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Interviews

August magazine

Now on desks and landing through letterboxes is the August print edition of Professional Security magazine. We continue to be the one place you can turn to with confidence if you want to keep up to date with what’s going on in private security in the British Isles.

As ever we have been out and about, bringing you reports from the first Infosecurity Europe show since 2019, at a new venue, Excel in London Docklands. As if the break due to covid was not enough of a misfortune for the exhibition about and for the information security sector, the first two days of rail strikes fell across its three days. But, it was noticeable that infosec people braved public transport anyway, to attend. We bring you what was said, for example, about ransomware – to pay or not to pay?! – and (next month) ‘cyber burn-out’, and why you ought to be concerned about it, even if you are not in cyber, or are not feeling burned out yourself.

We cannot be everywhere, but that’s what Zoom is for; and we were virtually in attendance for the Fraud Advisory Panel AGM, which had as its speaker Lord Agnew. He was the junior minister in the House of Lords who early this year stood up in the Lords to defend the Boris Johnson Government’s record on counter-fraud, only to resign because he found that record indefensible. It’s turned him into something of an informed whistle-blower about the shortcomings of central Government in tackling fraud, in particular with the bounce back loan scheme – necessary to keep Britain going in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, but brought out without regard to fraud risks. And the cost to the Treasury – and ultimately to UK tax-payers won’t go away.

If Lord Agnew’s message was not strong enough, take a look at the Panel’s annual report, titled ‘Running on empty‘, that painted a bleak picture of how the pandemic revealed a ‘wasted decade’ of counter-fraud and a public sector ill equipped to take the work on.

We were in Birmingham for the annual conference of the Midlands Fraud Forum, that heard from the local police and crime commissioner (PCC) and various police and other authorities; and a mid-year briefing at the Vauxhall, south London base of the risk forecasters Sibylline, where founder and CEO Justin Crump was on form.

We cannot be everywhere however, and we are grateful to CCTV man Gordon Tyerman who attended a debate about automatic facial recognition, between the defenders of such products to catch criminals and human rights activists, and wrote a digest of what was said for us. We spoke to lone worker safety trainer Nicole Vazquez, of Worthwhile Training, ahead of her conference on the subject in London on October 11. We heard more about this premier event for anyone, whether in security or health and safety, and took the chance to pick her brain about what changes to patterns in working due to the pandemic have done for worker safety.

As ever we aim to bring something for any reader, whatever their background or interest in private security. Hence pages on manned guarding, event security, the UK police’s Servator patrol method; and magazine MD Roy Cooper’s gossip for installers, manufacturers and distributors.

We also try to do some thinking and explaining of the sector; hence a short series of pages on what’s in the Queen’s Speech from May, proposed new laws that may affect private security; such as countering protest.

Professional Security is still a printed magazine, subscription-only; if you’d like to take a look at a copy, send your postal address to info@professionalsecurity.co.uk. You can view past editions of the magazine on the ‘magazine‘ part of this website.

Photo by Mark Rowe; a piece of Extinction Rebellion graffiti, Lewes town centre, Sussex.


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