PROTECT DUTY PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT Public engagement is one of the key elements to ensure the success of the amended Protect Duty. Raising public awareness about threat from terrorism with a soft touch campaign will enable the people to gain a better understanding of the need for security. The public can be instrumental in improving security at venues and events as there will be opportunity to challenge poor security if people feel unsafe. At the very least an informed public can share the responsibility for their own security simply by being more alert and aware of their surroundings. Other communities work together with their members by educating people through a series of training programmes. One such organisation is the Community Security Trust. Here is what they say: “The Community Security Trust (CST) is a charity that for decades has provided the security at the UK Jewish community’s 650 communal buildings and 1,000 events a year. SAFE (Security Advice for Everyone) shares CST’s security knowledge with groups outside the Jewish community that are vulnerable to violence, extremism or hate crime. We should all be able to lead our lives in safety and security, especially when we congregate with our communities. SAFE provides free help and support to people who want to make their community as safe as possible.” The Protect Duty public consultation generated much discussion in the security industry due to concerns of what the detail of the legislation will entail, and what specific duties will be required. The cost of security has been a major issue, with concerns that security needs to be affordable, especially for smaller organisations, or those operating on smaller budgets. COST VS QUALITY We expect the legislation to operate upon the basis of proportionality which means that one size will not fit all. Sound risk assessment and mitigating measures may not necessarily involve high costs. Training for security and risk mitigation is available from a variety of sources, some of which are free of charge and online. The very basic, and some of the more advanced ACT e-learning packages are free of charge. Regular staff training and incentives will keep people motivated. Well-looked after staff will look after the interests of their employer and their customers. However, the remuneration of security staff has also featured in Protect Duty conversations and there needs to be a reconciliation between the affordability of security staff and the quality of those attracted to undertake those roles.
IN CIRCUMSTANCES, SUCH AS SECURITY, WHERE SO MUCH IS AT STAKE, ACTIONS TO PROMOTE STAFF BEHAVIOURS WHICH TRANSLATE INTO CUSTOMER WELLBEING AND SAFETY HAVE GOT TO BE SEEN AS A SOUND INVESTMENT. The industry needs to correlate the profile and skills required by effective security roles and the remuneration offered to ensure they reflect the level of decision-making, and the soft and hard skills required. Some individuals in the Protect Duty conversations suggested that increasing the remuneration of security staff could result in a more motivated and dedicated workforce. Good security as an outcome can be influenced by how an organisation treats its staff. Investing in its people through a great work environment, sound and regular training, a decent pay packet and a real sense of being a valuable member of staff are all recognised as high-return motivators across people management globally. An authentic sense of social responsibility towards staff will reflect on the wellbeing of customers because staff will buy into the mission, vision and purpose of their employers. In circumstances, such as security, where so much is at stake, actions to promote staff behaviours which translate into customer wellbeing and safety have got to be seen as a sound investment.
The development of Battersea Power Station is an example of that principle in action. They understand that staff are an asset worth looking after and promoting a sense of community. All employees are focussed on giving customers a great experience when visiting the power station. Paul Considine, head of security and contingency at Bidvest Noonan says: “An investment in well trained, professional security personnel and systems not only achieves safe and secure spaces for customers to work, live and socialise in but as an extension of the client, security staff will engage with customers resolving their issues and thereby elevating the customer’s experience resulting in positive feedback and repeat business. The earlier security professionals are consulted in the design process the more likely they are to identify risk providing bespoke solutions to mitigate the threat. Delayed consultation can prove more costly in the long run or compromise the Security solution adversely impacting any mitigation implemented.” E
ISSUE 51 | COUNTER TERROR BUSINESS MAGAZINE