Bumper total for charity at ST19 opener

by Mark Rowe

The first Security TWENTY event of 2019, at a new venue, the Hilton Metropole by the lake at the Birmingham NEC, raised a bumper £5000 for charity at its informal meal the evening before yesterday’s actual event. As ever, the money came from individual donors, a raffle of donated prizes, and cash given by diners to play the traditional heads and tails game.

Pictured left to right are Roy Cooper, MD of Professional Security magazine, organisers of the ST series, and Dave Davies of one of the 80-plus exhibitors, the distributor DVS. The nominated charity was DKMS (‘we delete blood cancer’), which will put the money towards its registering potential lifesavers on to the UK Aligned Stem Cell Registry which will help blood cancer patients find their matching donor. DVS made DKMS their charity for 2018.

For more photos of the event see the ‘gallery‘ part of our website.

The event on the NEC campus marked something of a return to ST’s roots, of a sort, as this time six years ago the first ST conference-exhibition ran down the road at Meriden. The first event of the ST year has been in the Midlands ever since, at Nottingham and now at the NEC, and has always proved popular as a central location, drawing the usual varied audience from the region and even beyond. Exhibition visitors ranged from local installers to city council CCTV managers to contract guarding company executives.

ST sponsors were Hikvision, Seagate, IFSEC International (who sponsored the bar the night before), Norbain, CSL DualCom, and Security Dynamics.

The conference across the corridor from the exhibition room drew a goodly audience from opening at 10am by Alex Carmichael of the inspectorate the SSAIB, who was a self-described ‘warm up act’ for the surveillance camera commissioner (SCC) Tony Porter, a late morning speaker. Alex Carmichael outlined the work of the SSAIB, which has its 25th birthday this year, and work on standards that he chairs for the SCC. Andy Palmer of Seagate gave an update on data storage.

Nicole Vazquez of Worthwhile Training went over lone worker safety, stressing a risk assessment approach – the lone worker is not the risk, she pointed out. That several members of the audience spoke to her afterwards, as her talk marked the mid-morning tea-break, showed that not only was her talk engaging, but that lone and remote worker safety (including business travel protection) has become such a live issue for employers, under duty of care.

After the break, Tony Porter made a return to ST, praising the volunteers (some in the audience such as Tony Gleason, the lead on local government) who work on the several strands of his standards-setting work on video cameras and evolving tech such as automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), artificial face recognition (AFR) and body-worn video. After quoting Churchill’s definition of success as stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm, Tony Porter reported still having enthusiasm and added: “I certainly don’t think I have got to where I want to get, because there’s so much to do; but we have made massive inroads in the whole system agenda.”

With typical frankness Tony Porter said that it was perfectly justified for people in the room to point the finger at him, to ask what support he was giving to the industry about such complicated definitions as what is covert or overt in the AI (artificial intelligence) world. On that and other points he pointed to a future of advancing technology, bringing challenges for industry and infrastructure, where new regulations would be without laws (as law-makers were trying to keep up with tech in general, and surveillance in particular). He summed up: “That’s the way of the world; it’s about making sure you are ahead of the curve, and you understand as best you can what traps are out there for you, and protect yourself the best you can.”

Mike White the conference chair turned speaker to update on the Security Institute, looking with chief executive Rick Mounfield to provide among other things for members a career pathway for front-line security officers, and new qualifications; besides promoting security as a career to students in schools and universities, and offering mentoring. Mike Hurst took time off from staffing the ASIS UK stand in the exhibition room to talk of the work and the aims of the Security Commonwealth, the umbrella body for more than 40 UK security industry bodies. SyCom, chaired this year by Guy Mathias, featured in the January 2019 print issue of Professional Security, was last year chaired by Joe Connell, the chair of the Association of Security Consultants. Last year the Commonwealth ran a first public event, a debate during IFSEC. Mike and Joe Connell last year lunched with Home Office security minister Ben Wallace and Shaun Hipgrave, head of the Home Office Joint Security and Resilience Centre (JSaRC), an example of the Commonwealth’s efforts to put across a UK security sector point of view.

Talking of lunch, the conference closed after Mike’s talk in time for the hot buffet lunch and some beautiful-looking and -tasting cup-cakes. Next stop for ST19 is Glasgow, on Tuesday, April 30, at the Hilton Hotel in William Street in downtown Glasgow.

Entry to ST events is free, whether you’re a consultant, installer, end user or someone interested in getting up to date on private security. Register and find out more at the ‘Security TWENTY‘ part of the Professional Security website.

More in the April 2019 print issue of Professional Security magazine.

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