Security Forward Risk & Intelligence Forum’s Autumn Meeting was held on the Thames Sailing Barge Lady Daphne at St Katherine’s Dock in the City of London on 28 September 2016. The meeting began with a presentation from our guest speaker Brian Dillon MSc BSc (Hons) FCMI FSyl FICEM. Brian is Director of Rubicon Resilience Limited that specialises in counter-terrorism contingency planning, exercising, and crisis management. Previously he was the operational head of New Scotland Yard’s Specialist Firearms Command and led London’s armed response police and a national counter-terrorism intervention capability. His previous work included developing strategies to deal with armed attacks, multi-agency interoperability, and security at high profile events and places. Brian entitled his talk "Dixon Of Glock Green? Terrorism Response & Intervention". He gave a fascinating talk outlining the history of armed police in the UK and how changing circumstances have influenced how we respond in new environments. As we operate under the Chatham House Rule, Brian was able to discuss some specific cases with us. Brian then took questions and there was a lively interactive session which extended into the coffee break.
After the coffee break we were joined by Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli, Chairman of the Z/Yen Group who gave an impromptu talk about the Lady Daphne and the history of Thames Barges. As he had not been warned that he might be asked to do this, his talk was all the more impressive.
After our usual ‘round robin’ session to identify key issues in the ‘in-tray’ at present, we gave the floor to our ‘Speaker in Residence’ Lt Colonel Crispin Black, MBE, MPHIL, who is an independent expert on terrorism, intelligence and security. His presentation was entitled "The Sun May Be Setting On The Age Of Wealth And Freedom May Be Ending", taken from an article by William Hague in the Daily Telegraph over the summer. He began by stating the obvious - that in terms of population growth, and possibly wealth creation and consumer spending, the world is tilting away from the ‘Old West’ towards Asia in particular. The great advantage likely to be retained by the west is that most of its countries are reasonably stable democracies, under the rule of law, where the basic procedures of legitimate government are accepted by the population - at first sight, at least. But as Brexit and the ongoing US presidential election, regardless of its outcome, both show, post-WWII political consensus is fraying badly under the pressures of globalisation, mass immigration, and a sense that many heavyweight and solemn establishment judgments are merely the prejudices of a sheltered and wealthy minority. Both the political and expert elites have lost the case with electorates. Political turbulence is already with us. Instability may lie ahead.
Following the meeting we dined at The Guoman Tower Hotel in St Katherine’s Dock. Our dinner speaker was travel writer Harry Bucknall, who was great company, having spent twelve years in the Coldstream Guards and worked in Security for some time before deciding to become a writer. Harry lightened the mood with a very witty and amusing description of his latest book "Like a Tramp, Like a Pilgrim", a signed copy of which was presented to each of the participants. His talk covered the vagaries and rewards of long-distance walking and pilgrimage, and was greatly enjoyed. As always, the networking opportunities resulted in much exchanging of cards and we know that many of our Members are in regular contact with each other which adds value to their Security function. Future Meetings are scheduled for 7 December 2016, 16 March 2017, 13 July 2017, 9 October 2017, 4 December 2017, and 22 March 2018.