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ISIO on situation, implications

Multi-national corporate companies may have globally located partners or branches, so dictating that what happens in one country will impact another, writes ISIO, the International Security Industry Organization.

Using the term ‘unimaginable’ is because, now more so than ever, desperate people will do desperate things which they would never think of doing before. People applaud the surgeons, doctors and nurses but what about the cleaners, cooks and maintained that keep the hospitals running? When one or more get ill, the entire chain of support may need to be re-manned, but the re-training time impacts the smooth running of the system. The following may sound not applicable to practitioners in some countries however, the situation would be time dependant on finding of a cure.


• Increased numbers of starving people due to loss of jobs
• People desperate for medicines, protection clothing and equipment
• Many will be desperate for protection gear depending on their location for security


• Increased home invasions
• Many more weaponized people without training
• Increased perimeter protection equipment and manpower
• Many more people suffering from emotional or mental disorders


• The covid-19 pandemic is similar to the previous SARS threat but, the SARS was easier to cure. Even though some human trials have begun, it when an antidote will be discovered, obtain approval, manufacture and distribute.


Considering the term that security success to limit the collateral damage of the virus on people and assets will depend on the level of situational awareness of the people on the ground and their reaction speed.

Situational Awareness: the knowledge to identify a person of interest or a group working in concert. One must heighten situational awareness using equipment, technology and manpower.

Technology, equipment

Temperature/Fever detection using CCTV or Handheld thermometers will detect an infected person. One cannot bank on facial recognition as people will wear masks. Some facial recognition is deriving disappointing results because of the masks. The combination of both temperature/fever and facial would be best for certain applications if one does not have handheld thermometers.

People making decisions

Manpower: It is vital that manpower must be quickly trained with skills that are relevant to the new threat. It is possible that the manpower on the ground could be dealing with volatile behaviour. The officers on the ground must have the character traits that are balanced with empathy and ego drive. A highly aggressive and reactive person is not a good choice for first interaction with the public. This threat also dictates that the people on the ground will experience issues that they know and that they do not know. For example, they may have been trained not to take action but, to summon their superiors. Making decisions and reaction speed for pandemic security demands fast decision making and actions to be taken. Scenario, the temperature/fever detection identifies a person of interest. What should they do? There is quite a bit more to this …

Manpower must be able to identify a person of interest and to determine if they are working in concert with others either voluntarily or under duress to mitigate loss prevention. Therefore, lie, deception detection and critical situational interviewing are the relevant skills. Subsequently, some practitioners may need to be familiar with crime culture, criminal methods and behaviour.

Psychological considerations

Practitioners could handle emotionally distraught or mentally unwell people. This calls for practitioners on the ground now must be even more socially aware to comprehend that some people (determine if they are normal, emotional or mentally challenged) may be over-reacting and becoming highly sensitive and must be understood before physical intervention is used.

Cultural considerations

A person that has bias will naturally display their emotions in their tone of voice and body language which will instinctively obtain a negative reaction by another person to the extent of a hostile and physical reaction. This could also lead to a person misinterpreting or being misunderstood by another culture and providing an unreliable reading to the practitioner. This calls for practitioners to be properly trained with lie, deception detection using critical situational interviewing taking cultural behaviour into account. For handling conflict or violent behaviour, the practitioner must be culturally aware (conduct and behaviour) so that they do not over-react or make decisions based on bias.


Reacting to late will invite collateral damage. It is recommended that when a person that has been flagged with a high temperature then the protocols mentioned below must be used. As a matter of fact, unlike investigation scenarios where reaction speed must be purposely timeous, for pandemic security reaction speed is paramount from the person in charge down to the practitioner on the ground.

Physical considerations

We must consider that people are now perhaps ‘weaponized’ with covid19 and therefore, precautions must be considered.


When identifying the Person-of-interest using temperature/Fever detection

1. We must consider that people are now perhaps ‘weaponized’ with covid19 and therefore, precautions must be considered
2. Approaching the person must only be by properly protected trained staff.

Consider that the person that is infected could affect others within 1.5m (+3ft) to 2m (6ft) and, also know that the eyes and mouth could be entry points for the virus. Subsequently, staff must use eye-goggles or face shields with masks when approaching a person of interest. If there is resistance by a person-of-concern, then the practitioner may consider if correctly trained to detain the person of concern and must alert the authorities as soon as possible.

Incident management

The validity of the narrative will depend on the quality of the data captured, either by deception detection critical situational interviews or by physically testing people for the virus. Yes, it is possible to locate a person of interesting depending on the stage of infection when they display a temperature/fever which could be captured on cctv or by handheld devices, but, at the end of the day, the data must be accurately reported. A skilled practitioner with investigation management and critical thinking abilities would be able follow certain bits of information that will present an understanding and overall interpretation of the complete picture.

By following the data, the practitioner would then be able to see the movement and tempo of an emerging threat. Regarding pandemics, quick reaction speed is vital. There is no room for procrastination – response time must be quick.


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