Tag Archives: University of Leicester

2014 Imbert Prize winners announced by the Association of Security Consultants

The Association of Security Consultants held its Annual Luncheon on Thursday 26 June. The winners of the 2014 Imbert Prizes were announced at the event, which was held in central London at the Royal Air Force Club, Piccadilly.

To its great credit, the Board of the Association of Security Consultants (ASC) continually seeks to encourage the development of ideas for the advancement of risk and security management in the UK.

One of the ways in which this excellent ethos manifests itself is by way of an annual prize – the hugely prestigious Imbert Prize.

Named after one of the Association’s Patrons – Lord Peter Imbert CVO QPM JP, former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service and Lord Lieutenant of Greater London – the Imbert Prize always consists of three separate awards. These are the University Dissertation Award, the Security Associations Award and the ASC Award.

The University Dissertation Award

Each year, an award of £1,000 is bestowed for a selected dissertation submitted by an academic institution. Cranfield, Leicester, Loughborough and Portsmouth Universities are each invited to submit a dissertation produced by one of their students – a dissertation relevant to the discipline of consultancy in the security profession.

The Judging Panel (which, in 2014, included Mike Bluestone CSyP, immediate past-chairman of The Security Institute among its cohort) is appointed by the ASC’s chairman and Board.

All Judging Panel members are independent of any of the institutions submitting dissertations.

2014 Winner

The winner in 2014 is Lt Col Paul Easter (Cranfield University) for his dissertation entitled: ‘Jihadist Use of Technology: 1998-2013’.


In 2014, the runners-up are Andrew Bates (University of Leicester): ‘Whistleblowing in the Private Security Industry – Factors That Influence The Reporting of Wrongdoing’, Stuart Senior (Loughborough University): ‘Mine Action Industry: Is There A Case for a New Approach to Security When Working In Current or Post-Conflict Zones’ and Stephen Green (University of Portsmouth): ‘An Investigation of Current Security Technology Procurement Paradigms and Subsequent Effects on Perceived Efficacy’.

The Security Associations Award

This element of the Imbert Prize is awarded to the person deemed to have made the most notable contribution to the security sector in the preceding 12 months.

Nominations are received each year from The Security Institute, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), the International Professional Security Association (IPSA) and ASIS International’s UK Chapter.

2014 Winner

The winner for 2014 is Peter Finch CSyP CPP FSyI FCMI FInstLM, former head of security at the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust and now security manager at the Coventry Building Society.

ASIS Nominee: Adrian Leppard (Commissioner, City of London Police)
BSIA Nominee: Andrew Rennison (former UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner)
IPSA Nominee: Geoff Tate (CEO, Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board)

The ASC Award

This award is bestowed upon the ASC member who has made the most significant contribution to independent security consultancy in the preceding year. The nominee is put forward by the ASC, as adjudged by the ASC Award Panel.

2014 Winner

The winner in 2014 is Joe Connell (director, Praemunitus Intelligence and Risk Consultants Ltd)

*Long-standing ASC member and founding director Nigel Flower was also named an Honorary Life President of the ASC

**The Keynote Address was given by Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach KCB CBE ADC BA MPhil DTech DLitt FRAes RAF, Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff

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Forensic Science in the UK: response by University of Leicester forensic scientist to Science and Technology Committee inquiry into closure of the FSS

The Science and Technology Committee has published the results of a follow-up inquiry into the closure of the Forensic Science Service (FSS). Read more about this here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23436303

Expert comment on the matter has now been offered by Dr John Bond OBE, senior lecturer in forensic science at the University of Leicester Department of Chemistry and co-lead of the Alec Jeffreys Forensic Science Institute at the University.

The Government's decision to close the Forensic Science Service has caused much debate in the security world

The Government’s decision to close the Forensic Science Service has caused much debate in the security world

This is what Dr John Bond OBE has to say…

“It comes as no surprise to me that, two years on from the closure of the Forensic Science Service (FSS), the Science and Technology Committee continues to be concerned over forensic science provision in the UK.

“The closure of the FSS in 2012 showed a remarkable lack of appreciation by the Government over what was happening across the public sector as a result of budget cuts and austerity. Like any other public body, the police service looked to save money and escalated a trend that had been simmering away for some years. That is, why not undertake ‘low level’ forensic work themselves rather than pay for it? This has led to an expansion of evidence recovery and screening work by police forces, removing this from the (now private) forensic providers.

“Not only has this led to unpredictable revenue for the forensic providers but it has has placed an increased burden on shrinking police resources to undertake this forensic examination work themselves.

“The Committee acknowledges the work of the Forensic Regulator in ensuring that all labs undertaking forensic work meet minimum standards, but also acknowledges the difficulties some police forces are having in meeting these standards.

“A cornerstone of good forensic scientific practice is to have those analysing and interpreting forensic evidence independent and remote from those prosecuting, something recognised in the US National Academy of Sciences report on Strengthening Forensics in 2009.

Dr John Bond OBE. Photo: University of Leicester

Dr John Bond OBE. Photo: University of Leicester

“Having more and more work undertaken within police premises by those working alongside investigators can only encourage the suggestion that the forensic process is not truly independent.”

In desperate need of a new strategy

“I would agree with the committee that forensic science in this country now desperately needs a strategy, along with adequate funding to police forces to purchase their forensic science needs, which are based on what is proven to provide good and cost-effective evidence.

“I would also endorse the comment made by the committee with regard to the lack of investment in forensic science research, although work is now in hand to address this through the Government-sponsored Technology Strategy Board which, earlier this year, set up a Forensic Science Special Interest Group.

“I sit on the Steering Committee for this Group and we are actively pursuing current issues in forensic science, including quality standards as well as research funding. Last month, the Group held a well-attended meeting at the University of Leicester to pursue these issues with local police forces, academics and the private sector.”

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