Tag Archives: Metropolitan Police Service

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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More junior officers honoured with Queen’s Police Medals

Nine ‘rank and file’ police officers have been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Police Medal by Her Majesty The Queen as part of the New Year Honours – three times the number honoured in the 2016 Birthday Honours.

In one of her final actions as Home Secretary, Prime Minister Theresa May recommended that more officers below senior ranks should receive the Queen’s Police Medal in order to recognise the vital role they play in protecting the public and address an imbalance over to whom the medal is awarded.

Police leaders responded by putting forward a number of officers from junior ranks from across England and Wales who have shown outstanding courage and distinguished service in the line of duty. More than half of the 17 Queen’s Police Medals announced on Friday 30 December have been awarded to officers below the rank of superintendent.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “These deserving recipients of Queen’s Police Medals have gone above and beyond the call of their duties and it’s absolutely right that we recognise all of those who serve our communities and keep us safe. I’m especially pleased by the response from policing leaders, who have made sure that a shift in nominations has led to a much more representative group of officers receiving the medal. I look forward to seeing many more brave and talented individuals at every rank of our police forces being honoured in this way in the future.”

qpm2017

The Queen’s Police Medal was instituted by its royal warrant in 1954 and is awarded to officers of any rank for acts of courage and conspicuous devotion to duty. It superseded the King’s Police Medal, which was originally created in 1909.

Brandon Lewis, Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, added: “There are exceptionally skilled, dedicated and professional officers in all areas of our police forces, from front line constables through to senior leaders. Honours such as the Queen’s Police Medal have been awarded for over 100 years to recognise some of their exceptional individual contributions. I’m delighted that more rank and file officers have been awarded the medal this year for dedication to their duties and acts of exceptional courage. I hope the example they’ve set continues to inspire the very best from officers and police staff in 2017.”

The recipients of the Queen’s Police Medal are:

  • PC Ifor Williams (Avon and Somerset Police)
  • Sergeant Timothy Slade (City of London Police)
  • PC Jacqueline Oliver (Metropolitan Police Service)
  • Chief Superintendent Martin Lloyd Fry (British Transport Police)
  • PC Leslie Roger Eke (Thames Valley Police)
  • PC Christopher Smith (Dorset Police)
  • PC Louise Pye (Sussex Police)
  • PC Shirley Vivienne Lindsay (Avon and Somerset Police)
  • Inspector Ian David Hanson (Greater Manchester Police)
  • Detective Inspector Carol Ellwood (Humberside Police)
  • Chief Superintendent Gordon Briggs (Metropolitan Police Service)
  • Chief Superintendent Victor Olisa (Metropolitan Police Service)
  • Chief Superintendent Jagdev Singh Atwal (Derbyshire Constabulary)
  • Assistant Chief Constable David John Allard (Ministry of Defence Police)
  • Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams (West Yorkshire Police)
  • Commander Simon Martin Letchford (Metropolitan Police Service)
  • Chief Constable David Graham Jones (North Yorkshire Police)

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Professor Martin Gill CSyP wins 2016 Imbert Prize bestowed by ASC

Professor Martin Gill CSyP, director of Perpetuity Research and founder of the Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs), has won the prestigious Imbert Prize bestowed by the Association of Security Consultants (ASC). The winner of the Associations segment of the annual Imbert Prize was announced at CONSEC 2016, which took place at the London Heathrow Marriott Hotel.

The Associations Prize is awarded to an individual in recognition of his or her demonstrably significant contribution to the security business sector across the previous year, with nominations made by ASIS UK, the British Security Industry Association, the International Professional Security Association and The Security Institute and adjudged by the ASC’s own Awards Panel.

The Imbert Prize itself highlights the ASC’s mission to encourage the advancement and professional development of the disciplines of risk and security management within the UK. The prize is named in honour of Lord Peter Imbert, former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service and Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, who has been a prominent figure in security and policing for many years now.

martingillawards

This award comes hot on the heels of Professor Gill receiving The ASIS President’s Award for Merit. This was awarded to Gill at ASIS International’s 62nd Annual Seminar and Exhibits (otherwise known as ‘ASIS 2016’), which ran in Orlando from 12–15 September. Gill received this particular award for his demonstrated dedication to the field of security and his assistance in advancing the profession as a whole, highlighted through his work in the field of security education, his service on the Board of the ASIS Foundation and the development and implementation of the aforementioned OSPAs.

Referencing this duo of prestigious honours, Gill told Risk UK: “To me, it’s the ultimate accolade to be recognised by your peers, and I’m both extremely grateful and humbled by the honour. I’m acutely aware of how many deserving people there are out there in security undertaking excellent work which is often unheralded. It’s ironic that I receive two prestigious awards when one of my main commitments is to recognise the truly deserving security people around the world via the OSPAs (www.theospas.com). I would like to thank all those people who continue to support me and my work.”

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ADS Group Council member welcomes Home Office report on forensic science

Elizabeth Sheldon (Aerospace, Defence and Security Group Council member and CEO of Evidence Talks) has welcomed the publication of a Home Office report entitled ‘Forensic Science Strategy – A National Approach to Forensic Science Delivery in the Criminal Justice System.’

Drawing attention to some of the key conclusions in the report, Sheldon has identified the case for “real-time forensics to be at the heart of a new approach” as an encouragement to police forces to step up the use of techniques such as digital triage and reduce the backlog of cases.

“The report talks of a new vision which could enable a single forensic deployment to cover all requirements; from traditional evidence recovery to digital triage and basic crime reporting,” explained Sheldon. “It also stresses the importance of a consistent national approach, and anticipates an improvement in the delivery time of results and swifter criminal justice outcomes.”

ElizabethSheldon

Sheldon (pictured above) points towards supportive research on such observations, citing the paper from Overill, Silomon and Roscoe published by Elsevier in 2013 and entitled: ‘Triage Template Pipelines in Digital Forensic Investigations’ which drew attention to the burgeoning use of digital devices as a prime driver of the need for greater use of digital forensics by the police service.

The report included the following statement: ‘The very reliance of digital devices for the conduct of most people’s daily professional and personal lives has led to an overload on digital forensic examination resources.’

By way of an example, it refers to figures from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Digital Electronics and Forensics Service showing some 38,000 digital devices per annum being received for examination by a team of 80 staff.

Skills and technical capabilities

In a further reference to the Home Office report, Sheldon says the Home Office is right to focus on the fact that “the crime scene investigators need the skills and technical capabilities to allow forensic information to be collected and processed at scene and directed to the most appropriate database or end user.”

The good news, explains Sheldon, is that technology and training is readily available from industry specialists allowing police forces to get up-to-speed. Such solutions can be used by non-technical operators, after relevant training, to quickly and safely investigate the contents of devices within the desired charging time frame.

In summing up, Sheldon quotes from the Ministerial Foreword to the Home Office report, which is written by Mike Penning MP, the Minister for Policing, Fire and Criminal Justice and Victims. Penning states: “Digital technology has transformed how we live our lives. We need to ensure that those responsible for our protection continue to have the capabilities to investigate crime in this new technological age.”

Penning’s call to reshape the current landscape towards a modern forensic science provision, believes Sheldon, will be greeted with equal enthusiasm by police forces and the supplier community.

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Zaun Group embarks on diplomatic mission

A fictional embassy secured by an integrated perimeter protection solution from the Zaun Group was the stand-out highlight of the 2016 Security and Policing Show.

The embassy mock-up was constructed with input from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Security Liaison Unit and Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection, which advises on the protection of embassies and other diplomatic missions.

Show visitors raved about the mock-up, which was designed to give a realistic impression of the many security elements deployed to protect diplomats and the buildings that they use.

Staff staged mock scenarios including a full security lockdown to make the live experience even more realistic at the annual UK Government security show, which was held at the FIVE venue in Farnborough from 8-10 March.

It’s the UK’s only security event aimed at police, law enforcement and security professionals specifically tasked with security, civil protection and national resilience.

ZaunPolicingShow1

The Zaun Group pitched its integrated high security perimeter systems from a combined stand (B47) that housed a working demonstration including an SR2-rated gate, electric fencing, perimeter intrusion detection systems, CCTV and video analytics, prison mesh and post systems complete with razor coil toppings.

The centrepiece embassy mock-up demonstrated far more coherently the integrated approach that the Zaun Group can offer, with both Perimeter Security Suppliers Association-verified products and installations.

The comprehensive solution included Zaun’s most intruder-resistant fencing, ArmaWeave, FST prison toppings from Binns, electric fencing and PIDs from Harper Chalice and multi-megapixel and HD video evidence from a series of HD CCTV cameras recorded and managed by EyeLynx’s SharpView intelligent video surveillance system.

ZaunPolicingShow2

Over 350 companies exhibited at the event, showcasing world-leading technologies, products and solutions. It’s very much a cornerstone of the UK’s security event calendar.

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Showsec receives praise of the highest order for VE Day security and safety operations in London

Prime Minister David Cameron was among those who saluted the contribution of Showsec to the special London-based celebrations which marked the 70th Anniversary of VE Day.

The crowd management and event security specialist has received acclaim from several quarters for its part in the staging of events over a three-day period in the capital that remembered the occasions when the Second World War came to an end, and it was while members of the Showsec team were drawing a week of duties to a conclusion that they had an impromptu meeting with the Prime Minister at the iconic Horse Guards Parade.

“The Prime Minister was out jogging on the Tuesday evening,” explained operations executive Andrew Agnew. “We acknowledged him as he went past and he made a point of stopping to thank us and to tell us that we had all done a fantastic job on such a great occasion.”

Indeed, this is a view which has been echoed by other organisations with whom Showsec was proud to operate alongside for a celebration of such huge national significance.

Showsec helped to make the special VE Day Anniversary celebrations in central London a great success

Showsec helped to make the special VE Day Anniversary celebrations in central London a great success

The VE Day celebrations presented an opportunity to work again with the BBC’s Special Events team who broadcast live many of the special moments across the three days, and most notably A Party To Remember – the concert staged at Horse Guards Parade which featured performances by veteran rockers Status Quo and Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins.

Guy Freeman, editor of special events at BBC Events, said: “Thank you so much to Showsec for helping to create a very special show at incredibly short notice. I do mean it when I say that it’s a show of which we can all be incredibly proud in every respect. Every department excelled itself to turn what were just ideas on paper into an extraordinarily powerful, evocative and poignant tribute marking an extremely special generation.”

Chief Inspector Mark Chatfield from the Metropolitan Police Service has also stated that it had been a “pleasure” working with the Showsec team on the celebrations.

Main focus of the security operation

While a workforce of almost 700 Showsec staff was deployed throughout the week, the main focus of the whole operation was on events that took place in St James’s Park, including a vehicular display and the concert in Horse Guard’s Parade as well as a Veterans Parade.

Following a Service of Thanksgiving on the Sunday morning, that parade took both veterans and current servicemen from Westminster Abbey to St James’s Park where they were welcomed at a reception hosted by The Royal British Legion.

“Though this was essentially a big celebration, the high profile of those individuals in attendance combined with the circumstances in general at the time meant there was a heightened level of security throughout,” explained Dayo Adelugba, Showsec’s area manager for West London.

“As well as VE Day itself, we had recently had the arrival of a Royal baby and right on the eve of this event there had, of course, been the General Election as well. These were all important considerations in planning the security protocol with a high level of attention to detail necessary at every stage in the process.”

Adelugba added: “Given those circumstances there were many challenges in front of us but, due to a fantastic team effort, everything went very well and everyone seemed happy. The event gave us the opportunity to build a closer working relationship with some important key stakeholders in the capital.”

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London Mayor Boris Johnson secures major cash boost for front line policing in historic Scotland Yard sale deal

The Metropolitan Police Service’s world famous New Scotland Yard headquarters has been sold to the Abu Dhabi Financial Group for £370 million in what is the biggest shake-up of the Met’s property estate since the 1960s. Proceeds from the sale are to be invested in cutting-edge technology and a leaner, more modern estate while the Met’s move to a new headquarters – the Curtis Green building on London’s Embankment – is already in progress.

In a landmark deal orchestrated by London Mayor Boris Johnson, the sale secured £120 million more than the guide price and three times what was originally paid for the site freehold back in 2008. Proceeds from the sale will kick-start a major investment opportunity to secure the future of the Metropolitan Police Service, with the funds being used to kit out officers across London with mobile technology such as tablets, smart phones and body cameras, in turn enabling them to spend more time out on the streets. It will also allow much-needed investment in the remaining estate along with modern ICT infrastructure and new software platforms.

New Scotland Yard is also home to many unique artefacts and policing memorabilia dating back to the formation of the Metropolitan Police Service in 1829, none of which are currently on public display. The additional proceeds from the sale mean that a small portion of money raised can be used to relocate this collection to a dedicated museum site, allowing visitors from the UK and around the world to see rare crime artefacts and heritage items that tell the fabulous history of Scotland Yard.

Scotland Yard has been sold in a deal designed to benefit the Metropolitan Police Service but also members of the public

Scotland Yard has been sold in a deal designed to benefit not only the Metropolitan Police Service but also members of the public

Marketed as ‘Ten Broadway’, the 1.7-acre site, 600,000 square foot building attracted intense interest from around the world. In the end there were 11 credible bids with the Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG), a multi-billion dollar alternative investment company based in Abu Dhabi, securing the deal.

With a track record of financing major central London developments, including the 1 Palace Street project adjacent to Buckingham Palace, ADFG now plans to create a mixed-use residential development on the site.

The headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service since 1967, the outdated New Scotland Yard building was put on the market by the London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) last September for a guide price of £250 million. No longer fit for operational purposes, the proceeds raised by the sale of the building will be used to deliver on the Mayor’s commitment to balance the Met’s budget and keep policing numbers high.

Once redeveloped and sold, the Victoria Street site is projected to yield up to £100,000,000 million in stamp duty receipts for the UK Exchequer.

Radical overhaul of the Met’s estate

The sale is part of an ongoing radical overhaul of the Met’s estate which has so far raised £215 million through the sale of 52 under-used and outdated buildings. When completed in 2016, this restructure will save London’s police force over £60 million in annual running costs – enough to fund 1,000 officers – and will leave behind a smaller, more modern estate including a brand new training facility in Hendon and a world class forensics lab and Control Centre in Lambeth.

As stated, the operational headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service is now on the move to the Curtis Green building on Victoria Embankment. This building is owned by MOPAC and has been empty since late 2011. Currently undergoing a £58 million transformation into a slimmed down headquarters, this relocation alone will save the Met over £6 million per annum in running costs.

London Mayor Boris Johnson

London Mayor Boris Johnson

Commenting on the deal, Boris Johnson said: “The Metropolitan Police Service has a unique place in history and needs a home that’s fit for the future. However, police budgets are under real pressure. The sale of this underused and outdated building means we can now not only protect that rich heritage, but also fund the new headquarters and kit out bobbies with the latest mobile technology to secure the future of the force. This landmark deal allows us to preserve the past while giving today’s Met a vital cash boost such that our officers can continue to safeguard London and its citizens.”

Stephen Greenhalgh (Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime) added: “This deal shows that we were right to put bobbies before buildings. Only by taking the tough decisions to shrink the Met estate and instead focus resources on the fron tline are we now able to invest in the modern kit and technology the police need to fight crime in the 21st Century. The Scotland Yard sale is a win for everyone. Police officers receive the investment in technology they need, Londoners are afforded the modern, efficient police service they deserve and the public purse benefits from a £100 million windfall from stamp duty, in turn helping to fund our schools and hospitals.”

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe: Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe: Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service

Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM said: “Police funding continues to be under extreme pressure. We now expect to need to making savings of up to £1.4 billion by the end of the next spending review, including some £600 million which we will have delivered by 2015-2016. This is equivalent to a third of the Met’s original budget so this money is absolutely vital to us. It will allow us to reinvest in our remaining estate and in the technology needed to support our officers as they fight crime and support victims. It’s only with this kind of intelligent investment that we will be able to do more with less.”

The sale of New Scotland Yard was handled by Jones Lang LaSalle. As the home of the Metropolitan Police Service, Scotland Yard has moved several times before – from Whitehall Place to Great Scotland Yard in 1875, to the Norman Shaw building in 1890 and then on to the current building in 1967. This future move therefore marks a return to nearer its founding location.

As mentioned, the freehold of New Scotland Yard was bought in 2008 for £123.5 million and it would have cost in excess of £50 million to bring the building back up to standard.

The Estate Strategy, launched last year, is available at: http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/policing-crime and covers plans for the entire MOPAC estate including police stations, forensic labs, firing ranges, training grounds, horse and dog centres, offices and custody facilities. It draws on the best examples from both the public and private sectors for space efficiency and modern working. Combined with investment in new and refurbished buildings, this will ensure the Met has a modern, well-equipped and efficient estate suitable for current and future policing.

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