Interviews

March 2022 magazine

by Mark Rowe

Now on desks and ready to read online is the March 2022 print edition of Professional Security magazine. As ever we bring you what’s what in the world of private security in the British Isles, such as ‘football’s kicking off’. We return to a subject we last covered in the November edition, of how trouble related to football crowds, in and around grounds, seems to be returning after the covid pandemic forced any football to be played without spectators. Some in the game are wondering aloud if the bad old days of the 1970s and 1980s hooliganism are returning, unless the hooligans are punished and deterred.

Besides featuring such current affairs – such as the state of fire services, which have come under criticism in the inquiries into Grenfell Tower and the Manchester Arena suicide bombing – we also consider such general things as marketing and planning as they apply to security companies, like any other businesses. And how social media can turn unsocial – yes, such platforms as Linkedin are good for networking and publicising your good work; but what about when you suddenly find yourself and your firm on the end of abuse or malicious reviews?

We round up the latest to do with the possibly forthcoming Protect Duty that would place a legal requirement upon venues and sites to protect against acts of terrorism. Historic cities such as Canterbury, Bath and York, even during the pandemic were seeing large numbers of visitors – indeed, due to the difficulties in travelling abroad during covid, those cities were if anything more popular to visit. With that comes the risk of ‘vehicle as a weapon’ attacks; and hence in recent years on counter-terror police advice the civic authorities in those and other places have been looking to add bollards or staffed barriers to deny entry to all but emergency vehicles in daytime business hours. Our review shows that public protection has to balance with other issues of urban geography, such as traffic management, the aesthetics of the historic city centre, and access for the disabled.

Even if you do not work in the field of campus security, it may be of interest if you are a parent of someone at college or university, or someone looking to go there and perhaps leave home for the first time. We feature at length Ollie Curran, the deputy security manager at University College London, and vice-chair of the campus security managers’ association Aucso, which is due to hold its first in-person conference since 2019 this Easter vacation at the University of Leeds.

We were with Ollie for some time as he went through some of his list of about 50 threats against students and uni assets – some obvious and well-known such as bicycle thefts; some less so. Some of the threats are part of UCL and any other university being part of a thriving, large campus of young people; and campus security people such as Ollie are keen and proud to uphold an open, even 24-hour campus (pictured one evening, the busy ‘open all hours’ study building in Gordon Square in Bloomsbury on the UCL estate; also home – behind glass – to the stuffed body of UCL founder and philosopher Jeremy Bentham; picture by Mark Rowe).

Plus all the regulars – a book review page, Roy Cooper’s gossip page for distributors and manufacturers; four pages of ‘spending the budget’; and four pages of new products and services.

If you would like to take a look at a print copy with a view to subscribing, email [email protected]. You can read past months of the magazine at the ‘magazine‘ part of the website.

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