Imbert Prize winner

by Mark Rowe

Agniete Pocyte, pictured, a graduate of the University of Glasgow, is the winner of the Association of Security Consultants’ (ASC) Imbert Prize 2020. It’s for her master’s dissertation titled, ‘From Russia With Fear. Sentiment Analysis of Russian Disinformation’.

The Imbert Prize is awarded annually to the best master’s dissertation on a security-related subject; entries are submitted by UK universities. The two runners-up for 2020 were Shawna Sinnott, a student at the University of St Andrews; and Phillip Larratt from the University of Portsmouth.

The award encourages the development of ideas for the academic advancement of risk and security management. The Imbert Prize is awarded in memory of the ASC’s former patron, Lord Imbert of New Romney CVO QPM JP, former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and a member of the editorial board of Professional Security magazine.

The judging panel was particularly impressed by the original thought and quality of argument deployed in the winning entry.
For 2020 the prize comprised: a year’s membership to the ASC, plus benefits totalling £1,150, along with a £500 cash prize. The two runners-up are to be presented a year’s ASC membership which entitles them to attend seminars, business groups and social events.

Chair of the ASC, Joe Connell, said: “In these uncertain times, in the midst of a global pandemic, those focusing on the security and wellbeing of UK citizens both at home and abroad is more important than ever. The 2020 winner and runners-up were particularly impressive but Agniete’s dissertation was especially topical given the ever-increasing levels of disinformation spreading on social platforms globally. And this, at a time when trusted, credible voices are most needed.

“The access that Agniete, Shawna and Phillip will now receive as a result of their ASC membership will ensure they can network and liaise with fellow security professionals and practitioners, especially important if they’re planning to further their interest and careers within the security industry.”

The prize is usually awarded during the ASC’s annual lunch in London which could not be held due to the coronavirus pandemic.


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