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Case Studies

Record F1 crowd at IFSEC 2018

A bumper 200-plus audience lapped up what Christian Horner, team principal of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, had to say about security of, and general life in, Formula One racing, on day one, Tuesday, June 19, of IFSEC 2018 at London Excel.

Interviewed by the Keynote Arena compere, the BBC broadcaster Frank Gardner, Horner deftly answered questions about F1 such as his favourite track and most important individual in the motorsport; and security questions about the Milton Keynes-based F1 team, for example when asked about the ‘insider threat’ acknowledging that the highly competitive teams watch each other to gain the slightest technical advantage. The next day Horner was on his way to the French Grand Prix.

The occasion for the talk at the Arena, pictured, a new departure for the show, was installation of FLIR Systems thermal cameras at the team’s site on the outskirts of Milton Keynes, for 24-hour perimeter monitoring. For all the intellectual property at the site, which spans design and manufacturing of the racing cars, public roads run beside the company’s buildings and the perimeter is no higher than a hedgerow that is easily stepped over; a reflection of the campus-like, open feel of the site. Site physical security, then, is in keeping with the unstuffy culture of the racing team and Red Bull in general. More in the August 2018 print issue of Professional Security magazine.

Among other speakers in the Arena, on day three the veteran former corporate head of security at British American Tobacco (BAT) David Burrill, now half of the consultancy Burrill Green, had some challenging words to say about why chief security officers (CSOs) ought to have a seat at the corporate boardroom table, why so few of them do, what CEOs make of their security chiefs, and what CSOs ought to do about it. Transport security was a theme; besides an eight-strong panel, Andrew Palmer of Gatwick Airport described the work of behavioural detection officers (BDOs) looking for suspicious signs in crowds, whether at an airport or any crowded place; and not only to counter hostile reconnaissance and terrorism, as at a sports of music venue, or tourist attraction, but equally for a supermarket for loss prevention.

As in previous years, The Future of Security Theatre, ‘powered by’ the security systems training company Tavcom, and sponsored by Panasonic UK, offered sessions on networked security and related subjects. Also for visitors on the educational side was the ‘Converged Security Centre’, and the corner ‘Drone Zone’ offering (behind a net) demos of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also a day three topic in the Keynote Arena.

IFSEC 2019 returns to Excel from Tuesday to Thursday, June 18 to 20. Visit

For a gallery of pictures from IFSEC 2018, visit the gallery part of our website.


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