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HI Viz! day

Wednesday saw the third annual HI Viz! exercise across the City of London. City of London police officers and security officers – clad in their regular outdoor high visibility jackets – set up ‘pop up’ centres at St Paul’s Cathedral, the Royal Exchange, Aviva Plaza and Liverpool Street-Bishopsgate in the Square Mile. As pubs and clubs in what was once largely the financial district are enjoying post-Covid growth, officers visited licensed premises during the evening.

The City of London Police (CoLP) is working with the City Security Council (CSC) – an umbrella group of contract security companies based or working in the City, for example on better real-time flow of incident information.

The collaboration directly connects police with private security professionals working across the City, enabling them to be instantly alerted and updated about a potential incident.

City of London Police Chief Inspector Ray Marskell said: “The third HI Viz! Day is a show of strength between the police and the private sector. Security officers are often the first responders to an incident and can act as our eyes and ears until a police officer arrives on the scene. The reality is that trained and qualified security professionals play an important role in detecting and limiting the impact of crimes. Working together and quickly sharing intelligence makes the City of London a safer place. Put simply, it’s best practice and is a blueprint that other cities should consider.”

Recently installed, as featured in the May print edition of Professional Security magazine, is the CityINTEL joint communications platform. A bespoke piece of software, sitting in the CoLP Joint Command Control Room, that lets controllers choose the most appropriate people to send to a reported incident. A two-way flow of information can be targeted to a building and district, as well as used to broadcast more generally to CSC members.

Ashley Fernandes is this year’s chair of the CSC. He said: “We know other cities like Manchester and Birmingham are now considering the idea of trialling the CityINTEL platform later this year. Effective policing relies on the efficient communication with all stakeholders. Professionally trained security officers are an everyday part of life, so enabling to speedily share information about an incident can only make our city and country safer.”

“We know that in times of crisis, speed is of the essence. Security professionals play an important role in the process if they can instantly react to a situation and instantly communicate with the police.”

“Having key people on the ground being able to supply accurate and instant upgrades to the police plays a key role in their decision making.” He added that he hoped this model could be replicated to improve safety in other UK cities.

More on City of London policing in the July print edition of Professional Security magazine.


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