The UK’s Policing lead for Protective Security, namely Metropolitan Police Service Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi, has called upon private companies and the commercial sector to buy-in to a ‘Protect Duty’ and work with the police service and its myriad partners in order to help to keep members of the public safe.
Addressing policing and Government officials from around the world at an event held in central London, DAC D’Orsi stressed the overriding importance of the commercial sector starting to factor protective security measures into event planning and new infrastructure projects at the earliest possible stage.
“Methodologies designed to protect our cities from the increasing terrorist threat are constantly evolving to ensure that we’re prepared to effectively respond to and recover from attacks,” urged D’Orsi. “We in policing will rightly lead on this vital work, but there’s always a limit in terms of what we can do. I believe that our colleagues in the private sector also have an important part to play.”
DAC D’Orsi made the comments while co-chairing a ‘Safer Cities’ round table discussion alongside representatives from the Home Office, using the event as a platform to appeal to companies to make protective security absolutely key to their future events planning and building management.
“Terrorists are using low sophistication, high impact methodologies which are often planned and executed in a short time frame, in turn minimising our ability to disrupt attacks before they occur. Protective security is therefore a key strand of our activity to reduce the impact of attacks. The private sector has become a more willing partner in recent years. Together, we have developed communications packages and partnered with business under the ‘Step Change’ initiative, but in order to do more to protect the public we need to deliver a more fundamental shift of approach.”
DAC D’Orsi continued: “The police service has a duty to protect the public from terrorist threats, but many responsible private sector entities are already asking how they, too, can contribute. By sharing this ‘duty’ more widely, we’ll be in a position to increase its reach, scope and efficacy even further.”
Police support for the private sector
Senior officers working for Counter-Terrorism Policing are developing plans such that policing can better support the private sector in contributing to the UK’s collective ‘Protective Security’ measures. This work includes developing accredited private sector security advisory services and creating bespoke products and communications networks for specific sectors, such as entertainment venues or commercial buildings.
Specialist officers could also support testing and exercises across the country to ensure a national standard of security training for private sector workers, as well as develop protocols and systems which would allow for the police service and Government to recover the costs of the use of national assets to protect private events.
DAC D’Orsi added: “Private companies looking to host public events or begin new infrastructure projects must meet stringent targets to ensure they have valid fire safety certificates, and I see no reason why we cannot do the same for ‘Protective Security’ measures. Similarly, commercial entities such as football clubs must contribute to the policing operations which protect their sites and their customers. Surely it’s only right they do the same when using national protective security resources? I know from speaking to private sector representatives that the majority of private companies are ready to work alongside the police to make the UK a safer place, and I believe we now have the blueprints to make that a reality by making our public spaces as hostile as possible for those looking to do us harm.”