Police Scotland and the SIA bring private security staff together
04 July 2018
POLICE SCOTLAND and the Security Industry Authority launched a new series of events intended to enlist front-line private security operatives in the fight against terrorism.
The pilot event took place at the Scottish Events Campus Centre in Glasgow on 28 June. The sessions, which are supported by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office and National Counter Terrorism Policing HQ, will now be presented throughout Scotland.
Representatives of private security companies across Scotland came together for the event, which is aimed at raising awareness of counter terrorism issues within the security industry. The session, entitled “You Can ACT” had the strapline “You can make a difference”. Attendees were given an hour-long presentation, followed by an interactive immersion exercise taking them through a simulated terrorist attack.
Police Scotland Organised Crime & Counter Terrorism Unit (OCCTU) detective chief inspector Dave Ferry said, “Scotland’s greatest defence against the terrorist threat is our close-knit communities and the relationship police and partners have with the public.
“Security staff need to have the confidence to act decisively and effectively to help protect the public if the need arises. These events are designed to give operatives a greater awareness of the threat we all face from terrorism, a shared knowledge of best practice and procedures, and an understanding of the important role they can play in preventing attacks. The immersion exercise tests their knowledge, skills and decision making in a safe learning environment.
“By working together to counter terrorism, we demonstrate that Scotland is a hostile environment for those intent on causing harm, and by continuing to work together we can ensure this remains the case”.
There are currently over 300,000 front-line security staff who hold SIA licences in the UK, with 27,000 in Scotland alone.
SIA deputy director of partnerships and interventions Ed Bateman said, “Security guards, door supervisors and event stewards are often the first responders in the event of a terrorist incident, and can be in a position to detect and foil an attack before it has taken place. Private security staff acted magnificently as first responders during the London Bridge attack and following the Manchester Arena bomb.
“We want security staff to realise that the public look to them to take charge in the event of an incident; and we also want them to be confident about assuming that responsibility.”
The events, which have also benefitted from support and input from the Security Industry Safer Scotland – Countering Terrorism group, are being evaluated by a team from Glasgow Caledonian University. Their findings will inform future events, the first of which is taking place in Inverness on 14 August. This will be followed by events in Dundee (23 August), East Kilbride (12 September) and Edinburgh (19 September).
Details and a booking facility will appear on the SIA website (www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk) during July.