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Steve Gardner talks to the BIFM about the terrorist threat

07 July 2016

OCS head of security, Steve Gardner, gave a talk on the threat from terrorism in the UK to a packed audience of facilities and security managers at a recent British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) North event.

OCS has a significant presence in the security sector, with 600 clients in 1,800 locations and 4,500 security staff.

An obvious target for terrorists is a crowded venue and with an expanding portfolio of retail, leisure and entertainment clients, OCS is well placed to share the company’s experience and expertise in this area.

OCS works in partnership with the Security Industry Authority (SIA) which is responsible for regulating the private security industry throughout the UK.

The OCS team has the capability to perform background checks and issue SIA licences, not only for our own security staff but across the wider industry and have been part of an SIA pilot scheme to develop a digital process for licensing of individuals working in the industry.

Steve explained to the group that although the UK was well versed in terrorism activities, 9/11 had ‘changed everything’. Security became something that no longer only affected security professionals and the police; it requires the vigilance and participation of the wider community to combat the terrorist threat.

OCS works closely with Counter Terrorism Security Advisers (CTSAs), who identify and assess critical sites in their constabulary area that might be vulnerable to terrorist or extremist attack, to keep clients, staff, visitors and the general public as safe as possible.

The OCS security team also works with property and security managers across client premises to identify areas that could render the sites vulnerable to terrorist attack.

An overview of OCS good practice covered –
•training for all security staff on the terrorist threat
•event briefing modules
•effective, simple and clear communication strategies
•operational escalation plans
•drillls to test the safety of a site against potential terrorist activity.

The very clear message Steve delivered in his presentation was that the responsibility for protecting ourselves against the terrorist threat begins with each and every one of us.

We must all be alert and vigilant. ‘If it doesn’t feel safe, if it doesn’t look quite right, let your instinct decide and report it’ Steve concluded.

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