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ST18 North conference hears SIA latest

In the morning conference at Security TWENTY 18 North at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate, after a welcome by Professional Security Magazine MD Roy Cooper and conference chairman Mike White, the audience heard from the chair of the UK regulator the Security Industry Authority Liz France, a return speaker to ST.

While setting out the landscape for the SIA for the next 12 months, after the publication of the (long-delayed) report after the triennial review by the Home Office of the SIA, she spelt out that there will be ‘no opportunity’ for the SIA to carry out any change that requires a change in the law to the original Private Security Industry Act 2001 that set up the SIA. The reason in a word is Brexit, as parliamentary time and the work of legislative draughtsmen is taken up with the withdrawal from the European Union; and the SIA has to take its place in the queue with others wanting Parliament’s and legislators’ time.

Nor as she said has the SIA yet seen the Home Office’s response to the review report’s recommendations. A committee has been set up to be chaired by Jim Mitchell of the SIA and the Home Office, to look at the review. As the SIA’s chief executive Alan Clamp said on publication of the review report, and Liz France reiterated at the ST conference, the SIA welcomes the review report and is keen to work on it; and much of what it said the SIA is already at work on.

For example Liz France described the SIA’s review into the approved contractor scheme; expect to see changes to the ACS from the autumn, in stages. Also Liz France spoke of an SIA review of licence-linked qualifications; aiming to deliver any changes in early 2020; that is, the SIA wants to look at mandatory (as part of the necessary four day training for a door staff or contract security guard or public space CCTV operator to apply for an SIA licence) and ‘enhanced training’ (that is, what a sector such as healthcare, campuses, ports and airports and so on might require for an SIA-badged security officer to do a specific job that the basic licence training does not or indeed cannot fully or at all cover). An example of the developing training for SIA officers that Liz France mentioned is a pilot in Scotland, with Police Scotland, covering counter-terrorism.

Talking of healthcare, a later speaker was Ron Gregory, a local NHS trust security manager and a regional vice-chairman of the National Association for Healthcare Security (NAHS). He too ranged over the recent past and the prospects for healthcare security, dwelling on where NHS security managers and management stand since the disappearance of the NHS Protect central body in 2017; or rather the end of NHS Protect’s security management remit, and its work on counter-fraud alone. As Ron pointed out, NHS Protect’s security management work had included the training and accreditation of LSMSs for each trust (local security management specialists), and collection of statistics on violence and aggression against NHS workers. NHS Protect had achieved a lot, Ron summed up, but added: “There’s a bit of a void.” Ron said he was however an optimist, adding: “I don’t think it necessarily needs to be such a void.” He suggested that healthcare security should look to other sectors, to the wider world of UK security management.

And talking of violence and aggression, the lone worker safety trainer Nicole Vazquez of Worthwhile Training posed the question about lone working; should we be concerned? She ranged over the subject, making the point that protecting lone workers requires defining what one is, and assessing the risks, not only security but of the worker’s wider well-being. She’s the organiser of the Lone Worker Safety Expo, in London on October 2. Readers quoting ‘Security2018’ can request a 25 per cent discount to attend that conference.

Last but not least before lunch Simon Whitehouse of SGW Consulting Group described the SABRE assessment scheme, by BRE, the independent, Watford-based third party certification of fire, security and environmental products and services. Simon made the case for SABRE for assessing security risk management, for use on construction projects and facilities of any size and at any location, whether multi-tenanted or mixed use, whatever the sector. Giving a consultant’s perspective, he made the case for SABRE as a way of adding value, and promoting value for money; when working with architects and others. Or, to put it another way, SABRE (and other assessment schemes are around) offers a way to get security away from being a ‘grudge purchase’. Simon gave the example of a university, suggesting that SABRE certification for the security function of a campus could give reassurance to students and their families when choosing a place to study, as SABRE would show a university is not only providing education, but is a safe place to be; ‘and that’s just one example of many’.

You gain SABRE in terms of ratings, from acceptable to outstanding, rated by a registered assessor, using a method designed to follow the RIBA plan of work (hence architects can understand it and work easily with it).

The conference also heard updates from manufacturers; from Howard Haycocks of the distributor Anixter, on what European Union directive 305/2011 shall mean for cabling installs in buildings; from Chris Action of Hikvision, on artificial intelligence in surveillance products, also bringing wider benefits; Andrew Palmer of Seagate, on the ‘datasphere’ and the need for specialist products for storage of surveillance data; and Keith Bardsley of Hanwha Techwin, who went through the Wisenet WAVE video management software (VMS).

Picture by Mark Rowe; Ron Gregory speaks while Mike White takes some notes.


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