Security Forward Workshop - 24 June 2021 - Virtual Meeting

Thursday, 24 June 2021
By Christopher Smith

The Security Forward Risk & Intelligence Forum held a virtual meeting on 24 June 2021. Present were Alderman & Sheriff Professor Michael Mainelli, Linda Cook, Keith Holland, Andrew Berkoff, Crispin Black, Andy Donaldson Peter Fraser-Hopewell, Michael Hoddy, John Cossons, Hank Cole, and Chris Bass. Chris Smith acted as chair.

The guest speaker, Andy Donaldson, Head of Security at Real Estate Management, is responsible for the Shard in London.

The Shard is described as a city on stilts, which comprises offices, bars, restaurants, a hotel, and hospitals. It required 860 truckloads of cement and 10,000 panels of glass that would cover 8 football fields. There are there 65 plus lifts. One interesting fact was that a fox lived in the Shard for months during construction. There are 32 companies across 10 businesses in the building with thousands of people working inside. The biggest risk facing the building is water leaks, where the damage done to a building standing over a 1000 feet tall would be significant. Recognising threats and responding in a timely manner is vital in a building such as this. Managing the security in this building during the pandemic was a challenge but identification of early red flags and key risk indicators allowed to management to respond in a timely manner. The principle of being alert to new threats was important. The question of how sustainable threat management and mitigation were during a pandemic needed answers. The importance of writing and recording policy and strategy is not to be underestimated. Making a record of actions taken within the terms of the policy is essential.

The Manchester bomb 'Protect Duty', otherwise known as Martin's Law, will have a major impact to the security sector during and after the pandemic. Terrorism, post lockdown, still represents a high risk to public-facing businesses. Extremists have not had a chance to travel freely during lockdowns across continents and we should expect to see some form of attack in some city at some stage in the future. We heard the value of a support network to implement protective measures is essential.

Many questions were raised on how organisations depend on service providers in ensuring protection. Questions were also raised on the competencies of service providers to protect given concerns over the validity of training that is given to security officers. The ACT training programme was highlighted as an exemplar of good practice.