Cross-sector Safety & Security Communications A PARTNERSHIP FOR A SAFER CITY
How business, police and the government are working together to enhance public safety in the run run up to this summerâ€™s major events
This summer, the eyes of the world will be focused on London as the capital provides the main stages for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Few businesses will be unaffected by the Games and all will need to consider any safety and security implications, making the necessary preparations where appropriate. This covers not only the physical security of premises, but also the safety of individuals at their place of work and as they move around the city for business or leisure purposes. The scale of the Games is significant: 10.8 million ticket holders, over 14,000 athletes from 205 countries, just under 10,000 team officials, and up to 40,000 accredited media. Staging the Games is equivalent to holding 46 world championships at the same time. Security must therefore be robust, comprehensive and proportionate to ensure a safe, secure and peaceful Games that London, the UK and the world can enjoy. A key part of achieving this will be a new partnership between business, the Police and the Government in London: the Crosssector Safety and Security Communications Project (CSSC). Over the past 18 months, this unique partnership between the Metropolitan Police, the Home Office, London First, and some 23 business sector groups has created a communications structure that is already in operation in the run-up to the Games, and will continue afterwards as a lasting enhancement to safety and security in the capital. Its aim is to ensure that businesses factor safety and security into their day-to-day operations and that in the event of any real or potential risks emerging, any business in London can be advised quickly and authoritatively about what is happening and how they might be affected. The project has been modelled on two successful schemes that have been run in the financial sector for more than a decade and were deployed during incidents such as the 2005 London bombings and the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The Bank of England is central to the CSSC project as the co-ordinator of the initial contact between the authorities and the business sector representatives in the event of an incident.
Cross-sector Safety & Security Communications
40K Operations will begin immediately before the start of the Olympic Torch Relay in May and will be operational through to September. Afterwards, as Janet Williams, Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner, observes, the project will move into a new phase, which will deliver a lasting enhancement to safety and security. “It has always been the long-term benefits that have driven this plan,” she says. “The imperative was to improve the communication channels between the police and businesses in London. Last summer’s disorders and the challenge presented by the Olympics gave extra impetus, but the legacy goal was always there.” “The potential to build a cross-London communications network where the police and public services could talk to business and viceversa, and to put in place a real capability that could be called upon in times of crisis, was essential if businesses were to be willing to invest the amount of time and resources necessary to make this happen.”
• Over 10,000 officials will support the 2012 Games
• 15,000 athletes from 204 countries will compete in the 2012 Games
• Over 40,000 accredited media report from the 2012 Games
• 10 Million ticket holders will attend the 2012 Games
• 5 Billion viewers will tune in for the opening ceremony of the 2012 Games
HOW IT WORKS : CSSC HUB
ROLE OF BUSINESS
At the centre of the project is the “CSSC Hub”, which acts as the interface between those who have information and those who need to receive it. The Hub is in permanent direct contact with, on the one hand, the police and other authorities and, on the other hand, the sector groups and major individual businesses. Updates flowing from the authorities can be quickly shared with the relevant business contacts who, in turn, can pass it quickly through to their own networks, which, in the case of larger firms, may well include nearby smaller businesses that do not have formal business continuity or security functions.
But the information flow isn’t only one-way. A key lesson from the geographically widespread disorder in August 2011 and, indeed, a number of international terrorist incidents in recent years, was that the public is often better-placed than the authorities to report on what is happening. Through the Hub, real-time information can be fed back, supporting the authorities in their efforts and helping optimise the use of resources. There will also be on-line resources to help businesses prepare to mitigate specific risks.
Business involvement in the project has included several organisations seconding their own staff to the London First project team, under the chairmanship of Sir David Veness, as well as representatives from individual firms and sectors contributing to its strategy and management. Once the Games are over, the Hub will become a virtual communications network, maintaining contact and providing advice about ongoing threats and risks, while maintaining the facility to ‘stand up’ the communications hub when circumstances demand. Although the CSSC project has focused on London, the business representatives and associations that comprise the network are local, national and international and the model could be replicated in any city.
Cross-sector Safety & Security Communications
This is an inclusive approach to enhancing public safety. It could not have been delivered by any one agency acting alone but is a great example of diverse organisations working in partnership to create a truly world class operation.
I am committed to delivering a safe and secure Games which London, the UK and the world can enjoy. The Government, Police and Business must work together to achieve this and in doing so, the CSSC is an excellent example of this enhanced partnership, what it can accomplish and the lasting legacy it will bestow.
SIR DAVID VENESS, CHAIR, SECURITY & POLICING, LONDON FIRST
DON W. RANDALL MBE, DIRECTOR OF SECURITY, BANK OF ENGLAND
The CSSC project will provide a fast-time, single, reliable truth that will help businesses both prepare for the unexpected and deal with it if it arises. When the Olympics are over, it will leave a robust, rehearsed and capable and unique legacy.
The key to CSSC is the reverse messaging. The traditional approach has always been for information to be issued out from the centre, but the authorities also need to know what is troubling businesses on the ground. It’s a push and pull situation.
JAMES BROKENSHIRE, PARLIAMENTARY UNDERSECRETARY FOR CRIME & SECURITY
DAC JANET WILLIAMS, LONDON METROPOLITAN POLICE SERVICE
REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS ANY LONDON BUSINESS CAN BECOME A PART OF THE CSSC PROJECT AND REGISTER TO RECEIVE UPDATES THROUGH NEIGHBOURHOOD LINK:
http://www.neighbourhoodlink.met.police.uk/registration/ BY SELECTING THE APPROPRIATE SECTOR FROM THE MENU, YOU CAN ENSURE THAT YOU RECEIVE COMMUNICATIONS THAT ARE RELEVANT TO YOUR BUSINESS. BUSINESSES CAN ALSO RECEIVE LONDON-RELATED SAFETY AND SECURITY INFORMATION BY FOLLOWING THE METROPOLITAN POLICE AT: