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London launch at City Hall

A Police and Security Group Initiative (PaS) was unveiled at City Hall yesterday. Its aim: ‘collaboration to increase public safety and reduce crime’. Mark Rowe reports.

What does that mean? Sharing, in a word, whether information and intelligence, as Philip Jones, head of security at Westfield outlined; or CCTV images, forwarded to police so that they can make arrests that lead to prosecutions, as Metropolitan Police DCI Mick Neville described.

The audience of 150 drawn from police, private security and London business heard also of the ‘Quiet Streets’ work by Camden Town Unlimited, the business improvement district for the north London borough. Simon Pitkeathley, chief executive, and Michael Hrycak, community safety and crime manager, spoke of the voluntary scheme on Friday and Saturday nights – and indeed Thursday and Sunday nights – whereby Quiet Streets-jacketed door staff encourage pub and club-goers to leave the district with a minimum of nuisance to residents.

Robert Hall, director, security and resilience network, at London First, outlined a ‘safe building’ accreditation scheme, about to be trialled at the National Theatre.

And last but not least came two more examples of shared working and partnership work between private security and police: from Nick Bennett, estate security manager at Canary Wharf in Docklands; and Hannah Wadey, crime intelligence manager for New West End, the Business Improvement District (BID) for Oxford Street, Regents Street and Bond Street (ORB for short) and neighbouring streets. Also speaking on crime prevention work in the West End were Jason Saunders of retailer Gap; and Ken Stewart, the former senior City of London Police man now a director of the security contractor The Shield Group, which has a contract with the New West End Company.

Pictured is the London deputy mayor for policing and crime Stephen Greenhalgh rounding off the morning event. Chairing the day was the past chair of the industry body the British Security Industry Association (BSIA). He summed up: “There’s lots of great stuff happening. Do we need PaS? We believe that we do, because it’s how to manage and bring together and make effective those examples, more broadly.” The aim, as Zeidler added, is to improve communication and awareness between private security and police in the capital; and indeed to let more people know about what’s already going on, as the morning of speeches did.

While it was not the business of London to tell other cities what to do, it could be that London experience could be offered to other UK cities, through for example ACPO. The staff officer for ACPO representative for business crime, Richard Stones, was among attenders who spoke from the floor.

About Police and Security (PaS)

It’s an initiative of MOPAC (Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime), the Mayor of London’s Office and the Met Police, and backed by CSARN, the business group London First, Skills for Security, the BSIA and the Security Industry Authority. For details visit www.bsia.co.uk/police-and-security.


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