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International Security Expo digest

by Mark Rowe

International Security Expo returns to Olympia, London on September 26 and 27, 2023. Guest speakers at the 2022 show, pictured, representing the EU policing agency EUROPOL, ATF, Dutch Police, Kings College London, and Armament Research Services (ARS) covered the history of 3D printed firearms to the Liberator to current models. On the threat, they shared case studies and the investigative opportunities and intelligence requirements to enhance law enforcement and private industry’s collective response.

Three conference streams ran over the two days including the Global Counter Terror & Serious and Organised Crime Summit, International Security Conference, and International Risk & Resilience Conference. Tom Tugendhat, the new Home Office Minister of State for Security, delivered a short address. He recognised the importance of transparency and freedom for long-lasting democracy and reflected on the success of Operation London Bridge and the delivery of Her Majesty’s Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. He acknowledged the remarkable example it set for global collaboration and how continued collaboration would be key for success.

As for Operation London Bridge, Matt Twist. Assistant Commissioner, Counter Terror Police UK spoke about the breadth of the operation from the integrated counter-terror to the ‘biggest ever deployment’ of law enforcement and supporting government agencies. He stated the Counter UAV response investigated 80 flights – four of which face prosecution for their intended actions.

Among other topics: the ‘chronic and corrosive threat’ of serious and organised crime (SOC) was addressed by Matt Horne, Deputy Director of Investigations at the National Crime Agency. He detailed the alarming scale and complexity of the evolving threat, costing more than £37 billion a year. SOC rates were climbing, he said, exceeding pre-pandemic levels with many offenders increasingly taking advantage of technology, which saw a rise in adoption over the pandemic. Describing it as a ‘technological arms race with criminals’, he stressed the importance of updating legislation, collaborating with industry and academia, and adopting ‘innovative protection and protective measures’.

On the proposed Protect Duty legislation, a return speaker was Shaun Hipgrave, Director Protect and Prepare – Homeland Security Group (HSG), at the Home Office. He reminded attendees that terrorism doesn’t abide by conventional boundaries and stressed the importance of an adaptable, whole community approach. He reflected on the progress made to date on the Protect Duty legislation, citing it as a “once in a generation opportunity” and suggested that a change of culture was required for security precautions to be normalised.

Adam Thomson, Head of NaCTSO – National Counter Terrorism Security Office ran through ideas for a Protect operating model, indicating which processes will be used to tackle the growing diversification of terrorist attacks. Julian Platt, Deputy National Coordinator for Protect & Prepare – Counter Terrorism Policing provided a snapshot of Protect and Prepare – how it is changing and what organisations need to be aware of. He stressed the importance of bringing like-minded individuals together and encouraged attendees to visit ProtectUK, an information sharing platform designed to make the UK safe to live and work in for all. The platform, launched in 2022, is a new central hub for counter terrorism and security advice. It is designed to help business owners, security people and the public access the latest news and online courses that will enable everyone to be better prepared.

Chad Simpson, Resilience and Security Lead, Science Museum Group, said: “The show extensively covers both the security and resilience sectors, which makes it a no brainer for somebody like myself who needs to be clued up on industry and market trends for both. It really is the place to attend for new product innovation, to witness live demonstrations of high-tech products, and learn about how they work in practice, thanks to the wealth of expertise on each stand.”

Rachael Shattock, Event Director, said: “It has been a monumental two days at Olympia, London welcoming a host of leading security professionals as they do business, network and source the products and solutions to keep people and businesses safe. We were delighted to welcome Tom Tugendhat MP in his first UK trade appearance to meet attendees and gain insights into this wonderfully diverse and innovative industry. Our thanks go to all the participating Government departments and agencies, exhibiting companies, Advisory Council members and of course, our visitors. It’s wonderful to see the industry come together to network, source the latest technologies, and learn from such inspiring minds. We can’t wait to return in 2023 to do it all again.”

Visit: https://www.internationalsecurityexpo.com/pr-ryi-2023.

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