a modernised and improved co-ordinating body that will be both sustainable and effective in supporting the police service when delivering at the national level.

The new co-ordinating body will be hosted by the Metropolitan Police Service. As part of ongoing plans the present company limited by guarantee will be dissolved.

Exciting new chapter in police leaders’ work

Speaking about these substantial and important developments, ACPO President Sir Hugh Orde OBE QPM commented: “Chief constables have met to discuss key decisions about how a new body co-ordinating operational policing at the national level will operate. It’s right that the leaders of the service take these decisions. This is an exciting new chapter in police leaders’ work. It’s essential that this process takes place seamlessly and with as little disruption to operational policing as possible.”

The ACPO leader continued: “To help create this seamlessness, I’ve decided to step down as President of ACPO around the end of the year in order to allow chief officers to elect a leader who will head the new body. I have made this decision after a lot of thought and after five years of having the immense privilege of leading a team of dedicated, talented and tireless chief officers whose passion for protecting their communities has been unabated in the face of changing modes of crime, seismic shifts in the policing landscape and the impact of austerity on the service. I want to thank all of my colleagues for their support and comradeship, along with all those others with whom I’ve served across 37 years as an officer.”

Going forward, key functions of the National Police Chiefs’ Council will be as follows:

*Co-ordination of national operations including defining, monitoring and testing force contributions to the Strategic Policing Requirement
*Command of counter-terrorism operations and the delivery of counter-terrorist policing through the national network as set out in the S22A agreement
*Co-ordination of the national policing response to national emergencies and the mobilisation of resources across force borders as well as on an international basis
*National operational implementation of standards and policy as set by the College of Policing and the Government
*Working with the College, the development of joint national approaches on criminal justice, value for money, service transformation, information management, performance management and technology
*Working with the College (where appropriate), the development of joint national approaches to staff and Human Resources issues (including misconduct and discipline) in line with chief officers’ responsibilities as employers

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