This year the Home Office hosted the Security and Policing Event, marking the 40th anniversary since the event began. Over the last 40 years the event has evolved, bringing together more organisations and partnerships, showcasing how collaboration has helped to change the world of security.
On entering the large event space and hearing the conversations businesses and individuals were having, there was an atmosphere of interest and anticipation for the first in person gathering in two years.
The Security and Policing Event is a notable point within the security world each year, and this year was no exception. Visitors heard from leaders across the field who have supported change across the country. The first day was opened up by Security Minister, Damien Hinds, who spoke on the work that has been done across government in the last year, and how a changing threat landscape, including cyber security, is a core part of their forward looking plans.
Later in the day Home Secretary, Priti Patel, spoke to a room full of delegates on the situation in Ukraine, showcasing the support that the United Kingdom has for the people of Ukraine, and that they are working tirelessly to support their journey to safety.
Throughout the Home Secretary’s speech she mentioned the future plans of the Home Office, including the ProtectUK platform and the up and coming Protect Duty.
The NaCTSO ProtectUK team was on hand throughout the three days showcasing the platform to partners and businesses, gaining their feedback and getting them signed up.
The event space was filled with innovation and exciting offerings. A stand out experience was the immersion labs, in which you were placed into different scenarios, having to work on deciding the clearest plan of action in order to gain the best result for your organisation.
As the event continued, we heard from speakers of all backgrounds, covering various areas of security across the floor and in the main room. Throughout day two the NaCTSO team spoke to delegates within the High Risk Security Conference, comprised of delegates focused on supporting National Security. This network consists of partners from the European High Risk Security Network and the Five Eyes community, sharing insights into the projects that are being worked on, and how each partner can support one another. The crisis in the Ukraine and COVID issues meant there were some last minute cancellations, leading to only 10 countries represented.
Within the speeches, the NaCTSO team presented their intended future development to support the Publicly Accessible Locations approach and the future Protect Duty, showcasing their research approach over the last few years, and sharing results from projects such as the ‘Small Towns and Villages’ campaign. This conference is a key part of the NaCTSO annual cycle, allowing the organisation to test assumptions and receive valuable peer review from near peers.
On the third and final day of the event NaCTSO and partners presented to businesses. The day opened with Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Specialist Operations, Matt Twist speaking on the shared goals businesses and organisations should have to continue keeping the country safe.
In the speech Mr Twist discussed the importance of partnership among the people in the room and others, and how it plays a key part in countering terrorism. Following a similar theme of speakers on previous days, there was mention of support for the Protect Duty by Counter Terrorism Policing and how the ProtectUK platform will help businesses increase their preparedness.
Director of Protect and Prepare, Shaun Hipgrave, delved into the shift from the Crowded Places Model to the new Publically Accessible Locations Model (also known as PALs). He emphasised the support of businesses and making counter terrorism security something at the forefront of people’s mind is vital. Sharing the responses to the Protect Duty consultation and its progress, Mr Hipgrave discussed the next steps following the consultation, and that ministers are working hard on progressing this forward, taking into account the impact that it may have on businesses.
Businesses then heard from the Head of NaCTSO, Superintendent Adam Thomson. With more recent changes in methodology and threat, Mr Thomson reiterated the message of collaboration, and that NaCTSO is working on ways to support further preparedness and protection. The speech showcased the alignment between the work that is happening within government and policing, and how many elements such as the Protect Duty, ProtectUK, PALs, and more, interlink even when independent of one another.
Towards the end of the presentation there was a showcase of the ProtectUK platform, sharing insight into the Counter Terrorism Alliance and the new features of the platform, such as the Risk Management Model.
The room then heard directly from leaders in businesses, with the Head of the Counter Terrorism Business Information Exchange (CTBIE), Mike Pearce, discussing the rapid growth they have seen, and how the messaging that has been cascaded across businesses, through direct contact with NaCTSO teams, has been received well.
Head of Business Continuity for Marks and Spencer, John Frost, focused on the importance of training and how the transition from the world recognised ACT App to the ProtectUK App (available on Apple and Android), along with the move of ACT Awareness e-Learning products, will continue to help keep people across the country safe.
As the day came to a close, Chief Superintendent and National Coordinator for Protect and Prepare, Mick Orchard, summarised the day with one clear ask, of continuous collaboration to help NaCTSO continue to support their needs, and to help ensure that all work created is led by insight from leaders across industries.
The 40th Security and Policing Event was a welcome return of physical networking and in person information, bringing together minds from all over the world for the purpose of supporting the safety of nations. The NaCTSO ProtectUK team would like to thank the Home Office and partners for their support during the event, and look forward to seeing how companies and organisations continue to develop in the coming year.