Speaker Interview: BB7

Speaker Interview: BB7

You will be speaking at the Crowded Places conference at SCTX 2019. Can you give us a brief insight into the areas you will be covering in your address?

  • We intend to cover:
    • Achievement of inherent security for privately-owned/publically-accessible Crowded Places through early involvement of security professionals with an understanding of architectural planning and design disciplines, demonstrating that collaborative planning and design can achieve more efficient and effective Crowded Places protection outcomes through innovative solutions, with case study examples.
    • In order to really achieve Crowded Places protection in the built environment, it requires a change in thought by both security consultants and development industry practitioners, a clear understanding of risk ownership, and emerging models/practices which can inform and provide guidance. 
    • Management of security risk, not removal, with focus on addressing biggest risks through physical environmental design, providing a base that better enables better security management and operational response.

The conference theme is ‘Delivering effective protective security to accessible public spaces’. What do you believe are the major challenges in providing effective security to accessible public spaces?

  • Balancing function, design and aesthetics with protective security measures for meaningful and accessible public spaces.
  • Implementing a risk-based prioritization methodology for protection of accessible public spaces.
  • Risk owner acceptance, buy-in, and allocation of budget/resources within a prevailing viewpoint that counter-terrorism is a government responsibility – when the reality is that terrorism is a societal issue and therefore combatting terrorism requires all societal actors to play a role (public, private, organizational, individual).
  • Reluctance of the security industry to embrace the changes and evolution that requires a new breed of security professional with different approaches and skill sets.

How do you think the threat landscape has evolved in recent years and in what ways, if any, do you expect it to change in the near future?

The threat landscape has evolved from larger transnational terrorism organizations to a greater instance of lone-wolf or unaffiliated sympathizer self-starter cells who are motivated to conduct spectacular attacks to advance a wider ideology to which they ascribe.  In-terms of attack methodologies, large VBIED attacks are still relevant and possible, but increased measures to regulate and control pre-cursor materials has significantly diminished the capability but not intent, especially by ‘lone-wolf’ or unaffiliated sympathizer self-starters.  As a result of increased state action to control access to precursor materials, control of access to small arms, and intelligence-led operations to disrupt established groups, threat actors have demonstrably moved to increasing frequency of low-cost/low-capability attack methodologies such as vehicle ramming attacks, mass knifings, and small HME IEDs and PBIEDs targeting people in or at soft-targets. 

With regards to your own address, what more can soft target and crowded places stakeholders do to better secure their sites and facilities with the current threat landscape in mind?

Soft-target and crowded places stakeholders and risk owners need to understand that security risk management and its application to the built-environment, especially for new facilities or those undergoing developmental change, needs to be fully integrated into the development cycle as an equal discipline with influence on architectural, planning, and other engineering disciplines.  Instead of seeing security as a constraint or a minimal legislative requirement, the involvement of a suitably experienced and qualified security consultant team at the earliest conception of a development can increase design and functional quality, while achieving desired effective security outcomes that ultimately reduce risk exposure (not just security) and cost in a holistic manner.

What can delegates expect to take away from your session?

Delegates can expect to take away examples of how to better protect crowded places protection for different types of properties and spaces at risk.

Understanding of emerging approaches/guidance and leading practices that is driving evolution in both the security and development industries.  Evolution not just in thought and attitude, but how security in the built environment and crowded places protection can be achieved, and the new skills necessary to deliver effective solutions for stakeholders who include owners, governments and the larger public end-users.