Police and Security Group consultation highlights routes towards more effective collaboration

The Police and Security Group initiative's initial consultation work has now concluded

The Police and Security Group initiative’s initial consultation work has now concluded

The Police and Security Group (PaS) initiative has now published the detailed conclusions arising from its consultation exercise conducted earlier this year. The consultation’s aims were to identify capabilities within the private security sector that could work to a greater degree alongside those within the Metropolitan Police Service, assess the effectiveness of existing structures and outline the key barriers and enablers to successful collaboration.

The PaS Group has analysed the results and established a series of Working Groups – more of which anon – designed to address the key areas of opportunity. Now, constituent members are looking for participants to help develop ideas and recommendations for change in this critical area.

Gathering no less than 197 detailed responses from a broad set of participants – including those responsible for managing and providing security, as well as membership organisations and the police service itself – the consultation process has duly provided a broad view of the issues surrounding collaboration. 

A closer examination of the barriers and enablers to successful partnership working reveals that almost 30% of respondents cite communication and information sharing as being absolutely key to making collaboration between the police service and private security more effective. In tandem, perceived lack of trust and staff changes have been highlighted as potential barriers to success.

In terms of aspirations for the PaS Group, there’s an obvious desire highlighted to improve communications, make intelligence sharing easier and enhance both attitudes and mutual understanding that will encourage trust. There’s also a call for focused training.

Aerial view of the City of London

Aerial view of the City of London

Importantly, the consultation results have highlighted the complexity of the current partnership landscape, with respondents identifying 71 relevant organisations either currently involved in or representative of collaboration. Among these bodies are the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), The Security Institute, ASIS International’s UK Chapter, City Security and Resilience Networks (CSARN) and London First.

Further, the consultation pinpoints 24 different standards and accreditations as well as more than 20 training and skills courses and providers relevant to PaS initiative collaboration.

High level of interest and support 

Looking ahead as to how the consultation results will be used for informing and underpinning the PaS Group initiative’s future plans, project lead Geoff Zeidler explained: “This consultation process has demonstrated a high level of interest and support for developing an improved collaboration model. In addition, the process has provided some excellent data and ideas from which all stakeholders with responsibility for the security of members of the public in London can build upon as time progresses. The opportunities are significant. The challenge will be to deliver a limited number of recommendations on how to use and enhance existing initiatives; but also with a key focus on resource and investment.”

Geoff Zeidler

Geoff Zeidler

Zeidler continued: “The PaS Group initiative will do this by acting as a forum wherein those who wish to work together to improve clarity, share Best Practice and develop and test ideas for better collaboration with the Metropolitan Police Service can do so with the full support of not just the Met but also the London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).”

In conclusion, Zeidler told Risk UK: “We’re proud to have already supported both the recent Smash and Grab event, which focused on Best Practice, and the Safer Spaces Accreditation, as well as having established the PaS Community Network. The latter is designed to assist in active engagement.”

Commander Simon Letchford, who serves as the lead on business crime at the Metropolitan Police Service, added: “At a time when all of us are being challenged to make the most of our resources, I believe that the PaS Group represents a critical initiative which is already making significant progress.”

Structure: Three core Working Groups

With a view to future development, the PaS Group has established a structure which will involve three core Working Groups running under the leadership of a central PaS Committee which includes representation from the BSIA, the Security Industry Authority (SIA), the Metropolitan Police Service, MOPAC, CSARN, London First and the Safer London Business Partnership. 

For its part, the Information, Intelligence and Communications Working Group will identify current systems and intelligence sources and make recommendations around how these can be used most effectively.

In parallel, the Standards, Training and Accreditations Working Group is tasked with seeking to improve understanding in terms of what elements have the most relevance to collaboration when it comes to building confidence and trust.

London Major Boris Johnson

London Major Boris Johnson

Finally, an Effective Collaboration Working Group is set to establish and support a register of initiatives and capabilities in London and both promote and share Best Practice collaboration schemes.

Added Geoff Zeidler: Together, we hope that these Working Groups can begin to make the aspiration of a more effective collaboration between the Metropolitan Police Service and the private security sector become concrete, and both assist and ensure learning from improvements across the whole of the United Kingdom.” 

Launched in December 2014, the PaS Group initiative supports MOPAC’s business crime strategy, acting as a ‘critical friend’ to the Metropolitan Police Service in developing mutually effective collaboration.

*The full results of the initial PaS Group consultation can be downloaded from the BSIA’s website: www.bsia.co.uk/about-us/partnerships/police-security-initiative 

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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