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By courtesy of Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate, the Association of Security Consultants held a dinner at the House of Lords on Friday evening, July 6. It was the occasion for the presenting of the 2018 Imbert awards. ASC Chairman Joe Connell paid tribute to Lord Peter Imbert, the former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, a patron of the association and long-time backer and judge of the awards, who died in November 2017 aged 84.
Many of the guests took the chance to go on an hour-long tour of the Houses of Parliament before the dinner, which included drinks on the terrace beside the River Thames. Paul Easter, the ASC company secretary, introduced Met Police Assistant Commissioner Patricia Gallan, who presented the Imbert award for the best dissertation on a security theme from a student of six invited universities that offer security management courses: St Andrews, Brunel, Bucks New, Cranfield, Leicester and Portsmouth. The award went to Daniel Husbands (University of St Andrews) who graduated with an M.Litt in terrorism studies last year. Also presented with a certificate was Kate Wilson (Brunel); the other finalist was Andrew Forbes, of Leicester.
Pictured are Patricia Gallan and Daniel Husbands.
Joe Connell paid tribute to Lord Imbert as a fully-engaged patron of the ASC, who had been a painstaking judge of the awards entries each year. Joe recalled Lord Imbert’s long public service; having done his National Service with the RAF Police, he went into the Met, and, remarkably, was for more than ten years a constable. Joe Connell said: “That will never happen again, that someone will go to the very top of the police service that spent so long as a police constable; I think that contributed greatly to his humility and his understanding.” While ranging over Lord Imbert’s career and qualities Joe Connell recalled the Balcombe Street siege of 1975, when Imbert negotiated the surrender of an IRA group that holed up in a flat and took hostages in the NW1 street; through to the tribute paid by current Met Commissioner Cressida Dick at Lord Imbert’s memorial service.
Joe Connell went on to recall ASC stalwarts who had died in the last 12 months: Mike Cahalane, and Mike Tennent. Joe recalled that Mike Cahalane was involved with standards-making in the alarm and security sector from the very beginning, and in the body that evolved to become the National Security Inspectorate (NSI); and among the awards that Cahalane gained was an Imbert award for his contribution to security consultancy. Mike Tennent started his career in TV installation and went into CCTV; like Mike Cahalane, he was not satisfied with the lack of standards and started to build professionalism which led to the electronic security systems training company Tavcom.
Among guests were the chairman of the UK chapter of the security management association ASIS, Dave Clark and vice-chairmen Graeme Bassett and Mike Hurst; former chief exec of the Security Industry Authority and the day’s chairman of Consec, the annual conference of the ASC, Bill Butler; Geoff Tate, former chief exec of the SSAIB inspectorate; Lord Imbert’s widow Iris and son Simon, himself a member of the ASC; Sir Hugh and Lady Orde; and Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate.
Jon Laws said grace and Roger Noakes proposed the loyal toast. The next ASC member events are business groups on July 12 and September 27, at Armoury House, City Road London EC1Y; before Consec at Heathrow on Thursday, October 4.
Joe Connell said afterwards: “Thanks to all the team at HIKVISION team for sponsoring this valuable annual security profession event. A uniquely balmy evening in such a historic venue was complemented by great and entertaining company, which included Lady Iris Imbert and Mrs Lynne Cahalane, respectively the widows of our recently departed longest serving patron Lord Imbert and our founding director and Lifetime Honorary President Mike Cahalane. The Metropolitan Police was represented by Assistant Commissioner Patricia Gallan QPM who presented the well deserved awards. All the ASC Imbert Academic Award submissions this year were of high quality. However, a special word of congratulations must go to the three finalists: Daniel Husbands (University of St Andrews – Winner). Katie Wilson (Brunel University) and Andrew Forbes (University of Leicester). Their academic and practical insights into a range of highly relevant current threats are testimony to the value of this event and will add significantly to the body of knowledge within the security industry as a whole. The ASC, its members and its friends wish them well for their future careers.”