By David Mundell, Managing Director
Following the March Westminster Terror Attack, and a threat Level that remains at ‘severe’, we cannot afford for one moment to drop our guard or become complacent about our national security.
Arrests for terrorism-related offences in fact fell by eight percent in the year to 31st December 2016 (282 down to 260), but the levels are still unacceptably high and of course recent events give real pause for thought. All of us should be wondering if there is more we could be doing to keep our country safe.
Whilst those of us employed in the security industry are ideally placed and trained to recognise what is ‘normal’ and what is not, we must continue to ensure that our concerns are acted upon and reported. The willingness of officers to do more has been especially evident following the rise of terrorist activity around the world from 2015.
We all feel the need to play our part in protecting people. In Central London private security firms are increasingly engaged with law enforcement agencies in ways that extend far beyond the view of what security officers are employed to do. Our Security Manager Matthew Hollick and his officers are a good example of this, actively carrying out joint patrols with City London Police during Project Servator Deployments. Furthermore, their Paternoster Square Security Forum brings together all the security managers in the area who, collaboratively, help keep The City safe.
Individual incidents, when seen in isolation, may say little, but when pieced together in the round by Counter-Terrorism specialists, they paint a more sinister picture. It is therefore up to us all to ‘do our bit’.
The police have recently launched ACT - Action Counters Terrorism - and if you have not already, I would urge you to take a look at the website (www.gov.uk/ACT) and listen to the Code Severe podcasts which are both very interesting and informative. They are also, in their own way, somehow reassuring, as they affirm the commitment and dedication of the police and other related agencies in preventing certain factions from doing us harm. Last year, the Anti-Terrorist hotline received over 22,000 calls from the public, and this information has directly assisted in over a third of the most high-risk investigations.
What I would urge you to do now is to spread the word: tell your friends and families about what you do, and the role you play as part of the wider security ‘network’. Explain to them how your vigilance and theirs can make a difference, and even save lives.