Tag Archives: Crime

Fly-tipping costing UK’s security industry “thousands of pounds” in clean-up and insurance claims

According to the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), the illegal dumping of waste by criminal gangs is costing the UK’s security industry thousands of pounds in clean-up costs and insurance claims.

The costs, which might be borne by the landlords of fly-tipping ‘hotspots’ if they’re not covered by insurance, can routinely reach hundreds of thousands of pounds. Indeed, claims have been known to regularly exceed this figure.

Companies who fail to adequately protect their assets, or have been victims of fly-tipping in the past, could find their insurance cost rising. Some of these costs are met by taxpayers. According to the Local Government Association, the cost to taxpayers of clearing up fly-tipping rose to £57 million in the past year. That’s up 13% on the previous 12 months.

Restrictions on the tipping of waste and the inevitable dumping to avoid paying for waste processing are key factors underpinning this unlawful behaviour. In recent times, a far larger and more costly crime is occurring on an almost daily basis. This involves the unlawful occupation of land followed by large-scale collection and disposal of waste. There have also been many cases of industrial units rented on short leases which have then been filled with illegal waste and left for the landlord to clear up.

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The recent surge in fly-tipping is put down to an influx of organised gangs offering cheap disposal services to businesses and then simply fly-tipping the waste to avoid the payment of landfill tax which is currently set at £88.95 per tonne*. More sophisticated fly-tippers have also been setting up dummy companies advertising cheap skip rentals. They take out short term leases on warehouses then fill them from floor to ceiling with waste before moving on ahead of the landlord realising that rent hasn’t been paid.

Focus on serious crime and terrorism

Tony Cockcroft, chair of the Security Guarding Section at the BSIA, said: “This activity is being conducted on an enormous scale and involves the tipping of hundreds of tonnes of waste. The waste is collected from building sites and garden and house clearances. It’s a criminal activity netting large amounts of money for those involved in the process.”

Cockroft continued: “In most cases of land tipping, the perpetrators are evicted from the site only to move on to another close by and repeat the same activity again and again. The police and other agencies seldom make arrests, prosecute individuals or confiscate vehicles largely due to their already overstretched resources having to be focused on serious crime and terrorist threats.”

Gideon Reichental, chair of the Vacant Property Protection Section at the BSIA, told Risk Xtra: “Fly-tipping isn’t just an unnecessarily expensive eyesore. It can also be dangerous. Tipped rubbish has been known to include specialist and clinical waste which may be hazardous. Mixed waste can spontaneously combust. This harms the environment through airborne pollution and contaminated fire-water run-off, which is why it has never been more important to tackle the problem head on.”

Reichental added: “The BSIA’s Vacant Property Protection Section has had a keen interest in this problem as it affects many of our clients in the public and private sectors on a day-to-day basis. They’re working closely with the Association’s lobbying team to see what additional Government support or legislation might be provided in order to help address this issue.”

Protecting large areas of land

Protecting large areas of land can prove difficult, but there are a number of fairly simple and inexpensive measures that should be considered as it’s far better, and ultimately cheaper, to deter a person from entering land rather than having to subsequently evict them and restore the site.

As a minimum, the BSIA recommends the installation of strong metal gates with toughened steel padlocks and anti-lift hinges. If the site is vacant, block all vulnerable access points with concrete barriers. Secure the perimeter with strong fencing, posts, earth mounds or trenches and frequently check the site and the perimeter.

The BSIA also advises landlords of industrial units to put in place robust procedures to identify if the persons looking to rent a property are fit and proper to do so.

It’s also worth contacting the police on 101 if there’s a suspicion that land is being illegally occupied, though police officers harbour only restricted powers to deal with people who breach civil law by trespassing. In certain circumstances, a direction to leave may be made and, in the event of non-compliance, arrests may follow.

However, the powers to remove trespassers are discretionary and will not be used by the police unless considered absolutely necessary. If trespassers don’t leave a site when requested to do so then landowners should go through the normal channels of civil recovery as quickly as possible to mitigate the potential damage and resulting costs.

*All figures quoted in this release have been provided by Dougie Barnett, head of mid-market and customer risk management at AXA Insurance

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London Digital Security Centre and Oxford University pool resources to develop White Paper on Digital Security for SMEs

Oxford University, in association with the London Digital Security Centre (LDSC), will be looking at the challenges faced by SMEs and their importance to the economy as a supply chain link to larger companies and Government in order to produce an academic White Paper entitled ‘Developing Security Education and Awareness Programmes for SMEs’ for publication this coming November.

The White Paper will provide an overall review of the LDSC’s approach and effectiveness on security education for SMEs. This work will provide recommendations for assessing the effectiveness of such programmes in future and the LDSC’s specifically.

Providing education and training for this sector is crucial in order to ensure that cyber security capacity measures (such as ‘10 Steps to Cyber Security – Cyber Essentials’) are actually implemented. This White paper will explore current offerings on cyber security education and training for SMEs and identify the existing gaps.

DataBreach

Drafted by Dr Maria Bada and Dr Jason Nurse, the authors have already published similar work on the effectiveness of cyber security awareness raising. This new White Paper will build on previous knowledge and expertise using interviews and focus groups to collect information.

Dr Bada commented: “Our aim is to review the London Digital Security Centre’s approach to security education for SMEs and the motivation for this initiative. We will critically reflect on the effectiveness of the LDSC’s approach thus far. Our methodology is based on qualitative and quantitative data.”

The LDSC has already recognised the challenges that SMEs face when it comes to cyber security and is helping businesses to embrace digital innovations and operate in a secure online environment such that they protect themselves against cyber criminals.

John Unsworth, CEO at the LDSC, concluded: “Our role is to help improve the security posture of SMEs operating in London. It’s vital we understand their motivation and the issues they face to ensure the training and advice we give is implemented. This is particularly important given that over 1,000 SMEs in London report a digital crime to Action Fraud every month.”

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Europol hosts inaugural ‘Project Diamond’ Conference on jewellery theft and burglary

From Tuesday 17 January to Thursday 19 January, Europol hosted its first international conference on jewellery robbery and burglary under the banner ‘Project Diamond’. SaferGems – a joint initiative established by the British Security Industry Association, T.H. March Insurance Brokers and the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) – was invited to deliver a presentation at the event, which took place at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague.

‘Project Diamond’ was initially created as a follow-up to ‘Project Pink Panther’, which was initiated by Interpol back in 2007 in an effort to assist law enforcement around the world in apprehending members of the international network of jewellery thieves that had originated from the Western Balkans.

Interpol’s project ended last year, and it was then decided that ‘Project Diamond’ would be more extensive in its focus, targeting criminal networks involved in jewellery robberies and burglaries from Europe as well as the Baltic Sea and Western Black Sea areas.

In attendance were over 70 experts from nearly all of the EU Member States, as well as other representatives from third parties from Europe, Asia and the Americas, including private jewellery and watch companies.

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Intelligence officer Lee Henderson represented SaferGems, an initiative sponsored by the NAJ and T.H. March Insurance that co-ordinates data on jewellery crime and facilitates information sharing between jewellers, pawnbrokers and the police. At the event, Henderson delivered a presentation about the background of SaferGems, crime trends and statistics, the SaferGems Watch Register and the initiative’s success stories.

Positive support and feedback

“The presentation was very well received by the experts in attendance and raised many questions from the audience,” stated Henderson. “We also received positive support and feedback from our colleagues that attended on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service and the West Midlands Police.”

The project comes at a vital time, with the EU facing increased trends in jewellery robbery and burglaries. It has been reported by Europol that these criminals are becoming more violent in their tactics, using heavy vehicles in order to infiltrate jewellery stores and putting the lives of customers and staff at risk.

The aim of the conference was to harness the existing knowledge and expertise of attendees in order to discuss the best ways in which to fight this rising tide of crime.

Given the increased trends in jewellery robbery and burglaries, the conference came at a crucial time and provided SaferGems with an opportunity to share information and intelligence with police officers from the New York Police Department, The Garda, Federal Police Belgium, Organised Crime Finland and Antwerp Diamond District.

Henderson concluded: “As a result of our participation in the conference, law enforcement agencies from across the world are now more aware of the capabilities of the SaferGems initiative and the successes that it continues to have.”

*For more information on the SaferGems initiative visit: https://www.safergems.org.uk/

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Research suggests up to 45% of fraud linked directly to organised crime

New research conducted by the Police Foundation and Perpetuity Research has found that between 31% and 45% of fraud may be linked to organised crime. This is up to three times higher than the 15% level found in previous studies.

The research, which was funded by The Dawes Trust, looked at a large sample of frauds taking place in the Midlands and the South West. It found that fraud linked to organised crime was more harmful to victims than other types of fraud. On average, individual victims of organised fraud were likely to lose significantly more money per fraud offence (£10,260) than victims of non-organised fraud (£3,982).

Professor Martin Gill CSyP FSyI, director of Perpetuity Research and one of the research report’s authors, said: “We know that fraud, and particularly online fraud, is the new volume crime. Our research shows that organised crime groups play a much larger role in fraud than has previously been estimated, and that fraud linked to organised crime causes much more harm than other types of fraud.”

Investment fraud was most likely to be linked to organised crime, with around 70% of this fraud type estimated to be perpetrated by organised crime groups. Between a third (38%) and over a half (59%) of mass-marketing fraud is estimated to be linked to organised crime.

stop fraud

The research also found that the police response to fraud was inadequate. Unlike traditional crime types such as burglary and vehicle crime, victims who report a fraud rarely receive a visit from a police officer or any other official.

Response to organised fraud

There are many agencies holding a wide range of powers which could bolster the local response to organised fraud. However, at present these agencies only work together on an ad hoc basis and systematic data sharing is virtually non-existent.

Given the complexity, the expense and the low success rate of fraud investigations, a more problem-oriented, multi-agency approach would, the researchers argue, be somewhat more effective.

Police Foundation director Rick Muir explained: “Despite its increasing scale across the UK, fraud doesn’t currently receive the recognition it deserves and tends to fall between the gaps of a number of agencies, including the police. While the offenders of organised fraud are difficult to prosecute, it’s clear there are vulnerable victims to safeguard, communities to protect and crimes to be prevented. It’s more important than ever to ensure that agencies and authorities don’t relinquish their responsibilities in tackling it.”

On average, Action Fraud receives details on 25,000 reported frauds per month. Based on the researchers’ estimates, this means that between 7,000 and 12,000 reported frauds could be perpetrated by organised criminals every month.

In practice, only a small proportion of these incidents are ever investigated by police forces. Furthermore, forces are not systematically recording the outcomes of fraud investigations, and are therefore not being properly held to account.

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Seminar programme announced for ‘Manchester Security: Safe and Secure for Business’

The full programme has now been announced for the upcoming ‘Manchester Security: Safe and Secure for Business’ seminar, which will focus on providing businesses in the North West with valuable insights into current security issues facing the region.

The programme will be chaired by Jim Battle, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester, and includes a formal opening by Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan QPM. Presenters on the day are as follows:

*Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Mole, Head of the North West Counter-Terrorism Unit, on the changing face of terrorism and the importance of planning and preparation

*Superintendent Marcus Noden with an update on neighbourhood policing and how partnership working through Integrated Neighbourhood Management is being progressed

*A spokesperson from SelectaDNA explaining how synthetically manufactured DNA is proving to be a powerful tool in the fight against crime

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Event logistics

The event takes place on Thursday 29 September at St Ann’s Church, St Ann’s Street, Manchester M2 7LF.

Paul King, chairman of the Manchester City Centre Crime Prevention Panel, told Risk UK: “This free event isn’t to be missed for Manchester businesses, who will be able to find out about the latest security, business continuity and counter-terrorism issues in order to better protect their premises, staff and customers.”

King continued: “Businesses are continually falling victim to acts of crimes and threats, so security is of the utmost importance. This event will offer you the latest advice from a range of policing and security professionals to help better protect your business and prevent crime.”

Doors open at 8.30 am. Refreshments and breakfast snacks will be provided and there will be opportunities to network before and after the event, which is due to end around 11.00 am”.

SelectaDNA and GJD are sponsoring the event and their crime prevention products will be on display.

The event is organised by Manchester City Centre Crime Prevention Panel with the support of Greater Manchester Police, Manchester City Council and Atmaana Business Consulting.

*Online registration is available at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HJMTLQ6

**For more information on the ‘Manchester Security: Safe and Secure for Business’ event contact Christine Brooks via e-mail at christine.brooks@atmaana.co.uk

With only limited places left available it is advisable to register as soon as possible

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Motorola Solutions expands security services to help end users manage cyber risks

Motorola Solutions now offers Government and public safety customers expanded cyber security services to help protect against cyber attacks, particularly so as they share information across agencies and work together to solve crimes.

The company’s new Cyber Security Professional Service is a collaborative effort with customers to help them identify and manage cyber risk within their operations by evaluating technology, processes and staff capabilities and recommending solutions to help agencies respond quickly and effectively to any potential breaches.

According to a recent survey of businesses and Government agencies, the number of cyber security incidents detected by respondents climbed to 42.8 million in 2014, representing an increase of more than 48% in just one year. That’s the equivalent of 117,339 incoming attacks each day across a 12-month period.

The Cyber Security Professional Service helps maintain the integrity of police investigations by protecting against cyber threats to mission-critical radio networks and real-time information sources such as videos of incidents and photographs and fingerprints of suspects that are shared between agencies.

The new service adds to Motorola Solutions’ capabilities that already help prevent breaches such as network security monitoring and software security updates which enable customers to maintain the most current and effective versions of programs like records management systems.

“Many organisations believe their most sensitive mission-critical information is safe, but it’s becoming clear that even public safety and Government agencies are prime targets for cyber criminals,” said Kelly Mark, corporate vice-president at Motorola Solutions.

“The Cyber Security Professional Service builds on Motorola Solutions’ decades-long experience in mission-critical security services and helps customers respond quickly to ever-changing security threats by providing periodic assessments designed to identify risks and prioritise next steps towards maintaining secure communications.”

*Motorola Solutions creates innovative, mission-critical communication solutions and services that help public safety and commercial customers build safer cities and thriving communities. Visit http://newsroom.motorolasolutions.com for ongoing company news or subscribe to the dedicated news feed

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Facewatch founder Simon Gordon wins prestigious accolade at 2015 Worshipful Company of Information Technologists Enterprise Awards

The WCIT Entrepreneurs Forum has announced the winners of the fifth annual WCIT Enterprise Awards. The awards, which were presented at a celebratory dinner held at The Plaisterers’ Hall in London, recognise the achievements of individuals who have demonstrated vision, growth, innovation, funding, use or resources, strategy, execution, ambition and determination to succeed.

Simon Gordon – who founded Facewatch back in March 2010 when he decided that he needed to do something about the problem of pickpockets stealing from customers in his family-owned London business Gordon’s Wine Bar – was bestowed with the prestigious Judges Award.

John O’Connell, chairman of the WCIT Enterprise Awards, commented: “Winning an award is always noteworthy. Winning a WCIT Enterprise Award marks the winner out as someone special. Simon Gordon is an entrepreneur who exemplifies the qualities our Judges were looking for including vision and passion for his subject. I wish Simon and Facewatch every success in their quest to create a ‘Global Champion’ which the WCIT Awards are designed to recognise.”

Simon Gordon (left) receives his award

Simon Gordon (left) receives his award

From its inception as a simple crime reporting tool, Facewatch has now evolved into a multi-functional crime reporting platform that enables businesses, the police service and members of the public to work together when it comes to reducing high volume, low-level acquisitive crime (such as handbag, wallet or mobile phone theft).

Functionality of the Facewatch solution includes data sharing and analysis tools, CCTV and image capture (including facial recognition software from partners), crime analysis tools and secure communication within groups.

Developing at a rapid pace

Simon Gordon, who’s also chairman at Facewatch, told Risk UK: “This award is a great personal honour, but more importantly it recognises all of the hard work, effort and support that I’ve received from everybody associated with Facewatch. In particular, I would like to thank Guy Rigby from Smith and Williamson for his help and support to Facewatch over a long period of time and for nominating me for this award. The company is now developing at a rapid pace and we’re extremely excited about achieving our vision and making a really positive social impact.”

This year’s WCIT Enterprise Awards were held in association with tech UK and sponsored by The Sage Group plc, TechMarketView, Cobalt Corporate Finance, GFT and Smith & Williamson.

The event also featured a keynote speech from Stephen Kelly, CEO of The Sage Group plc. Kelly’s a passionate champion of entrepreneurs and small businesses and promoting their role in driving economic growth.

Also attending the awards ceremony were several other key industry professionals including Steve Garnett (chairman for the EMEA region at salesforce.com), Mike Tobin, the co-founder of Telecity and Richard Holway (chairman of TechMarketView).

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