Tag Archives: Police

Metro Security wins Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of M.A.R.S

Metro Security has won a 2019 Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category for the development of M.A.R.S (Metro Analytic Retail Solution), an integration software that brings retailers’ risk data into one location at the click of a mouse.

Managing director Trevor Wallace, who attended a reception at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 11 June, enthused: “This award is a real honour for Metro Security. We’re a company that has been able to build a strong reputation off the back of British-designed software and hardware development.”

The M.A.R.S solution, which integrates retailers’ existing technology – including Electronic Point of Sale and CCTV data – to deliver transparency of information in order to detect theft and fraud, came to the attention of the Queen’s Award adjudicators after a number of High Street and petrol forecourt retailers reported transformative loss reduction results following its deployment.

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Trevor Wallace (left) and son Darren at Buckingham Palace

The technology allows businesses to remotely access and deep dive into data with the support of CCTV evidence to build criminal cases for the police to prosecute, which also assists in reducing police investigation time.

Wallace, who established the Romford-based business back in 1978, continued: “Our technology is a collaborative effort with our customers. They tell us what management information they want and how they want it packaged. We then work with them, and their other partners, to deliver it. We see ourselves as a kind of Q character from the James Bond franchise. We quietly work in the background to enable technologies to work together to catch the bad guys. We’re not quite on Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but this Royal recognition is a major boon for the business and an acknowledgement of the hard work and long hours put in by the team. This prestigious accolade is a true recognition of their enterprise.”

The Deputy Lord Lieutenant will be visiting the business in Ashton Road to bestow the Queen’s Award for Enterprise certificate and crystal award.

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Police set to use Artificial Intelligence to help predict spikes in hate crime

Following the news that the police service is setting up a new ‘Hate Lab’ using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help predict spikes in hate crime on the streets following Brexit, Andy Davies (consultant on police and intelligence services at SAS UK) has highlighted the importance of using data to mitigate preventable or predictable trends.

Davies has stressed the need for law enforcement to find new and innovative ways to make analytics and resulting insights accessible to officers. Ultimately, AI and data analytics has the power to help police do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

“Law enforcement operates in an increasingly complex environment, with investigators facing unprecedented amounts of data,” said Davies. “Social media has further complicated this environment in the last ten years with data being published online at an unmanageable rate. Clearly, the police are overwhelmed and overworked. The new ‘Hate Lab’ is no silver bullet for eliminating hate crime, but it’s a clear step in the right direction to mitigate preventable or predictable trends.”

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Davies continued: “Making sense of this data and understanding the underlying connections is critical in any investigation or intelligence-development activity. Data analytics is already reviewing huge volumes of intelligence data rapidly so that police officers can cut through the noise and focus on real and emerging threats. AI and data analytics can help the police to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively, so we need to find new and innovative ways to make analytics and resulting insights accessible to today’s officers.”

Davies referenced Gloucestershire Constabulary, which has employed analytics software to improve policing strategies, gain real-time insight into incidents and identify crime ‘hotspots’.

“Gloucestershire officers will now be able to draw together data from numerous systems and sources, including its electronic incident log, phone system, GPS-capable radios and demographic data from other sources. Using analytics, it will also be able to use the data available to identify crime ‘hotspots’, monitor trends, forecast future crime/incident levels offenders across the county and see a live breakdown of crime statistics.”

In conclusion, Davies told Risk Xtra: “It’s vital that the police service looks for every opportunity to operate more efficiently and use the latest data-driven tools in the fight against crime. By using data analytics, our police forces will be in an even better position to derive intelligence from multiple sources of potentially life-saving information.”

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Small Business Network advocates use of private security firms to support police

Following the latest budget, which highlighted increased funding for terrorism prevention despite recent cutbacks in other areas of police funding, the Small Business Network (SBN) of professional security companies has highlighted an opportunity for the private security industry to support public services.

“While the Budget saw extra money for the prevention of terrorism, the selling off of other police assets and the reduction in officers on the street has made life difficult when it comes to the prevention of other criminal activity,” commented Abbey Petkar, spokesperson for the SBN and managing director of Magenta Security. “The police are doing a fantastic job with limited resources and, for our part, we are perfectly placed to support them.”

Through client contracts already in existence, security companies across the UK can deliver for their clients while working in partnership with local police forces to spot and stop criminal behaviour.

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Abbey Petkar

“Whether it be a CCTV supplier, an alarm company or security officers, the industry is already working to prevent criminal activity. We are on the look-out for vulnerabilities in the community that could affect clients as well as opportunists looking to make the most of any situation. A closer working relationship with the police can only improve this,” continued Petkar.  “In fact, there’s even an opportunity for those companies who have been properly certified to undertake work on behalf of the police, supplementing their forces and needs as appropriate.”

Ultimately, the SBN believes the current challenges faced by police forces across the country are an opportunity for the security sector. The Security Industry Authority’s ongoing desire to improve quality in the sector means the companies exist with the requisite skills and oversight to support public services in a professional and cohesive way. The SBN fundamentally believes that public security should not just be the responsibility of the police. Instead, everyone should do their part, working together to ensure safety for all.

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Send For Help recognised in prestigious ‘FT Future 100 UK’ listing

Send For Help (the lone worker protection business providing 24/7 emergency response via personal safety alarms) has been featured in the ‘FT Future 100 UK’ list recently published in The Financial Times and on FT.com. The prestigious list selected by an expert panel led by FT journalists features fast-growing UK companies that are also making an impact on their industry or, indeed, wider society.

The list is built on data from the ‘FT 1,000: Europe’s Fastest-Growing Companies’, in which Send For Help featured in April this year with a ranking at 625.

To make it into the first edition of the ‘FT Future 100 UK’, businesses had to excel in one of four categories: Environmental, Social and Governance, Disruption, Diversity and Consistent Growth. Send For Help was selected for the Disruption category, where the judges took into account measures such as R&D spend as a proportion of revenue and the company’s own pitch as a disrupter.

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Operating through its subsidiary brands Skyguard, Peoplesafe and Guardian24, Send For Help supplies keyfob-sized GPS personal safety alarms and smart phone apps providing 24/7 protection to over 150,000 lone workers.

Send For Help’s Monitoring Centre has direct links to police Control Rooms, so it can bypass the 999 system and receive a faster emergency response if clients are threatened, attacked or are otherwise in some form of danger.

The Surrey-based tech firm has a varied client roster across a large number of private and public sectors, including over 180 NHS Trusts and major High Street retailers, City banks and national pub chains, estate agents, the police service and more than 200 local authorities.

“It’s very encouraging that Send For Help continues to receive national and international awards from such prestigious publications,” said James Murray, CEO of Send For Help. “Our strategy as a disruptive company which delivers innovative services at competitive prices is clearly working. The whole team should be proud of what we’ve achieved.”

*For the full list visit https://ig.ft.com/future-100/2018/

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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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Home Office consults on using body-worn video for police interviews

New Home Office regulations will allow police to use body-worn video to record interviews with suspects under plans now being consulted on. Police can already use evidence captured by wearable cameras, but the changes will mean that, for the first time, they can be used for suspect interviews away from the police station setting.

It follows joint work between the Home Office and the police to help maximise time spent on the front line by police officers and reduce unnecessary trips to and from police stations.

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Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd said: “Having met officers across England and Wales, I’ve seen how technology is bringing 21st Century solutions to age-old policing problems. I want our police officers to have access to the best possible equipment and to be able to use it to bring greater efficiency to front line policing. We will keep looking for ways in which to save time and work more effectively, and we’ll do everything we can to support forces as they adapt for the future.”

By the end of this year, 60,000 body-worn video cameras will have been deployed by police forces across England and Wales.

As part of the new regulations, the Home Office is also strengthening the protections in place for interviewees and will require all interviews with suspects to be recorded when a working audio device is available.

The new plans set out in full suspects’ rights and entitlements and also include a definition of vulnerability such that it’s perfectly clear when interviews must be conducted with independent support for the suspect from an appropriate adult and, if one is requested, a solicitor.

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BSIA outlines key points of PD6669 scheme ahead of industry briefings

Ahead of a series of industry briefings on the new PD6669 scheme, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has put together its five key points of the publication.

PD6669 provides guidance for the provision of alarm transmission systems (ATS) in the UK. It has been developed with support from all interested parties within the security industry, including security installers, Alarm Receiving Centres, ATS providers, insurers, the BSIA itself, the British Standards Institution and the police service.

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The Trade Association has outlined five key points of the scheme which will be covered in greater detail during each briefing:

*Alarm transmission providers will supply network availability statistics to identify systems that are highly likely to generate a false confirmed activation and police response to a false alarm. This will help to protect the allocation of Unique Reference Numbers (URNs)

*Alarm transmission providers will suggest alternate telecommunications solutions and networking advice to improve system reliability

*Single path faults are effectively managed, reducing customer disturbance and false alarms

*Installers will be able to clearly identify chargeable installation and post-installation work to the ATS to ensure that it operates reliably and as specified. Using PD6662, installers will be able to upsell their services rather than simply selling on price

*PD6669 ensures that system liability is clearly defined through robust information supply, record keeping and notification

As stated, the BSIA is hosting a series of free-to-attend briefings that will provide industry practitioners with an overview of PD6669, information on how it interfaces to BS EN 50136 and how it will help installers who use the scheme.

The briefings will be taking place at the following locations:

*London: 30 August at UBM, 240 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8BF. Registration opens at 8.30 am with presentations from 9.00 am through until 11.00 am

*Hampshire: 31 August at Southern Monitoring, 212-218 London Road, Waterlooville PO7 7AJ. Registration opens at 8.30 am with presentations from 9.00 am until 11.00 am

*Wigan: 6 September at the North West Fire and Security Exhibition, DW Stadium (South Stand Suite), 15 Loire Drive, Wigan WN5 0UH. Presentations from 10.00 am to 11.00 am as part of the North West Fire and Security Exhibition speaker programme)

*Nottingham: 13 September at EMCS Ltd, Tissington Close, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 6QG. Registration opens at 8.30 am with presentations from 9.00 am until 11.00 am

*To register for any of these PD6669 briefings visit: www.bsia.co.uk/events

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