Tag Archives: Government

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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Critical infrastructure and Government GSOCs drive CNL Software’s IPSecurityCenter V5.7 PSIM

CNL Software, the Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) system software specialist, has announced the release of IPSecurityCenter V5.7. This latest release includes many feature enhancements that increase performance and reduce operational response times in large-scale, multi-sited and mission-critical deployments of IPSecurityCenter and will benefit those in the transportation, corporate security and public safety markets.

According to CNL, IPSecurityCenter leads the Global Security Operations Centre (GSOC) market for PSIM. This latest release improves CNL Software’s ability to manage across multiple Security Operations Centres (SOCs) and GSOCs, keeping the entire operation in harmony using enterprise wide visualisation to support the overall security mission for critical infrastructure and large-scale Government security programmes.

“We continue to invest heavily in developing the features that customers, partners and industry leaders inspire us to create,” commented Simon Knightley, CTO at CNL Software. “We listen to our customers and understand what’s important to them. Their ideas help us to innovate new ways in which to support them in making the GSOC a faster and more effective hub for all mission-critical security and life safety-related activity. They want their Control Rooms to see more, act faster and collaborate better throughout the whole organisation, which we help them to achieve using IPSecurityCenter V5.7.”

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CNL states that the V5.7 release differentiates CNL Software from other PSIM vendors and establishes IPSecurityCenter as the first choice PSIM solution for large-scale Government security programmes, critical infrastructure and facilities protection.

Some of the main enhancements within the new release include:

*More scalable for larger deployments: Enhancements support greater control over large-scale federated solutions, driving tightly managed GSOC operations
*Faster and more responsive: Improvements include faster access to historic alarm data with fewer clicks and rapid access to video from remote locations
*Support for 64-bit video: This ensures IPSecurityCenter leverages the latest developments in video technology and multi-thread processing for faster and more scalable solutions
*General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)-ready security platform: Enhancements ensure that IPSecurityCenter is ready for the most demanding compliance processes, with security features such as two-factor authentication included such that there are no unauthorised changes to the system
*Improved decision support: Developments include new interactive dashboards that allow operators to access key performance indicators in real-time using a customisable device that can highlight alarm, human and machine data alike

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Fire door safety campaigners “step up first line of defence”

Through Fire Door Safety Week (FDSW), fire door safety campaigners are working to ensure public and private sector landlords and building owners stop risking the lives of tenants and ensure fire doors are correctly inspected, specified, fitted and maintained.

Fire doors are the first line of defence against devastating fires and, when properly built, installed and maintained, they save lives and protect property. Despite this, fire doors across the UK are still often badly fitted, non-compliant, left propped open or damaged and, as a result, could be putting millions of lives at stake.

The team behind FDSW 2018 (which runs from 24-30 September) is gearing up for its campaign that will continue to educate about the critical role that fire doors play in delaying the spread of smoke and fire and keeping occupants and firefighters safe.

The FDSW campaign – entitled: ‘Fire Door Five: Shutting the Door on Fire and Smoke’ – aims to draw attention to the importance of properly-fitted and accredited fire doors as well as raising awareness of the dangers of smoke inhalation and the role that correctly installed fire doors can play in preventing the spread of both fire and smoke.

Part of the activity will see campaigners explore the need to establish a Building Safety Fund to help pay for vital and potentially life-saving fire safety improvements in Local Authority and Housing Association accommodation.

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Informed decisions

Hannah Mansell, spokesperson for FDSW as well as being the British Woodworking Federation’s (BWF) head of technical research and insight, chair of the Passive Fire Protection Forum and a trustee of the Children’s Burns Trust, said: “Through Fire Door Safety Week, we will once more renew our efforts to ensure that residents, landlords and building owners across the UK are armed with the information they need to make informed decisions that will improve safety.”

Mansell continued: “There’s no doubt that, when fully-fitted with their correct and compatible components, properly installed and maintained, fire doors play a crucial role in saving lives in the event of a fire. The legacy of neglect means that more lives could be lost as a result of sub-standard fire protection measures. We know that the necessary corrective actions will cost money and that’s precisely why we are asking the Government set up a Building Safety Fund for Housing Associations and Local Authorities such that they can carry out replacement and repair works. Finance should not be used as an excuse. The stakes are too high.”

Mansell went on to state: “Tenants and the general public will, as always, play a key part and make sure their voices are heard by reporting fire doors that are propped open, damaged or in poor condition, rather than waiting for landlords or building owners to inspect fire doors. Indeed, as part of Fire Door Safety Week, we have created a Five-Step Fire Door Check to help people check their fire doors and empower them to report faults.”

Massive learning curve

Over the last year, there has been significant discussion about the responsibility of landlords, councils and Housing Associations to ensure the safety of their tenants, but according to Mansell there’s still a massive learning curve in terms of awareness about how fire doors that are correctly specified, installed, maintained and of course closed can limit the effect of fire and smoke, and what to do in the event of a fire.

“Due to this uncertainty, our focus for Fire Door Safety Week in 2018 is ‘shutting the door on fire and smoke’. We want to educate everyone on how effective fire doors can be in stopping the spread of fire and smoke.”

A national campaign, FDSW is run by the BWF, the BWF-Certifire Scheme and the Fire Door Inspection Scheme in partnership with the Home Office’s own National Fire Safety Campaign. Throughout the week, there will be numerous events and campaign activities designed to raise awareness about the importance of fire door safety.

*To access a free toolkit of fire safety advice resources to help run your own FDSW activities visit www.firedoorsafetyweek.co.uk

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Newest version of UK Government’s G-Cloud set to include Advent IM

Advent IM has been part of the UK Government’s G-Cloud portal since its first release. It has now been announced that the newest iteration of the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) procurement platform will again provide direct public sector access to the company’s cyber security, risk management consultancy and training services.

Advent IM’s director, Julia McCarron, said: “Our long-standing relationship with the public sector has been consolidated by our availability over several iterations of the G-Cloud platform. The ability to procure cyber security and risk management services quickly and directly has been of great importance to our clients. We’re delighted to be listed on G-Cloud 10 and look forward to supporting more public sector bodies with high quality consulting and training.”

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Julia McCarron of Advent IM

The CCS is a commercial service for Government, acting on behalf of the Crown, to drive savings for the taxpayer and improve the quality of commercial and procurement activity across the public sector. CCS brings together, as one organisation, the Government Procurement Service – the commercial function of the Cabinet Office – as well as common goods and services procurement and commercial management currently undertaken by departments.

Its vision is to deliver value for the nation through outstanding commercial capability and quality customer service.

The CCS is an executive agency of the Cabinet Office and operates as a trading fund under the Government Trading Funds Act 1973.

*For further detail access https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/g-cloud/supplier/92582

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Magenta Security Services achieves Cyber Essentials accreditation

Magenta Security Services has been recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) after taking significant steps towards protecting its online systems. The effort expended has seen the Hounslow-based Security Industry Authority Approved Contractor added to a list of endorsed organisations on the NCSC’s website and accredited with a Cyber Essentials certificate.

Cyber Essentials is a Government-backed, industry-approved scheme aimed at helping organisations protect themselves against common types of cyber attack. At its basic level, the scheme advocates businesses implementing certain technical controls in order to bolster overall system security.

To earn its Cyber Essentials certificate, Magenta Security was required to have all of the business’ digital defences assessed by an independent accreditation body.

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Abbey Petkar

Having self-implemented the technical controls already, its systems and software also met a detailed set of requirements with various forms of evidence provided to back this up.

Finally, a self-assessment questionnaire was completed as proof of understanding the new implementations and configuration of its systems.

Abbey Petkar, managing director of Magenta Security, explained to Risk Xtra: “Following many recent high-profile data breaches as well as the General Data Protection Regulation deadline, there has been a substantial increase in business awareness of the need to boost online defences. Magenta Security is protecting its clients in every possible way.”

Magenta Security also runs operations in Swindon, Birmingham, Manchester and Kent, providing security guarding solutions, mobile patrols and electronic surveillance.

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Hikvision awarded Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation by National Cyber Security Centre

Hikvision has been awarded Cyber Essentials Plus status – the highest accreditation in the programme. Operated by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the Cyber Essentials scheme is an independently assessed accreditation supported by the Government. The scheme is designed to carry out rigorous testing of Internet-enabled products connected to a given company’s infrastructure – in this case that of Hikvision – in order to ensure that, when connected to a network, those products are safe, secure and don’t provide a risk to devices on the rest of the network.

In partnership with five independent test houses, the Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation process covers a number of different areas to ensure users of Internet-enabled devices are assured of the highest level of protection against potential cyber threats and attacks. These independent test houses assess products through internal testing and vulnerability scanning. Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation is only awarded when testers are fully satisfied that the tested products don’t pose a risk to the wider network.

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“Cyber security is really hot topic in the security industry so naturally we’re delighted to have been awarded Cyber Essentials Plus status,” explained Gary Harmer, sales director for Hikvision UK and Ireland. “As the only manufacturer in our industry to have received this level of accreditation, it’s confirmation of the confidence we at Hikvision have in our own operations.”

Hikvision will continue to work with the NCSC and other authorised bodies to maintain, develop and enhance the security of its products, operating environments and processes.

*An earlier version of the Press Release suggested that the Cyber Essentials Plus status relates to products and has caused some confusion. To clarify, Hikvision has been awarded Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation, which relates directly to the security and robustness of its own infrastructure within the company’s UK operation. It was never Hikvision’s intention to mislead the reader with any inference that the accreditation related in any way to the company’s own products. Hikvision sincerely apologises for the unclear statement about the award

*To find out more about Hikvision’s plans for enhanced cyber security, visit Stand D300 at IFSEC International between 19-21 June. IFSEC International runs at London’s ExCeL

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CDVI UK receives Cyber Essentials accreditation

CDVI UK has announced the company’s successful accreditation to the Cyber Essentials security standards. Cyber Essentials is a Government-backed and industry-supported scheme designed to help organisations protect themselves against common online threats. This set of basic technical controls assists organisations in protecting themselves against common online security threats.

This certification is consistent with the continual desire of CDVI UK to offer secured solutions and products.

CDVI UK has been working with Luke Hargreaves, managing director at Cloud Smart Solutions, to secure the company’s IT network against cyber attacks. The business now has up-to-date and operative cyber security measures in place.

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The latest update of the ATRIUM web-based access control to General Data Protection Regulation standards shows that CDVI’s product development is fully connected to the latest trends in the security industry.

The CDVI Group develops products ranging from biometric and online access control solutions through to electromagnetic locking, keypads, stand-alone entrance systems and door automation.

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