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With budget cuts across the public sector recently announced by the Coalition government, police forces across the country will be faced with increased pressure to cut costs while maintaining service to communities. The private security industry can do much to help police forces overcome this challenge, especially when it comes to protecting national and regional infrastructure in times of natural disaster or terrorist threat. There are already plenty of examples of such partnerships, where police and the private security industry have successfully pulled together to get communities back on their feet after catastrophic events have occurred.

So says trade body the British Security Industry Association. The BSIA on September 30 is holding a conference – at York Racecourse – to highlight such examples, and to demonstrate how working partnerships between police and private security companies have resulted in budgetary savings at times when police and local authorities’ resources are stretched to the limit. <br><br>Titled ‘Working together: protecting communities’, the half-day event aims to raise awareness of the benefits of a partnership approach, and will give police forces and others responsible for resilience the opportunity to share best practice in protecting the national infrastructure against terrorism and natural disaster.<br><br>The event is free to attend, with speakers and topics including:<br><br>’Private Security in the Police Realm’ – Chief Constable Sir Norman Bettison, West Yorkshire Police<br><br>’The barriers to working with the private security industry: Police perceptions’ – Prof Martin Gill, Perpetuity Group<br><br>’Operation Outlook – The Gloucestershire water crisis of 2007′ – Chief Inspector Derek Jones, Gloucestershire Police<br><br>’Emergency Planning in Northumberland’ – Ian Clough, Emergency Planning Manager for Northumberland. <br><br>Mick Lee, Chairman of the BSIA’s Police and Public Services Section, says: "The event is expected to prove extremely popular and represents the ongoing effort of the private security industry to reach out to emergency services to help protect communities in the face of continued economic challenges. The private security industry, and the BSIA in particular, has worked hard to forge effective relationships with the Police and government, and we see this as the next step in what could be a very productive and cost-effective partnership."<br><br>Anybody involved in resilience planning or the ongoing protection of the national infrastructure is welcome to attend. To register, contact Christine Brooks at the BSIA by calling 0845 389 0743 or by emailing c.brooks@bsia.co.uk


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