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ASIS gather in London

Hundreds of security professionals from across Europe gathered in London for the ASIS 15th European Security Conference & Exhibition. The first day of the conference-exhibition, Thursday April 7, heard opening speaker Supt Dave Roney set out counter-terror ‘protect and prepare’ policing in the UK. Earlier, ASIS’ US-based president David Davis was joined on stage by UK vice-chairmen Mike Hurst and Graham Bassett to present the event and ASIS UK chapter patron Baroness Harris of Richmond with a token of appreciation. The three-day event closes tonight, Friday April 8, with a reception at the House of Lords. Other networking events have run at the British Museum and Leadenhall Building.

Supt Roney’s review of policing work against terrorism covered such recent attacks as Charlie Hebdo in Paris; against tourists at Sousse in Tunisia; and the bringing down of the Russian airliner from Sharm el Sheikh as ‘game changers’. For instance UK counter-terror police are now working in several overseas countries – he named Tunisia, Morocco, Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt and Turkey – with local police on security of ex-pats and British holiday-makers. Acknowledging the ‘thirst’ for ‘stakeholders and partners’ to know the threats and how to respond to them after the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris (another ‘game changer’), he said that most of the (corporate security) audience probably have in place really good contingency plans: “Most of you have really good building security plans in place.”

Also acknowledging cuts to police budgets, Supt Roney offered the prospect of a much wider spreading of counter-terror advice through such training schemes as Project Griffin. While for years that project (teaching for instance how to spot hostile reconnaissance) has been delivered by police trainers, to thousands of front-line staff, typically security officers and receptionists, it’s now proposed that police train trainers so that organisations such as high street retailers can train their staff, and thus reach far more people. Supt Roney also spoke of an app, that would offer online refresher Griffin training.

(For consultant Adrian Jones’ view on how the authorities could make more of Project Griffin, see the April 2016 print issue of Professional Security magazine.)

After the Paris terror attacks of November 2015, the Government promised police more money for armed police response. Supt Roney raised the prospect, if the UK sees a Paris-style attack, of use of the military: “If there is a Paris-style attack in the UK, the chances are that alongside an armed police officer patrolling around the likes of Whitehall or some city centres or railway stations you will probably see a member of the armed services as well. Also armed.” That would increase the police’s capacity, he added; offering visible reassurance on the street, and enabling police to carry out a man-hunt, as proved to be the case in Paris in November 2015 and Brussels in March 2016.

For more on Supt Roney’s speech, and the ASIS Europe conference at the Business Design Centre in Islington (pictured), see the May 2016 print issue of Professional Security.

For more on the extra armed police, visit the NPCC website.

Separately, ASIS International and HID Global conducted a survey among European security people to identify the understanding of access control and contactless smart cards. Questions focused on the differences between 125 kHz cards and 13.56 MHz cards, understanding of the protection of the Card Serial Number (CSN or UID) and use of credentialing technology.

The study was available for the first time at ASIS Europe 2016 and a presentation of the study outcomes was on the Thursday of the event as part of the conference’s technology and solutions track.

Geert Coremans, CPP, Area Security Manager at The Rezidor Hotel Group was one of the ASIS members who assisted. He said: “This study is part of our ongoing efforts to keep security professionals informed about technology developments that impact key areas of our responsibility. The role of the security manager has never been broader or more complex and ASIS is committed to helping security practitioners succeed in today’s challenging environment.”


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