June 2020 print edition

by Mark Rowe

Now on desks is the June 2020 print edition of Professional Security magazine, our first full treatment of how response to the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting the UK private security sector and its people.

The sector made headlines in the general media in mid-May when the official statisticians the ONS found that the occupation with the highest death rate was not in hospitals or care homes as you might expect, but male security guards. We interviewed Dr David Rubens, the London-based founder last year of the Institute of Strategic Risk Management (pictured speaking at IFSEC 2019), who in characteristically trenchant terms asked where is the UK Government strategy for crisis management of the pandemic. Note that the ISRM is running ‘camp fires’ to talk through working through the pandemic.

And we spoke via Zoom with the risk advisory and forecasting consultant Justin Crump, the founder of the ten-year-old consultancy Sibylline.

As he made plain, and others we feature, while the pandemic means uncertainty and hard work, it can also – must also – mean opportunity.

We feature resilience; and how physical security product companies are already re-thinking to offer screens and other physical devices to help manage social distancing. We bring you an interview with Nick Evans, security man for home-builder Gleeson; and a case study of a CCTV upgrade at the Portman Road home of Ipswich Town FC.

While the pandemic and response to it is unavoidable and pressing, the everyday work of security management – that was normal before March – has to go on; as is reflected in the edition. Featured as in the April print edition are new, more powerful drones, as in use by Lincolnshire Police – which could become more visible than their uses of the last couple of years in that county, for apprehending fleeing suspects in the dark, or missing persons.

Covid-19 has already affected public policy; the ECHO digital alarm handling scheme has been delayed, as have Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence-linked qualification tweaks. We take a look at intruder alarm response; and the ‘skills agenda’, that we will return to in July. In June we’ve rounded up the themes of the SIA’s skills agenda summit, that ran in London days before lockdown.

What does the skilled security person have to have; what qualifications should they seek; and what is their career path, whether from officer to superviser to manager to CSO and director, or from college-leaver or police or military leaver into the sector. And how can security departments and contractors attract and retain the young, keen and gifted; how to have the sector appreciated as interesting and worth entering and developing in, given that it may be still suffering from negatives – perceived as low-pay and male-dominated. These issues are not going away and we will continue to feature them in the coming months.

As ever, whatever your age and experience, the part of security you work in – healthcare, CCTV monitoring, cyber – there’s something to inform you in each edition of Professional Security. You can view the print edition online on the ‘magazine‘ part of this website. If you do not have a print copy but would like to have a look at one before you subscribe, email your postal address to [email protected].

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