UK Security Expo Q&A: Expert advice on policing major events 



Bob Rose, former Gold Commander and Head of Operations for Hampshire Constabulary, is an Advisory Board member for UK Security Expo 2016 (Nov 30th-Dec 1st at Olympia, London). Here he draws on his considerable experience to advise on policing major events and how involving the private sector is more important than ever.



What are the principal security concerns at major events?

In my opinion, terrorism is now the foremost security concern facing organisers of major events around the world.

parissmallThe UK is a world leader in the fight against terrorism, but last year’s attack in Paris – where the indiscriminate shooting at a major sporting event and at an evening concert (amongst other places) led to the loss of 130 lives – has made us revisit existing strategies for dealing with such incidents.

In addition, there are other very important and significant security concerns that need to be considered including; domestic extremism and protest; disorder; organised and volume crime; as well as natural hazards like flooding and heat exhaustion.


How do you deal with all these concerns?

The actions detailed in CONTEST, the government’s counter-terrorism strategy – namely the 4 P’s (Pursue, Prevent, Protect, Prepare) – should be applied when considering the security for any major event.

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The threats and risks can be similar whether one is commanding a CBRN incident or policing a Premier League football match but keeping the public safe at major events should be the top priority, be they spectators, participants, stewards, members of the local community or the emergency services.

Each major event should have a risk register. Information and intelligence gathering is a vital component that enables the appropriate resources to be allocated when a plan is put in place to reduce or mitigate identified risks.

Furthermore, in the UK, the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 has been enormously instructive, enabling the emergency services and other responders from local to national level plan and prepare for civil emergencies and major events.

Training exercises are also an important part of the preparation. I remember partaking in training exercises very similar to the tragic events of the London Bombings in 2005: their importance cannot be overstated.


How has the role of the private sector changed over the last ten years?

policesmallIn the last decade, the private sector has had an increasing involvement in assisting with safety and security at major events.

One could argue that the effects of the recession and subsequent spending cuts have meant that the public sector has had to look to the private sector for assistance. Whatever the reason, the use of partially (or fully) managed services by the private sector should be considered as an integral part of policing a major event.

In addition, the greater use of technology (enhanced systems integration, equipment, training and consultancy) has assisted in the policing of major events to make it more effective and more efficient. Many of these companies will be exhibiting at the UK Security Expo 2016.


How important is the UK Security Expo in bringing together industry experts?


All sectors must come together to continue the fight against terrorism and organised crime for the safety of our communities. My role on the Advisory Board of UK Security Expo 2016 is to bring together government, industry, academia and the individual sectors to get the experts together to advise just how we can do that.

The UK has world-class companies, institutions, references and pedigree that give us justifiable credibility in the International Security Market and the Expo is an important global showcase in that respect.

After all, the security sector contributes significantly not only to our own national security, but also the prosperity of the country and the UK’s global reputation.


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