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Is the security industry heading towards a legislative cliff?

Brian Sims and Bobby Logue canvass UK security industry leaders’ opinions on why swift primary legislation is going to be so important for the future roadmap of private sector regulation.

At the conclusion of the Public Bodies Review by the UK Government (which focused on creating greater transparency around all public bodies), the Government – in consultation with the security industry – agreed that the Security Industry Authority (SIA) should be reformed.

In November 2012, the Home Office began consultation on the future of the regulated UK private security sector. Key to the changes suggested by the politicians was the formation of a new regulatory body which requires primary legislation to take effect.

Key changes include the licensing of security companies, the idea that the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) may become an industry-led Hallmark Scheme and that the security industry itself could be vested with direct responsibility for skills development.

Some of the proposed changes don’t in fact require primary legislation, but key areas of the proposed changes do.

Warning from industry leaders

Now, industry leaders have warned that, without primary legislation materialising before the next General Election, the private security industry faces the possibility of sliding off a legislative cliff.

A concerned James Kelly, chairman of the Security Regulation Alliance and the CEO of the British Security Industry Association, commented: “The BSIA recently collated responses from across its membership to the Home Office consultation on the proposed new regulatory regime. It was noted and accepted that the main substance of the consultation document reflected the key proposals submitted to the Home Office by the Regulator – to which the BSIA and its partners in the Security Regulation Alliance had contributed. There was, however, one notable concern: the current absence of any provision for the scheduling of primary legislation.”

Kelly continued: “The BSIA, along with its partners in the Security Regulation Alliance, believes that the efficacy of the proposed new system of regulation depends wholly on the requisite primary legislation. Without this, the proposals will be ineffectual, and it will represent a missed opportunity to build constructively on the industry-Regulator-Government consensus achieved to date.”

Elaborating on this point, Kelly went on to state: “Indeed, the credibility of the Home Office’s recent industry-wide consultation, which states that such legislation will be introduced – but there is silence on the timing of it – will be undermined in the absence of such primary legislation. Accordingly, it’s imperative that the relevant primary legislation, giving effect to the Security Industry Authority’s successor body and conferring enforcement powers on that body to challenge businesses that fail to comply with the terms of their licence, is scheduled at the earliest possible date within this Parliament.”

Sense of cautious optimism

Commenting on behalf of The Security Institute and its membership, chairman Mike Bluestone CSyP said: “It’s well over two years since the formation of the Security Regulation Alliance. That body was established in the autumn of 2010 as a combined security sector response to the Government’s announcement at the time that the SIA was to be abolished along with hundreds of other ‘Quangos’ [ie Non Departmental Public Bodies or NDPBs].”

Bluestone explained: “The Security Institute was a founder member of the Security Regulation Alliance. I’m proud of the role that the organisation has played to date in contributing to the work of the Alliance, and in particular to the SIA’s Strategic Consultation Group (SCG). The SCG was, of course, the brainchild of Baroness Ruth Henig who, until earlier this month, was chairman of the SIA. To the surprise of many of us, and despite her outstanding leadership, Baroness Henig’s tenure as SIA chairman was not renewed. We do of course wish the new acting chairman, Bill Matthews, every success in this important role, and look forward to working with him.”

Bluestone also said: “There’s a sense of cautious optimism that the move towards a new regulatory regime centred on business licensing will be completed sooner rather than later. One reason for the ‘cautious’ element in this optimism is the ongoing delay in the passing of the necessary primary legislation. Primary legislation is essential in order to give the new regulatory regime the required mandate to operate fully, including new and essential enforcement powers which will be needed to oversee licensed businesses as opposed to individuals.”

Concluding his statement, Bluestone explained: “Let us hope that the assurances being given by the Government to pass that legislation materialise very soon. Those of us who have the responsibility of consulting with the SIA and the Home Office on a regular basis will certainly not rest until that legislation is passed and the new regulatory regime is in place. The UK simply cannot afford to let the future regulation of such a vital industry be allowed to hang in the balance for much longer.”

IPSA: supporting the case for reform

Also voicing strong opinion on this vital matter is Mike White, chairman of the International Professional Security Association (IPSA).

“You could be forgiven for thinking that the recently ended Home Office consultation around the future regulation of the private security industry was, in real terms, Hobson’s Choice given that one option was to do nothing, a second was to remove all regulation completely and the third was the wonderfully drafted description of ‘a phased transition to a business regulation regime’,” said White. “Having been part of the consultation on the future of regulation for some time now, IPSA supports the case for reform and, specifically, the need for business regulation. However, we do have concerns.”

White continued: “For any business regulatory regime to have meaningful credibility, there will need to be suitable and sufficient enforcement powers enshrined within the process. These will need to include proportionate measures that could range from cautions, improvement notices and fines up to the ultimate sanction of the revocation of a company’s licence to trade in the industry. It’s our understanding that, for these powers to be guaranteed, there’s a need for primary legislation to be passed by Parliament. However, Government business managers only point to a vague offer of an opportunity of some Parliamentary time sometime in the final session – most probably 2014 – just a year before the next General Election.”

White went on to state: “This is not good enough, and is arguably an insult to an industry that’s actively seeking to enhance its professionalism, drive out – and keep out – criminality and which has positively embraced the need for change. The Private Security Industry Act 2001 stumbled through Parliament at the end of a Parliamentary session. We mustn’t let that happen again.”

IPSA’s chairman explained: “We support our colleagues in the industry with similar misgivings, and join them in calling upon Lord Taylor and the Home Secretary to grasp this opportunity as proactively and positively as the security industry has and confirm a date when draft primary legislation will be put up for debate. This must be well in advance of 2014 when MPs will inevitably be starting their General Election campaigns and their thoughts will be elsewhere.”

In conclusion, White stressed: “This is an opportunity to shape our industry for the next 20-plus years, and it needs to be underpinned by well thought out, fit for purpose legislation that ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’.”

Brian Sims (media solutions manager, UBM Live Security and Fire Portfolio) and Bobby Logue (managing director, Interconnective)

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Info4Security End User News: Fighting crime in the community

Once again, it’s great to see the Home Office supporting the victims of crime. Rightly, the politicians have also honoured crime fighters at a point when community safety is in sharp focus. 

Continuing that theme, congratulations to the Facewatch team on another excellent crime-solving initiative

Also very pleasing to see is the latest crackdown on illegal activity in the night-time economy following enforcement operations carried out by the Met Police in tandem with the Security Industry Authority. 

Speaking of private security sector regulation and its future, make sure you read an excellent Opinion article by Professor Mark Button on the latest round of Government consultations. 

Interesting to note is the latest Foreign and Commonwealth Office statement on UK security companies operating overseas and the Home Affairs Select Committee’s stated desire to see a Royal Commission tasked with examining current drugs policy

Before the seasonal festivities begin, it’ll be worth your while making time to scan the latest blogs from The Security Analyst (on PSIM), The Networker (where the focus is critical infrastructure protection) and The Core Thinking (TUPE for security personnel). There’s also a regulation update courtesy of the SIA’s CEO Bill Butler. 

Looking towards developments in the New Year, here at UBM Live we’re very excited to announce that Info4Security.com will soon be migrating into a new online community designed specifically to serve the business needs of the global security and fire sectors. 

In 2013 and beyond, IFSEC Global.com will showcase the knowledge and capabilities of the very brightest and best professionals in those environments. We very much look forward to you joining our community in January and lending your voice to the debate. 

In the meantime, Thank You again for your loyal readership in 2012. 

Let me take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy New Year. 

The Future of Regulation: ‘The Good, The Bad… and the Too Little to Determine’

Hugely respected senior academic Professor Mark Button offers a personal view on proposed changes to regulation of the private security sector in England and Wales 

Home Office: ‘Victims of crime must have their say’

Victims of antisocial behaviour and low level crime will be able to have their say on the out-of-court punishments of offenders, the Home Office has announced 

Intruder alarms: BSIA, TSA and FIA agree MoU on telecoms changes

Current telecommunication changes to both landline and mobile networks in the UK as they affect alarms are being addressed by the BSIA, the FIA and the TSA 

The Security Analyst: PSIM’s true value lies in incremental gains

The benefits of Physical Security Information Management are being realised by end users calculating their ROI, as Jamie Wilson explains in his final blog of 2012 

IQ approved by Ofqual to offer Functional Skills

Industry Qualifications’ accreditation has been extended by regulator Ofqual such that the organisation can offer qualifications in Functional Skills 

The Core Thinking: ‘Why the bare minimum isn’t enough for TUPE success’

Peter Webster focuses on the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, and in particular the positives that can be derived by all parties involved 

FCO adopts new standard for private security companies

The British Government intends to adopt PSC1 as the standard for private security companies “working on land in complex and high risk environments overseas” 

Ten video surveillance trends for 2013

IMS Research has issued its fourth annual Video Surveillance Trends White Paper, this time looking ahead to 2013 

Lodge Service introduces bespoke monitoring facility

Lodge Service, the £22 million UK security group, has opened a dedicated signal and services monitoring facility in Accrington, Lancashire 

Home Affairs Committee calls for Royal Commission to examine UK drugs policy

After a wide-ranging and in-depth inquiry lasting a year that examined all areas of UK drug policy, the Home Affairs Committee has called for a Royal Commission on the issue 

Brian Sims
Media Solutions Manager
UBM Live Security and Fire Portfolio

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Info4Security End User News: Plans unveiled for future regulation of UK’s private security sector

Professionalism in any business sector is underpinned by regular training and, ultimately, career development

That being the case, it’s particularly pleasing to see the latest initiatives realised by forward-thinking organisations Industry Qualifications and Mercury Training Services

In a similar vein, if you’re in the Glasgow area next week you can witness at first hand The Security Institute promoting professionalism and Best Practice to both current and potential members alike. 

The Government has begun consultation focused on the future of regulation in the private security sector. Make sure your views are communicated! 

MITIE Group plc’s latest set of financials reveal strong revenues for the six months to 30 September 2012, while some of the company’s security staff are now ‘Forensic Technicians’

It’s interesting to note the strong views held by the BSIA on the next steps that ought to be taken by the recently-elected Police and Crime Commissioners

Also, learn more about Physical Security Information Management and what’s driving the discussion in this space

Do check out the 2012 Security Excellence Awards video, scan the best read stories on Info4Security for October and view the latest blog from The Forensic Technologist

By the way, make sure you play your part in selecting Security’s Top 40 in celebration of four decades of IFSEC International

Plans unveiled for future regulation of UK’s private security sector

Plans to make private security businesses across the UK more accountable for quality and standards have now been unveiled by the coalition Government 

The Forensic Technologist: beware of the hackers

Simon Placks reviews Best Practice when it comes to investigating any hacking incident perpetrated against the corporate network 

Corps Security sows seeds of success with apprenticeships programme

Corps Security has announced plans to expand the scope of its apprenticeships programme and attract even more young people into the security sector 

SMEs and changes to the Data Protection Act

Bill Farmer outlines what the proposed changes to the EU’s Data Protection Regulations in 2014 will mean for SMEs, and why it’s so important those changes are addressed 

Strong revenue and earnings growth at MITIE

MITIE Group plc has unveiled its interim financial results for the six months to 30 September 2012 which reflect “strong revenue and earnings growth” 

New Prisons Bill set to block mobile phone use

A Parliamentary Bill providing new powers to block mobile phone signals in prisons has been the subject of a second reading in the House of Lords 

Security Excellence Awards 2012: the video

Watch highlights from the 2012 Security Excellence Awards including interviews with some of the industry’s leading professionals 

PCCs “must consider private sector outsourcing to achieve election pledges”

Members of the BSIA’s Police and Public Services Section believe that newly-elected Police and Crime Commissioners must work together with the private security industry to achieve their pre-election pledges 

Key trends driving PSIM discussions

Darren Chalmers-Stevens continues his series of PSIM-based commentaries with an overview of key trends informing the debate 

Recruitment event to be run by The Security Institute in Glasgow

The Security Institute is running an education and recruitment event in Glasgow on the afternoon of 29 November. Honorary Fellow Brian Sims has the detail 

Until next time 

Brian Sims
Media Solutions Manager
UBM Live Security and Fire Portfolio

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Info4Security End User News

Last Thursday witnessed the Security Industry Authority’s latest (and extremely informative) Stakeholder Conference

At conference, there were speeches from Lord Taylor of Holbeach and the Regulator’s chairman Ruth Henig, who spoke in the wake of a controversial Home Office decision which will see the Baroness leaving the SIA come January. 

Elsewhere, the Government has introduced new rules aimed at preventing the misuse of surveillance powers while Ernst & Young energises comment on the EU data protection proposals

The Police and Crime Commissioner elections take place on 15 November, of course, and you can now view the candidate listings online before making your choices. 

Speaking of policing, do check out the forward-thinking strategic crime reduction partnership formed by Crimestoppers, Facewatch and ACPO

Also well worth your reading time are the latest blogs courtesy of The Training Platform (focused on social media) and Memoori (which reviews the physical security business sector). 

In the guarding sphere, we’ve interviewed Sodexo’s Simon Pears and Bill Freear, the managing director at Pilgrims Group

Last, but by no means least, there’s the fantastic news announced by the organisers of this year’s 100 in 100 campaign to drive new apprenticeships across the security sector. 

SIA Stakeholder Conference 2012: ‘Standards, Professionalism, Accountability’

The 2012 SIA Stakeholder Conference featured presentations from key individuals and a panel discussion involving members of the Board 

CBI: “Bring Trade Union laws into line with the modern workplace”

CBI deputy director-general tells business leaders of the challenges faced by companies and Trade Unions in the modern workplace 

The I4S Interview: Simon Pears, Secure by Sodexo

Brian Sims talks to Simon Pears about the security solutions market, diversity and the future of law enforcement 

Video Surveillance as a Service must provide ‘more for less’

Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) must provide ‘more for less’ in order to grow the sector, according to IMS Research 

Social networking sites – what’s all the fuss about?

Can you afford to ignore the lure of social networking? Ken Livingstone and Amy Burrell explain why sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are now a vital element in today’s education and business landscapes 

ENISA report shows increase in national cyber security exercises

Cyber security agency calls for an increase in public-private co-operation to tackle cybercrime 

The I4S Interview: Bill Freear, Pilgrims Group

Brian Sims chats with Pilgrims Group’s managing director Bill Freear about recent developments in the security marketplace 

Crimestoppers, Facewatch and ACPO form strategic partnership

Crimestoppers, Facewatch and ACPO agree to share technology and improve the tools available for crime reduction 

IHMA welcomes new international standard for authentication solutions

The first international standard to provide guidance for businesses on protecting their products from counterfeiters is available 

MITIE awarded five-year FM contract at Sky

MITIE secures a contract to provide integrated FM for BSkyB, the UK’s largest entertainment and home communications company 

Until next time 

Brian Sims
Media Solutions Manager
UBM Live Security and Fire Portfolio

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Info4Security End User News

To say that we’ve had a busy time of late at UBM Live’s Security Portfolio would be something of an understatement! 

First of all, there was the inaugural edition of the Global Security Summit, which ran at London’s Olympia on 10-11 October. 

Attendees at the highly successful show’s conference sessions heard from Deputy London Mayor Kit Malthouse (on apprenticeships), Security Industry Authority CEO Bill Butler, LOCOG’s head of security Andrew Amery and Ian Pearson (who gave a fascinating presentation on likely future threats to security). 

Another packed session at conference, meanwhile, focused on the policing of the London riots in August 2011. 

Then, last Wednesday, it was time for the 2012 Security Excellence Awards. Check out the category winners and take a look at our image gallery of what was truly a superb evening. 

You can also read about the Building The Future Special Award presented to Baroness Ruth Henig at the end of the main ceremony. 

In the guarding sphere, business realignment is taking place at Securitas while Ward Security rightly celebrates Investors in People Gold accreditation. Also, make sure you read Corps Security CEO Peter Webster’s latest blog in The Core Thinking strand. 

Speaking of blogs, we’ve just started another one entitled The Maritime Security Consultant. It’s scripted by MAST’s Philip Cable. 

In addition, we’ve just published the results of Hewlett-Packard’s latest study on cybercrime

Securitas targets customer needs in realignment move

Securitas is introducing cost-saving measures for “better alignment” with its future customers’ needs and expectations while also continuing its investments in new technologies 

Police force pays £120,000 penalty after data theft

Greater Manchester Police has paid £120,000 after being found by the Information Commissioners Office to have breached data protection rules 

Security Excellence Awards 2012 – winners announced

The winners of the 2012 Security Excellence Awards were unveiled on a glittering evening at London’s Hilton Hotel, Park Lane 

The Core Thinking: the security industry – half a world away

Peter Webster talks about Corps Security’s operation in a country where violence and criminality are more commonplace than in the UK: Papua New Guinea 

How NFC smartphones will revolutionise access control and the workplace

NFC smartphones are changing the way we think about access control. The bring-your-own-device trend is driving this, says Harm Radstaak 

Why end users should be honest about the role of CCTV surveillance

Public confidence in surveillance would benefit from openness about the role of CCTV. Rob Ratcliff asks if crowd-sourced CCTV mapping could help 

Cyber crime costs rise nearly 40%, attack frequency doubles

Hewlett-Packard has unveiled new research indicating that the cost and frequency of cybercrime have both continued to rise for the third straight year 

Manufacturing businesses most exposed to fraud reveals global study

Almost nine out of ten (87%) manufacturing businesses were affected by fraud in the last 12 months, according to new figures from the Kroll Advisory Solutions Global Fraud Report 

Explore England and Wales crime figures by region 2003-2012

Crime in England and Wales has fallen by 6%. Explore the data to see where crime is coming down with our interactive tools 

Baroness Ruth Henig recognised for contribution to security sector

The Security Industry Authority’s chairman is the recipient of a Building The Future Special Award for her “outstanding contribution to the security business sector” 

Until next time

Brian Sims
Media Solutions Manager
UBM Live Security and Fire Portfolio

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Info4Security End User News: Global Security Summit Special

This week witnessed the opening of the 2012 Global Security Summit, which ran at London’s Olympia on Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 October.

Organised by UBM Live and Pro-Activ Publications, this new end user-focused event featured both an exhibition showcasing top quality security solutions and a bespoke education programme

All of the major topics were covered, among them security convergence, interoperability, smart technologies and law enforcement in the Capital

We also addressed key questions on subjects including the future of security management and procurement, and highlighted lessons learned from the Olympic Games

The Global Security Summit’s Advice Centre was staffed by experts from The Security Institute, ASIS, the BSIA and the FPA and specifically designed to offer unrivalled expert opinion and advice on the varied security challenges facing today’s end users. 

The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals supported the show, at which Security Industry Authority CEO Bill Butler updated attendees on the future of private sector regulation

In addition, London’s Deputy Mayor Kit Malthouse opened proceedings on Thursday (talking about Mayor Boris Johnson’s apprenticeships drive), and we confirmed a speaking session for LOCOG’s head of security Andrew Amery

LOCOG head of security confirmed to speak at Global Security Summit

Andrew Amery, head of security co-ordination for London 2012 organiser LOCOG, has been confirmed to speak at the inaugural Global Security Summit 

Contract terminated after ‘alarming lapse of security’ at nuclear site

The company providing security at a US nuclear facility has been fired following a breach of security in July, when three people entered the complex 

HD CCTV technology risks breaching Human Rights

The increasing sophistication of surveillance technology could breach people’s Human Rights, the UK’s new surveillance camera commissioner has warned 

Global Security Summit: “Avoid the pitfalls of security procurement”

Learn how to avoid the pitfalls of security procurement by attending the Advice Centre 

Education programme unveiled for Global Security Summit London

Info4Security outlines the high level education programme for the inaugural Global Security Summit in London 

Retailers back CCTV as nearly 60% plan to move to IP

The majority of retailers say that CCTV has a direct effect in reducing losses they incur, according to a new survey 

Global Security Summit: the security convergence movement

James Willison and Sarb Sembhi bring the thoughts behind ‘The Security Convergence Movement’ to GSS 

Global Security Summit: where next for security management?

We speak to TSI and ASIS UK chairmen Mike Bluestone and Mike Alexander about the future for the security sector 

BBC documentary investigates armed private security industry

The BBC documentary ‘Britain’s Private War’ investigated the UK’s armed private security industry 

Global Security Summit: Kit Malthouse to speak on Mayor’s apprenticeships campaign

Kit Malthouse – the Deputy Mayor for London – will be delivering an address on Mayor Boris Johnson’s Apprenticeships Campaign 

Global Security Summit: IBM UK’s Ron Fellows on smart technology

Analytics, ‘big data’ and smart technologies in the security space will be the focus for IBM’s Ron Fellows during his conference session 

Brian Sims
Media Solutions Manager
UBM Live Security and Fire Portfolio

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Info4Security End User News

Two companies once on track to join forces – G4S and ISS – have delivered their financial results for the first half of 2012, the former on the back of a police outsourcing boost and the latter following news of a substantial equity investment

Prominent commentators – MITIE TSM’s managing director Bob Forsyth among them – believe the security sector to be at a significant crossroads. What’s the best way forward? Corps Security’s CEO Peter Webster feels there’s some work on procurement to be done before progression is realised. 

In the law enforcement world, ACPO president Sir Hugh Orde has praised officers in the wake of London 2012 while the City of London Police seeks “expert advice” on economic crime

According to the British Retail Consortium, online crime is now costing UK retailers £205 million per annum. It’s certainly pleasing to see the issue of cyber security being skilfully addressed for the finance sector

If you’re looking for evidence of Physical Security Information Management in practice, look no further than the King’s Cross Station security upgrade project

Speaking of solutions for end users, check out our NVR Touch-focused video interview with LILIN’s Jason Hill, the latest product developments at Commend and Interconnective Security Products and an access control-based Case Study courtesy of Urmet Group

G4S posts first half results for 2012

Despite being “deeply disappointed” with London 2012 security contract issues, CEO Nick Buckles is pleased with good organic growth …more 

Policing standards inquiry launched by Home Affairs Committee

Parliamentary inquiry will look at how the leadership of police forces must adapt in the new landscape of policing to improve standards and deliver a more effective service …more 

Bob Forsyth: “The security sector is at a significant crossroads”

Bob Forsyth pinpoints a ‘perfect storm’ of regulation, training, economic conditions, technical advances and margin erosion that’s changing the nature of the security sector …more 

Online crime costs UK retailers £205 million

E-crime is the biggest emerging threat to the retail sector as the rapid growth in e-commerce sees new ways of shopping being accompanied by new types of crime …more 

Cross-sector Safety and Security Communications: the benefits of virtual information networking

The ‘unsung’ hero of the London 2012 Olympic Games was a virtual information network bringing Government, the police service and business together to maintain safety and security …more 

Post-Olympic blues – how can we repair the industry’s tarnished image?

Corps Security’s CEO Peter Webster explains why the fall-out from the Olympic security saga must realise a different form of procurement model …more 

PMSC certifications on the rise at SAMI

Six more companies have passed the Security Association for the Maritime Industry’s international private maritime security company certification programme …more 

I4S video: LILIN’s Jason Hill on the NVR Touch solution

In an exclusive video interview with Info4Security, LILIN’s group vice-president Jason Hill explains the development of the company’s NVR Touch recording solution …more 

Commercial properties to remain “vulnerable” under new squatting law

Although squatting is soon to become a criminal offence, the BSIA fears the law still doesn’t go far enough to protect commercial and non-residential properties …more 

Master Locksmiths Association exposes scam operations

An initiative from the Master Locksmiths Association to expose scam locksmith operations has gained the support of the Trading Standards Institute…more 

Until next time

Brian Sims
Media Solutions Manager
UBM Live Security and Fire Portfolio

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Info4Security End User News

Sadly, the 2012 Olympic Games are over. We undoubtedly witnessed a phenomenal sporting occasion… and there were no security incidents. LOCOG chairman Lord Coe’s a happy man, and rightly so. 

Indeed, praise for the Olympic security operation has been forthcoming from the Home Office, but what about the policing and security legacy? We’ll be focusing on lessons learned from London 2012 at the Global Security Summit in October

UK plc’s mood was very different a year ago, of course, when rioting and looting blighted our landscape. You can peruse reflections on the matter courtesy of both the BSIA and ACPO

Speaking of the Trade Association, do assess its new end user guide on lone working and, of course, scan the monthly briefing

Billed as “the most extensive survey of views on the private security sector” to date, Professor Martin Gill’s completed report – entitled The Security Industry in Perspective – really is a ‘must read’. 

Busy times at the Security Industry Authority just now, what with the latest Bill Butler blog and news of close protection licensing changes as well as an update on physical intervention training

Further, on the security guarding front we’ve examined the latest financial statements from MITIE Group and Securitas plus a rather special project undertaken in Afghanistan by the Pilgrims Group

Lest I forget, make a point of checking out the best read stories on Info4Security for July

Views of security buyers, suppliers and officers revealed in PRCI study

Brian Sims and Bobby Logue review a new report that represents the most extensive survey of views on the private security sector published to date …more 

CIFAS figures shed new light on insider fraud

Analyses of frauds recorded on the CIFAS Staff Fraud Database during the first half of 2012 shine a new light on the problem of fraud committed by company insiders …more 

MITIE Group reports on solid start to 2012

MITIE Group plc, the strategic outsourcing and energy services company, has issued a very positive Interim Management Statement for the period 1 April 2012 to date …more 

Education programme unveiled for Global Security Summit London

The high level education programme for the inaugural Global Security Summit in London this coming October has been announced …more 

Home Secretary praises police on Olympics role

Theresa May visited the Olympic Park to thank police officers who have worked so hard to make the 2012 Games such a phenomenal success story …more

I4S video: New York City and Microsoft unveil security awareness system

A new system that aggregates data from 3,000 CCTV cameras, license plate readers, criminal records and activity and even radiation sensors has been unveiled in New York City …more 

Reflections on the riots: CCTV safeguards the public

Looking back on last August’s rioting, the BSIA states that electronic security systems (notably CCTV) are playing a more prominent role in maintaining safe public environments…more

Citicus supports ASIS/ANSI Physical Asset Protection Standard

Software specialist Citicus has confirmed its support of the recently-developed ASIS/ANSI Physical Asset Protection (PAP) Standard designed to assist security managers …more 

SAMI builds online info Bridge for maritime security sector

The Security Association for the Maritime Industry has launched a bespoke online information and advice service for its members and the wider maritime industry …more 

HID outlines roadmap for Government ID programmes

eID adoption, anti-counterfeit measures, future-proofed credentials and concept-to-delivery programmes will all move to the fore…more 

Until next time

Brian Sims
Media Solutions Manager
UBM Live Security and Fire Portfolio

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Info4Security End User News

Security is dominating the national media’s agenda just now, whether it be Olympic Games or law enforcement-related issues. 

As official security provider for London 2012, G4S is presently the fulcrum of all attentions, with CEO Nick Buckles having appeared in front of the Home Affairs Committee

Remaining with the political theme, MPs have called for tough action on rogue investigators, new powers are being put in place to confront alcohol-fuelled criminality and there’s a concerted effort to support a Private Member’s Bill on metal theft

Physical Security Information Management remains a hot topic, with our regular blogger The Security Analyst committing some thoughts to video. 

Speaking of video content, make sure you watch our edited highlights of the phenomenally successful IFSEC International 2012

Another of our regular bloggers – The Forensic Technologist – has written on current trends in digital investigations while, in the same arena, an international plan aimed at beating the cyber criminals is up-and-running at Belfast’s Queen’s University.

Top Stories on Info4Security 

G4S issues statement on Games contract

In a statement issued from head office, G4S outlines its “total commitment” to delivering a safe, secure and successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games 

IFSEC International 2012: the official event video

IFSEC International 2012 organiser UBM Live has completed production of the show’s official video, complete with comments from many of the event’s Premier Partners 

The Forensic Technologist: trends in digital investigations

Simon Placks reviews the new forensic technologies and emerging trends uncovered at the Computer Enterprise and Investigations Conference 

Company insiders unmasked as biggest fraud perpetrators

The extent of fraud perpetrated by management and employees has been exposed after a rapid decline in fraud super cases coming to court during the first six months of 2012 

IPCC chairman calls for greater powers

The chairman of the Independent Police Complaints Commission has called for additional powers and resources to further strengthen the important agency’s work 

MITIE unveils Command Centre Excellence programme

MITIE has launched its all-new Command Centre Excellence programme designed to train Control Room operators and supervisors within the TSM business division 

Topsgrup completes acquisition of The Shield Guarding Company

India’s largest security company, Topsgrup, has now formally completed its acquisition of The Shield Guarding Company 

Sheriffs’ Award 2012 launched by Worshipful Company of Security Professionals

The 2012 Sheriffs’ Award has been officially launched by The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, and nominations for this year’s scheme are now being invited 

100 in 100 2012: meeting the minister

Members of the 100 in 100 2012 campaign are set to meet with the Government’s skills minister John Hayes and debate the way forward on apprenticeships across the UK’s security sector 

The BSIA Briefing: July 2012

Security technology in the transport sector, Operation Tornado and emergency services reform north of the border all feature in the latest BSIA Briefing, brought to you by Amanda Beesley 

Memoori report: Partnerships and alliances – winning market share in security

Alliances and partnership arrangements in the physical security business are proving the keys to success for many companies. Allan McHale explains why 

Inspiration in HR Award 2012: Call for Entries

SSR Personnel and Info4Security have issued a Call for Entries in relation to the 2012 Inspiration in HR Award 

Buyers found for Norbain’s SA and Benelux businesses

Smartwares Home Essentials takes over the Norbain operation in the Benelux region while Norbain South Africa has been acquired through a management buy-out 

Door staff found working illegally in Met crackdown

The Metropolitan Police Service has led an operation targeting more than 400 door staff across London to crack down on unlicensed workers 

Until next time 

Brian Sims
Media Solutions Manager
UBM Live Security and Fire Portfolio

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The Olympic Games: calling for an independent security review

Brian Sims and Bobby Logue are calling for an independent review to examine the failures that have caused the shortage of security manpower for the 2012 Games. 

Politicians and the national media have spent the last week and more lobbing verbal and written ‘rotten eggs’ at security provider G4S for its alleged ‘dismal failure’ in attempting to provide sufficient security personnel for the 2012 Olympic Games. 

Yesterday afternoon, we were subjected to a ‘performance’ by MPs on the Home Affairs Committee who appeared to be competing with each other to see which one of them could deride G4S CEO Nick Buckles and his company the most. 

We are of the firm and frank opinion that the seemingly crowd-pleasing trend of politicians and elements of the media deliberately attempting to humiliate industry leaders often goes way too far and must be reined in. 

Calling for an independent review 

We would wish to see an independent review – possibly conducted by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), the Regulator of the private security industry – on the root causes of the security contractor’s inability to provide sufficient security personnel in time for the start of the Games. 

It’s apparent there have been some failures within G4S that have contributed to this situation. However, there could be more deep-rooted causes driven by the almost impossible contractual timescales involved, not to mention the ability of any private security contractor to wholly deliver on an event of this magnitude when operating in isolation – no matter how hard they try. 

On that note, could the contractual Terms and Conditions for London 2012 have perhaps been successfully executed by a private consortium of security contractors – led by the BSIA, for example – rather than a lone solutions provider? 

Global event, massive scale 

Anecdotal evidence suggests that this is the first occasion a private security contractor has been required to provide security for a global event on the massive scale of the Olympic Games. 

To date, G4S has enjoyed an excellent track record of delivering on security at high profile events, the All-England Lawn Tennis Club Championships at Wimbledon among them. 

Historically, of course, the security of global events has been the remit of both the police service and Armed Forces personnel. The failure of G4S to meet all of its contractual requirements this time around has resulted in the Government resorting to ‘Plan B’ by relying on some of those troops and serving police officers to make up the numbers. 

Unfortunately, this national headline-hitting situation has not only affected the London Stock Exchange value of G4S in the short term and impinged on the company’s credibility, but also tarnished in some measure the hard-fought improved reputation of the UK’s private security sector post-regulation and licensing. 

What was the objective? 

MPs sitting on the Home Affairs Committee were convened to discover what has caused G4S’ failure to provide sufficient security officers for the 2012 Olympic Games. However, as stated the MPs’ at times crass line of questioning merely seemed to serve an objective of trying to humiliate Nick Buckles while singularly failing to elicit clarity on what has actually gone awry. 

At times, the MPs involved exhibited a clear lack of understanding of the sheer complexities around providing 10,400 security personnel in the space of seven months, and failed to recognise how far removed from the frontline the CEO of any big company – but particularly “the third largest employer in the world” – might actually be on a practical, day-to-day basis. 

Indeed, the MPs displayed ignorance in relation to the workings of the security industry. At one point in the proceedings, Committee chairman Keith Vaz suggested that Buckles should have sought the help of other named outsourcing companies who, in fact, do not deploy licensed security personnel. 

During the intense period of questioning by the MPs on the Home Affairs Committee, G4S’ CEO rightly alluded to the fact that, if G4S – as the largest provider in the country – couldn’t produce the required security personnel for the 2012 Olympic Games, which private security solutions concern could have done so? 

Right to work in security 

The regulated private security industry harbours several ‘hoops’ for a prospective candidate to jump through before being able to legitimately work as a security officer in the UK. Potential licensed security personnel are required to undertake a training course. The process also includes thorough criminality, right to work and other necessary security checks. 

In addition, applicants who have not been permanently resident in the UK are subject to time consuming and rigorous overseas criminality checks, and necessarily so. 

In cases like the Olympic Games, where certain venues are classified by the SIA as licensed premises, security personnel are expected to have a door supervisor licence. Due to the security risks surrounding the Olympics, security personnel are also required to be trained in counter-terror screening activities. On top of that, personnel must be vetted to a British Standard. 

It appears that it’s more difficult to vet the unemployed than it is to employ individuals with a consistent employment record. 

Potential labour pools 

The next challenge faced by G4S would have been: ‘Where will the security personnel be recruited from?’ As pointed out during the Home Affairs Committee interrogation of Buckles and his colleague, global events specialist Ian Horseman-Sewell, it’s likely that no person engaged in full-time employment would actively seek a temporary security position during the Olympic Games (unless, of course, some individuals specifically wanted to take time off from their day jobs to be at the events in a working capacity). 

Due to time constraints, employing or introducing overseas personnel would have been challenging to say the least. 

On that basis, this left two potential labour pools: students and the unemployed. A much heralded scheme, the excellent Bridging The Gap was introduced to educational establishments some time ago in order to train students in undertaking security functions at the 2012 Games. 

In addition, a massive training programme was launched to leverage the unemployed. 

The ‘Just in Time’ approach 

In terms of the LOCOG contract, G4S was to be paid for training and actual shifts worked. This effectively created a ‘Just in Time’ approach to the employment of Olympic security personnel as candidates would not have waited around for several months for employment, especially while there has been increased pressure from JobCentre Plus to find people gainful work at a time of fiscal recession and austerity cutbacks. 

Keith Vaz began the Home Affairs Committee grilling of Nick Buckles by asking the G4S CEO why he was still in post. We would respectfully ask Mr Vaz why he stood up in the House of Commons several days before – on 12 July, in fact – and stated that the Olympic security operation presided over by G4S is, in his eyes, a “fiasco”, that G4S has “let the whole country down” and that we have “literally had to send in the troops”. This is popularist rhetoric of the worst kind. 

Isn’t the chairman of any committee – but most importantly this one – not meant to be impartial and shy away from effectively prejudicing such a cross-examination? 

Predictable comment in the House 

These statements were embellished in Parliament by Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, who all-too-predictably referred to “another Home Office shambles” and the “Border Force becoming a Border Farce”. 

This is not a time for cheap political point scoring. 

In the House, Mr Vaz also asked Home Secretary Theresa May to “confirm that G4S will suffer penalties” as a result of this situation before we’ve even found out the whole background to what has gone wrong (and why) through an independent review process. 

That review process is absolutely necessary before anyone is pilloried. 

Brian Sims, Media Solutions Manager, UBM Live Security and Fire Portfolio

Bobby Logue, Publisher, http://www.infologue.com

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