Articles by Peter Jackson
Schools were never designed and built with social distancing in mind. So, it’s perhaps not surprising that as children returned to schools, for the autumn term this year, the prospect of outdoor classes and assemblies was mooted in the media and by the Government. Many in the education sector are making the case that, should there be further COVID-19 outbreaks, in the coming months, it would be better to utilize outside space, rather than resort to closing schools. In the COVID-19 era, head teachers are considering taking learning and large gatherings, such as assemblies outdoors, when possible. Managing ‘class bubbles’, hygiene and ventilation While Dr. Yvonne Doyle, the Medical Director of Public Health England (PHE) has publicly reassured parents that schools are not the ‘drivers’ or ‘hubs’ of COVID-19-19 infection in communities, there is a lot of pressure on school leaders to manage ‘class bubbles’, extra cleaning and hygiene, ventilation, and COVID-19 testing, to protect families and staff. It’s a logical step to switch, in certain circumstances, to outdoor activities where fresh air is on tap, and social distancing is far easier to manage. Specially built outdoor classrooms Across the school and nursery sector, there’s ongoing investment in specially built outdoor classrooms Across the school and nursery sector, there’s ongoing investment in specially built outdoor classrooms, which had been growing in popularity, even before the pandemic. These facilities offer numerous benefits as an extension of existing learning spaces and provide children the opportunity for hands-on learning, beyond a stuffy classroom. However, if outdoor spaces are routinely called upon as part of COVID-19 contingency planning, how can schools ensure that their outdoor classrooms and wider areas are secure, robust, and fit for purpose? When specifying outdoor classrooms and learning spaces, it’s essential to take into account the well-being of the students and staff, who will use them, noise pollution and acoustics. Most importantly, education managers need to ensure the surrounding area is secured and adequately protected from threats, including terrorism. Perimeter security measures for schools How can schools and nurseries secure their perimeters, so that outdoor learning is totally safe for all? A starting point is to seek out architects and suppliers, who have a good understanding of security standards. Worryingly, Jacksons Fencing’s research recently found that only one-third of architects are seeing both LPS 1175 and the UK police initiative, Secured by Design (SBD) physical security standards, specified for schools. This highlights a lost opportunity for architects to propose solutions that are appropriate to the level of risk and needs of the school, without turning the site into an unwelcoming fortress. Helping schools identify specific security needs Head teachers would be wise to work with architects, who not only know the latest security standards inside and out, but are also are willing to play a more advisory role, helping the school identify exactly what is needed. Head teachers should prioritize solutions appropriate to their site’s specific risks It’s also vital that architects don’t simply replace existing fencing and gates, with the same security systems that have been in place for years. Instead, they will need to meet changing needs and risks. Our research finds that teachers often report issues, with the school perimeter and gates, from being climbed over (28%) and causing injury, to gates not locking properly (10%). Head teachers should prioritize solutions appropriate to their site’s specific risks, which sometimes require altering of existing measures. School fencing is an important aspect of any education site. As well as defining its boundary and making a visual distinction between public and private property, the fencing and gates that surround and secure a school, will typically meet a wide variety of other important criteria, including preventing unauthorized entry to the grounds, protecting pupils, staff, and visitors from accidents and injury, deterring theft and anti-social behavior, and reducing the risk of malicious damage, and acts of terrorism. Welded mesh panels for perimeter fencing Popular options for schools include welded mesh panels for perimeter fencing or sports areas, and railing systems to act as demarcation, in order to control foot and car traffic. Within the outlying boundary, barriers, bollards and parking posts will keep pedestrians, and vehicles safe from each other, while timber fencing and gates can be designed to control the flow of people, around the grounds and reduce the areas, where students can be hidden from view. Automated gates and access control Perimeter fencing must be complemented with safe entrances and exits for vehicles and pedestrians. Every school has unique entry-control requirements, determined by factors, such as size, location and the local environment. These needs influence the decisions you make, when preparing technical specifications for school security gates. Do you require gates to be steel or timber, manual or automated, single or double leaf? Specialist suppliers will be in the best position to offer inputs on school gates, which typically need to offer solid security and durability, with a welcoming aesthetic. Specifying access control system When specifying a school access system, it’s important to consider the areas of the school When specifying a school access system, it’s important to consider the areas of the school, such as sports fields, car parks, and children’s play and learning areas, and whether it requires playground segregation. Selected gates should meet the design of the fencing, to create a secure perimeter with no weak points, with automated gates conforming to all current safety regulations. . Noise pollution can be a problem as well, including noise coming in or leaving the school in residential areas. If more teaching is to be carried out outside, it’s worth considering acoustic barriers to reduce noise in and around the school. Timber acoustic barriers for security and privacy Timber acoustic barriers offer security and privacy, and can reduce noise levels, by as much as 32 decibels (in laboratory conditions), so are ideal for city center schools or those located close to busy highways. There are many ways to build an outdoor classroom. Timber products can help to create a welcoming environment, such as wooden shelters, pergolas, fencing, and decking. Always check that high quality timber, ideally guaranteed for 25 years against rot and insect attack, is being used to provide an attractive, cost-effective, safe and sustainable solution, for all weather conditions. DBS approved installers And of course, installers must be DBS approved, so that they can install outdoor classrooms, during school holidays, or within term time, with minimal disruption. The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on schools and learning. While nobody wants to think of fresh outbreaks of the infection, or any other virus, installing an outdoor classroom made from high-quality, long-lasting materials is a great way to future-proof school learning and ensure safety, and preparedness. Putting extra thought and care into the security angle will provide schools with decades of protection against a host of unforeseen events.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated our digital dependency, on a global scale. Data centers have become even more critical to modern society. The processing and storage of information underpin the economy, characterized by a consistent increase in the volume of data and applications, and reliance upon the internet and IT services. Data centers classed as CNI As such, they are now classed as Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) and sit under the protection of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI). As land continues to surge in value, data center operators are often limited for choice, on where they place their sites and are increasingly forced to consider developed areas, close to other infrastructures, such as housing or industrial sites. Complex security needs One misconception when it comes to data centers is that physical security is straightforward One misconception when it comes to data centers is that physical security is straightforward. However, in practice, things are far more complex. On top of protecting the external perimeter, thought must also be given to factors, such as access control, hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM), protecting power infrastructure, as well as standby generators and localizing security devices to operate independently of the main data center. Face value How a site looks is more important than you may think. Specify security that appears too hostile risks blatantly advertising that you’re protecting a valuable target, ironically making it more interesting to opportunistic intruders. The heightened security that we recommend to clients for these types of sites, include 4 m high-security fences, coils of razor wire, CCTV, and floodlighting. When used together in an integrated approach, it’s easy to see how they make the site appear hostile against its surroundings. However, it must appear secure enough to give the client peace of mind that the site is adequately protected. Getting the balance right is crucial. So, how do you balance security, acoustics and aesthetics harmoniously? Security comes first These are essential facilities and as a result, they require appropriate security investment. Cutting corners leads to a greater long-term expense and increases the likelihood of highly disruptive attacks. Checkpoints Fortunately, guidance is available through independent accreditations and certifications, such as the Loss Prevention Certification Board’s (LPCB) LPS 1175 ratings, the PAS 68 HVM rating, CPNI approval, and the police initiative - Secured by Design (SBD). Thorough technical evaluation and quality audit These bodies employ thorough technical evaluation work and rigorous quality audit processes to ensure products deliver proven levels of protection. With untested security measures, you will not know whether a product works until an attack occurs. Specifying products accredited by established bodies removes this concern. High maintenance Simply installing security measures and hoping for the best will not guarantee 24/7 protection. Just as you would keep computer software and hardware updated, to provide the best level of protection for the data, physical security also needs to be well-maintained, in order to ensure it is providing optimum performance. Importance of testing physical security parameters Inspecting the fence line may seem obvious and straightforward, but it needs to be done regularly. From our experience, this is something that is frequently overlooked. The research we conducted revealed that 63% of companies never test their physical security. They should check the perimeter on both sides and look for any attempted breaches. Foliage, weather conditions or topography changes can also affect security integrity. Companies should also check all fixtures and fittings, looking for damage and corrosion, and clear any litter and debris away. Accessibility When considering access control, speed gates offer an excellent solution for data centres. How quickly a gate can open and close is essential, especially when access to the site is restricted. The consequences of access control equipment failing can be extremely serious, far over a minor irritation or inconvenience. Vehicle and pedestrian barriers, especially if automated, require special attention to maintain effective security and efficiency. Volume control Data centers don’t generally make the best neighbors. The noise created from their 24-hour operation can be considerable. HVAC systems, event-triggered security and fire alarms, HV substations, and vehicle traffic can quickly become unbearable for residents. Secure and soundproof perimeter As well as having excellent noise-reducing properties, timber is also a robust material for security fencing So, how do you create a secure and soundproof perimeter? Fortunately, through LPS 1175 certification and CPNI approval, it is possible to combine high-security performance and up to 28dB of noise reduction capabilities. As well as having excellent noise-reducing properties, timber is also a robust material for security fencing. Seamlessly locking thick timber boards create a flat face, making climbing difficult and the solid boards prevent lines of sight into the facility. For extra protection, steel mesh can either be added to one side of the fence or sandwiched between the timber boards, making it extremely difficult to break through. A fair façade A high-security timber fence can be both, aesthetically pleasing and disguise its security credentials. Its pleasant natural façade provides a foil to the stern steel bars and mesh, often seen with other high-security solutions. Of course, it’s still important that fencing serves its primary purposes, so make sure you refer to certifications, to establish a product’s security and acoustic performance. Better protected The value of data cannot be overstated. A breach can have severe consequences for public safety and the economy, leading to serious national security implications. Countering varied security threats Data centers are faced with an incredibly diverse range of threats, including activism, sabotage, trespass, and terrorism on a daily basis. It’s no wonder the government has taken an active role in assisting with their protection through the medium of the CPNI and NCSC. By working with government bodies such as the CPNI and certification boards like the LPCB, specifiers can access a vault of useful knowledge and advice. This will guide them to effective and quality products that are appropriate for their specific site in question, ensuring it’s kept safe and secure.
COVID restrictions across the UK are slowly easing and many public venues, including stadiums, are beginning to reopen following a year of closures and uncertainty. According to recent ONS figures, criminal offenses – excluding fraud and computer misuse – dropped significantly during the lockdown periods of 2020. In fact, 25% less crime was reported in April 2020 compared to the same month in 2019. However, as lockdown measures eased each time, crime levels quickly crept up, sadly emphasizing the remaining very real threat of theft, terrorism, and random acts of violence. Considering protective measures These stats reiterate just how crucial it is for venue owners to consider protective measures to ensure the public can enjoy the site, or space, safely. To support this, the government launched a consultation in February, on newly proposed anti-terrorism legislation to help better protect the general public when they visit public venues. The Protect Duty Bill builds on ‘Martyn’s Law’, legislation campaigned for by the mother of one of the victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena attack. The consultation will consider ways of developing robust security measures in public areas The consultation will consider ways of developing robust security measures in public areas. Currently, there is no legal obligation for venue operators and owners of public locations to take the responsibility of protecting the public. This Bill will ensure they are liable and certify they take steps to assess and mitigate the security risks. Achieving improved security Publicly accessible locations are any spaces the general public have permission to enter. This comprises of three main categories: public venues with a capacity of over 100 people, e.g., entertainment venues, tourist attractions, and shopping centers; large organizations like retail or entertainment chains with a minimum of 250 staff; and public spaces such as parks, beaches, and thoroughfares. Public spaces are significantly tougher to protect, and the government is intent on exploring the most effective way to achieve improved security, alongside the parties responsible for these locations. This means establishing responsibility for safety in these spaces, considering what the reasonable expectations are, and the potential role played by legislation in mitigating the issues. Providing security framework Measures must be put in place to ensure they’re ready to take appropriate action at any time It’s impossible to predict or prevent all terrorist attacks, so any publicly accessible location has the potential to be a target. Measures must be put in place to ensure they’re ready to take appropriate action at any time, should an incident take place. The consultation aims to provide a security framework to help venues be prepared, by considering the adequacy of adopted security measures, systems, and processes. The consultation document includes a list of recommendations for venues: Be alert to suspicious behaviors, engage the person in a welcoming and helpful manner, or report them to the police. Be alert to abandoned bags. Be security-minded, especially online. Avoid providing specific information that could aid a terrorist, for example, floor plans with security details. Encourage and enable a security culture. Complete and provide ACT (Action Counters Terrorism) Awareness e-learning. Have a clear action plan. How would you respond to an incident inside or outside your site? Periodically review and refresh the risk assessment. Security-Minded culture The framework comprises of three key points that should be strongly considered for all spaces and organizations: Completing a risk assessment – This involves understanding potential terrorist motivations, targets, type of attack, and how those motivations and methodologies might change or evolve. A systemic approach to security – It’s vital to think of security as a combination of physical and behavioral interventions to ensure a far more secure area or venue. Physical measures such as fences, bollards, CCTV, and blast-resistant glazing should be installed alongside a security-minded culture. Vigilance should be encouraged and the appropriate training offered to staff involved in the day-to-day running of the establishment. Investigate the ins and outs – while it may be tempting to choose a product and hope for the best, it’s crucial to investigate further to ensure your system doesn’t conflict with other safety measures, including health, safety, and fire regulations. Practical preparedness measures Venues should also consider a ‘reasonably practicable’ organizational preparedness system To meet the terms, be sure to use all the information and guidance provided by the government, and police services. The guidance is designed to help realize the risks, and the potential impact they could have on people and property. These will vary per site as each venue is unique and will have a specific purpose which will influence the security measures required. Venues should also consider a ‘reasonably practicable’ organizational preparedness system. This doesn’t mean that all employees have to become security staff, but rather providing training and planning so that everyone knows how to react quickly in case of an emergency. First and foremost, the government is offering advice on understanding threats and attack methods, practical preparedness measures, and how to stay vigilant and plan for incidents. There are also plans for a new digital platform to be launched later this year for advice and training purposes. High-Quality products In addition to this, sectoral and regional engagement days have been outlined in the proposal, with updates and revisions to training and e-learning programs. An app devoted to ACT was launched in March 2020, and the government authorities Career Transition Partnership (CTP) and Center for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) are also providing advice. Organizations that specialize in delivering and supporting security solutions can help owners There are plans for the government and businesses to have increased engagement with the security industry. Organizations that specialize in delivering and supporting security solutions can help owners and operators of publicly accessible locations comply with the Protect Duty. It’s becoming more important than ever before to ensure the market can provide sufficient high-quality products, services, and expert information to those who require it. Maintaining appropriate standards The government may consider introducing new schemes to promote and maintain appropriate standards such as accredited training and approved contractor schemes or regulation, in addition to existing initiatives. A renewed focus on integrated security in public venues is hugely encouraging. We have demonstrated for years that it is very possible to make a site both secure and aesthetically pleasing, in keeping with its existing surroundings. Furthermore, in many cases security can positively enhance user experience. Many visitors feel reassured by carefully integrated physical security when they attend large scale events, meaning they’ll visit again. Do this in a hostile way and people will be put off. Robust protection in these venues and spaces is all about achieving a careful balance, and with the right guidance and fit-for-purpose solutions, we can help to create a safer spaces for everyone.
Since the start of the pandemic, almost a quarter of UK businesses have been forced to temporarily close, pause trading, or work remotely, with very little notice. Now nearing the 12th month of the crisis, the country is currently enduring its third national lockdown, with an unspecified timeframe. Most workers are being urged to remain at home and only venture out for essential travel. This means a huge number of premises across the board, from recreational venues such as theaters, pubs and leisure centers, to office buildings, and storage facilities, will remain empty. It’s likely that security has been scaled back, so many buildings could be vulnerable to attack for the foreseeable future. Just recently we’ve seen empty pubs in London targeted by opportunistic illegal rave organizers. Physical security strategy Even rural areas aren’t exempt from the problem, as burglars have reportedly targeted beauty salons, etc Even rural areas aren’t exempt from the problem, as burglars have reportedly targeted beauty salons, food stores and vehicle hire premises this winter. Vandalism and burglary remain very real threats, therefore it is vital that facilities managers and property owners ensure the physical security of these empty buildings is maintained to the highest standard to protect property and the assets within. Below we outline key considerations when evaluating a physical security strategy for an empty building. Assess the risk We would urge facilities managers and building owners to carry out regular, thorough checks of the building and the perimeter to assess any obvious factors which would elevate the risk of attack. This includes assessing the location. Is the crime rate high? How visible is the property? Are the contents of the property on show? How secure is the access or perimeter boundary? View the premises from a potential intruder’s perspective, and when you can’t be at the site in person, use photographs, notes and drawings to identify potential weaknesses. For example, there may be high security fencing at the front of the premises, but make sure it is not at risk of being compromised at the back. Conducting regular maintenance Retain and maintain quality Inspecting the fence line may seem obvious and straightforward, but it needs to be a deliberate, scheduled event Conducting regular maintenance is even more essential while premises are left empty, as it is much easier for any issues to appear and escalate undetected. We highly recommend regularly inspecting your fencing for disrepair or damage as this can affect the perimeter’s integrity. Alternatively, choosing high quality galvanized and preferably powder coated steel fencing with a 25-year guarantee will offer longer-lasting protection against rust and corrosion. Inspecting the fence line may seem obvious and straightforward, but it needs to be a deliberate, scheduled event. Take time to check the perimeter on both sides. As you inspect the fencing, keep an eye out for any attempted breaches and note if foliage, weather conditions, or topography changes have affected security integrity. Check all fixtures and fittings are in good working order, look for damage and corrosion, and clear all litter and debris away. Huge security risk Quality investments In a time when businesses are already stretched, it can be tempting to opt for quick, inexpensive fixes. However, poorly executed design or cheap, low quality products can lead to costly, long-term remediation or worse, significant loss to the business. Make wise, informed decisions and specify solutions based on your organization’s security needs first and foremost. While generic steel palisade is a popular option, owing to its intimidating aesthetic, it is easily compromised. Steel palisade fencing has inherent weaknesses that undermine performance. Its wide pales can obstruct surveillance, while the bolted construction is a huge security risk. Simply removing or breaking the lower fixing on one or two pales would allow them to swing aside to give repeated access to the site without leaving an easily visible sign that the perimeter has been breached. It’s a false economy, as the initial lower price is offset by the costs and inconvenience incurred by regular repairs. Performance classification system The standard works via a performance classification system, and even considers the tools that an intruder may use Specifying a higher quality product that’s fit for purpose makes more sense both in the short and long term, and it adds little to the original cost. Fortunately, there are a number of security accreditations that facilities managers and building owners can refer to when specifying security measures at their site, helping them choose effective solutions to combat the risks the property faces. Proven performance Certifications and approvals, such as The Loss Prevention Certification Board’s (LPCB) LPS 1175 and the British Standards Institution’s (BSI) PAS, prove a product has been thoroughly tested to a specific standard. They prove the strength and durability of the item in multiple different situations. It is worth noting also that investing in effective perimeter protection can actually deliver a positive return by reducing the incidence of burglary and vandalism, and their associated costs. The technical evaluation work carried out by LPCB is extremely thorough. The product is subjected to rigorous quality audit processes, to certify the security products tested by BRE deliver verified levels of protection. All LPS 1175 rated products are vigorously tested before receiving an accreditation. The standard works via a performance classification system, and even considers the tools that an intruder may use. Intrusion detection system Our law enforcement teams are stretched to capacity and coping with reduced workforces due to illness By predicting a likely toolset, specifiers can construct multiple defensive layers to maximize how much time a facility has to respond to an attack. Different levels of security are crucial for the ‘5D defense’ concept, whereby a quintet of security assets work together to prevent access to your site, resulting in a strategy that will: Deter, Detect, Deny, Delay and Defend unwanted access from intruders. 360° security There is no single solution when it comes to securing a building. Every situation must be considered on an individual basis, starting with a full risk assessment. We recommend an integrated approach where appropriate. Along with a secure perimeter, this might also include effective lighting in shaded areas and at doors, gates, and vulnerable windows, Perimeter Intrusion Detection Systems (PIDS) and well-placed CCTV. These measures can hinder entry and escape, or increase the chance of discovery and detection. Domestic burglaries While domestic burglaries have become less attractive as many of our homes are now occupied around the clock, commercial properties have become increasingly more vulnerable. Our law enforcement teams are stretched to capacity and coping with reduced workforces due to isolating and illness. Therefore it has never been so important for building owners and facilities managers to assess the properties they’re responsible for to ensure they’re protected effectively in the event of an attack.
Schools play a key role in shaping our future. Following the reopening of classrooms up and down the country, young minds are returning to some normality. Once again they're being inspired, learning useful skills, and forging new interests to ensure our country's continued prosperity. Schools need a comprehensive security infrastructure to protect the children who attend them. Most notably, secure perimeters that keep unwanted people out, but also ensure visitors, parents, and students alike can access their shared community space without feeling segregated or unwelcome. Robust boundary fencing However, although safety is often the primary concern of parents, with tighter budgetary constraints and funds prioritised to make schools COVID safe, it can be all too easy to let important perimeter replacement or improvement programmes slip. The purpose of boundary fencing is to restrict unauthorized entry and exit The purpose of boundary fencing is to restrict unauthorized entry and exit from school grounds, and should be specifically designed to be fit for purpose. Opting for fencing with a welded pale-through-rail construction and concealed anti-tamper connectors between fence panels and posts delivers a robust boundary that's virtually impossible to break through. This style of fencing also gives a better finish with no visible joints or unsightly bolts. Attractive and practical solutions Unlike generic riveted palisade fencing, this solution is both attractive and practical, more so now that LPS 1175 SR1 certified and Secured by Design versions are available. The style of fencing should meet a school's desired security and safety requirements, simultaneously, it should not compromise on aesthetic considerations. As part of the public face of the school, it should be attractive as well as functional, helping overcome any concerns of creating a prison-like environment and promote a sense of well-being. It's recommended that perimeter fencing should be: a minimum of two metres high, vandal-resistant and sturdy, grounded on a hard surface, challenging to scale, and have an anti-climb topping, much the same as a high-security option. Access all areas Each educational site must consider the number of necessary entrances A perimeter fence requires secure access points and gates. Each educational site must consider the number of necessary entrances. These should be kept to a minimum, to make it easier to maintain control of visitor movement. However, in larger schools this is not always possible and additional entrances may be required to prevent potentially dangerous congestion at the start and end of the school day. Furthermore, separate gates must be installed for vehicles and pedestrians to ensure they are kept at a safe distance, and avoid unnecessary openings of large, double leaf gates. All access points should be locked during the day to keep students on-site and prevent intruders from gaining access to school grounds. Gates should ideally be matched in design, height and construction to the fencing, to prevent creating vulnerable areas and compromising security. Automatic vs manual While automatic gates offer more control, manual gates shouldn't be overlooked. Not only are they easier to install and usually cheaper than automated gates, but they also don't rely on power, so if your site's supply is cut off, they provide a hassle-free exit. Furthermore, gates that are only used at the start and end of the day can be easily locked manually by staff. However, automated gates do offer welcome flexibility, as they include access control devices such as remote controls, keypads and card readers, which will also increase the school's security. They're also robust and heavy, meaning it's incredibly difficult to force them open. Electric gates offer additional versatility with a choice of either full automation, or a hybrid of manned and automatic security, with staff able to allow visitors access via intercom or video system. Securing outdoor facilities It’s also essential to consider outdoor areas when it comes to specifying security options for educational environments. Specialist security fencing should be specified where recreational areas double up as the school’s boundary fencing. The security of the site's sports facilities will also need to be considered. Commonly known as MUGAs (Multi-Use Games Areas), enclosures can be designed with specialist mesh systems to allow multiple sports to be played in the same location while providing safety to participants, spectators and buildings. When it comes to play areas in nurseries and junior schools, installing RoSPA approved and BS EN 1176 compliant fencing and gates is recommended. These are available in both timber and steel options and tested for their ability to provide a safe fencing and gate solution - designed to reduce the risk of limb entrapment. Acoustic fencing is also worth considering for these environments, particularly in urban areas or where housing is close to school play areas. It can help reduce incoming ambient noise from neighbouring busy roads, railway lines, or construction sites, and contain the school noise within its boundary. Offering sufficient protection Focus on learning unimpeded by threat The current generation of children deserve an environment where they can focus on learning unimpeded by threat. Schools need robust perimeter solutions that welcome pupils, offer peace of mind to parents, and provide them with sufficient protection against intruders. Ultimately, it's the responsibility of the head teachers to engage in dialogue with knowledgeable security professionals to get the most appropriate and effective security solutions for their school, staff and students.
In a multi-faith society, individuals should have the freedom to practice their faith in complete safety. It’s taken a long time for the right to freedom of belief in the UK to be enshrined in law – the Human Rights Act 1998 protects public worship – yet there are signs that religious intolerance is on the increase. Hate crime offences on the rise Home Office figures show that hate crime offences in England and Wales have been rising steadily over the past six years, with 7,446 religiously motivated incidents last year. Nearly half of those religious hate crimes recorded were Islamophobic, while crimes against the Jewish community more than doubled over a year. These faiths are not the only targets of increasing violence: an ‘epidemic of crime’ was reported last year with almost half of listed churches targeted by professional gangs. An ‘epidemic of crime’ was reported last year with almost half of listed churches targeted The situation has resulted in the government increasing their Places of Worship Protective Security Fund to £1.6 million – the largest since the scheme was set up. A ‘Ramadan package of support’ for mosques was also announced, along with extended police protection and a new £5 million fund devoted to security training for places of worship. Protection of synagogues, which aren’t covered by this fund, has been bolstered by a government grant increase via the Community Security Trust. Evolving threats Simply put, the right to freedom of religion is under attack, and many places of worship have become targets. Anticipating the evolving threats of a changing world is one of the prevailing priorities for the security industry. At times, certain events can prompt concern over a shift in risks; it was correctly predicted, for example, that hate crime would spike after the 2016 Brexit referendum. To truly get to grips with threats in the UK, however, we first need to understand the concerns of the people involved – and then start implementing strategies to protect them. Uncovering views across the nation With a view to understanding the key threats and security issues facing places of worship and how best to solve them, we commissioned original research that explored the opinions of the people with the most direct experience: congregations of religious institutions. 59% said their place of worship had been the target of an attack. We surveyed 2,000 people across the nation, seeking to uncover their views on safety at places of worship and their personal experience of religious hate crime. It was a far-reaching survey, with responses gathered from followers of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, Buddhism and other religions across all regions of the UK – a representative sample of the British population. The results were concerning. The scale of the problem was confirmed by the fact nearly two thirds of respondents (59%) said their place of worship had been the target of an attack. Just 13% said they felt ‘secure enough’ at their place of worship, pointing to the need to better understand the threats and consider viable security solutions. This is a conclusion strengthened by 90% of respondents backing different security measures to strengthen their feeling of safety. Restoring faith in security While our research exposes serious concerns over security at places of worship, there are other findings that should give us confidence in the well-being of their regular users. A quarter of respondents, for example, claimed to be unconcerned by threats at their place of worship – perhaps suggesting a natural feeling of comfort and protection that faith affords believers. 13% of respondents reported their place of worship was attacked on a daily basis From a closer look at the findings relating to personal experience of crimes, it’s clear that enhanced levels of security measures are required in our changing world; one of the most disheartening findings is that nearly 13% of respondents reported their place of worship was attacked on a daily basis. Along with ensuring places of worship have adequate funding in place, expert security guidance is also required to protect these buildings. While better security shouldn’t be needed for places of worship, having well designed physical fencing and access control can give worshippers peace of mind and deter those with nefarious intent.
COVID-19 has sparked a flurry of criminal activity across the country, with a particular increase in petty crimes perpetrated against UK healthcare facilities. Bike theft, slashed ambulance tyres and stolen oxygen canisters are just some of the misdemeanours which have significantly grown in frequency since the coronavirus lockdown began in March 2020. Given the constant, essential work carried out by health services, it’s clear the utmost must be done to protect its physical assets, and staff, from physical attack. Fundamentally, it’s the responsibility of the facilities managers and specifiers to incorporate and carefully balance physical security strategies around healthcare sites to protect patients, visitors, property and assets. The challenge is that many of these sites are continually increasing in size and complexity to meet the higher demand from the population. Fencing, gates, storage enclosures and access control are part of a solution in securing this service sector to enable it to operate effectively 365 days a year. Effective access control Hospitals are fast-paced environments where life and death outcomes often hang in the balance of only a couple of minutes. Efficient, seamless access is therefore key. All gates and access points around the perimeter must be assessed and considered and these access points should be installed and controlled centrally, or regularly monitored. Fencing, gates, storage enclosures and access control are part of a solution in securing this service sector Consider the types of vehicles that require access; the appropriate solution should ensure that, where necessary, emergency vehicles can get in and out of the site unhindered. Effective design for maximum security If automated gates are specified, underground operators are highly recommended to remove any visible signs of surveillance on display. When designing pedestrian and vehicular access: gates should be DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliant. Crucially, the design of fencing and gates must accommodate rapid evacuation and access for emergency services. With regards to the car park, it may require rising arm barriers or bollards to secure it. These solutions control access and separate pedestrians from vehicle traffic whilst protecting different buildings, such as specialist units and emergency wards. Promoting wellness through aesthetics Creating a welcoming environment is a core priority when specifying security options for hospitals. Razor or barbed wire may be effective deterrents to potential trespassers, but they create an intimidating and unwelcoming aesthetic, far removed from the sense of wellbeing these developments should promote. A solution that offers both visual appeal and high levels of security is vertical bar security fencing or welded mesh panels. Both provide strong boundary protection and excellent visibility for surveillance, while offering greater protection than other alternatives. Recreational areas For areas requiring a 'softer' appearance, such as gardens and outdoor recreational areas, timber fencing is an ideal option. Timber has a natural, welcoming appearance and promotes a sense of wellbeing and privacy. As well as offering a pleasing aesthetic, it can also provide a high level of noise protection. This makes it well suited for acoustic fencing, which can improve recreational and recovery areas by protecting them from high levels of noise, transforming them into little oases of calm ideal for recuperation. Outdoor storage areas Hospitals and other medical facilities produce a large amount of medical waste which requires secure outdoor areas and bin stores to hold hazardous materials on-site before they're taken away. Hospitals have a responsibility to ensure these areas are secured using risk-appropriate fencing to avoid potentially dangerous materials getting into the wrong hands. Risk assessments Creating a welcoming environment is a core priority when specifying security options for hospitals Risk assessments are key to ensuring a risk-appropriate solution is installed. For facilities at risk of criminal activity, products accredited by standards including Secured by Design or the Loss Prevention Standards Board’s LPS 1175 are proven to reduce the likelihood of crime. It’s also best practice to locate storage areas in areas away from climbing aids such as lamp posts or trees. The fence should also be high enough to deter attempts at climbing. There are many effective and easy-to-install options on offer when it comes to specifying security for healthcare infrastructures. It is important that each site is judged individually. Every institution is different and will require a unique plan of security structures to ensure it is safe for all personnel.
As part of a wider regeneration of Plymouth, Teats Hill, known as the ‘unforgotten corner’ recently underwent a much-needed transformation. The residents’ call for change instigated Plymouth City Council, partnering with several local organizations including Plymouth and Exeter Universities, Blue Health, and the National Marine Aquarium. Together, they selected five sites across the city to benefit, to improve the quality of life for the local community. Current building regulations In Teats Hill, an existing play area was restored. It now boasts brand new equipment to reflect its marine location and heritage. An amphitheater was also constructed to host educational activities, public events, and performances. Alongside the development, Teats Hill flats, built in the late 1930s, were renovated by Mi-space Construction. The flats offer unrivaled sea views and are situated in a prized location near the National Marine Aquarium. The demarcation wall surrounding the flats was over this height and therefore needed securing Despite this, the building had been neglected for many years and consequently had fallen into disrepair. The flats were also not compliant with current building regulations, as it is a legal requirement for any wall over 600mm high to have a handrail of at least 1100mm high, to protect people from falling. The demarcation wall surrounding the flats was over this height and therefore needed securing with adequate fencing. Polyester powder coating Jackson Fencing’s Sentry® Residential railings were specified for the project. These were installed on top of the wall by Chiffi Group Ltd, Constructionline Gold Member fence contractors. The tubular construction and welded stopped pale-through-rail design meant these railings provided a strong but lightweight safety fencing solution. The building’s original features needed to be carefully considered and preserved during the renovation. This made these metal railings the ideal solution, designed specifically to offer a more fitting, modern alternative to traditional wrought iron railings, while providing the same elegant appearance. The railings are hot-dipped galvanized inside and out, to ensure long-lasting protection against rust and corrosion. Finally, a black polyester powder coating was added to provide a durable and attractive solution that would match the renewed aesthetic of the building. Robust fencing option The Sentry residential railings are manufactured carefully to ensure long-lasting protection" Crucially, the pale spacing of the railings conforms to building regulations, which state that a 100mm sphere should not be able to pass between pales, to prevent a trap hazard, which is particularly essential in areas where children are present. Peter Jackson, Jacksons Fencing Managing Director, comments: “As the UK and its urban centers continue to grow, making residents feel safe and secure in their local area is essential. It’s encouraging to see this community was supported by government at the local level, as councils work to improve the lives of their communities.” “We were pleased to be a part of this regeneration project, providing a robust fencing option that was also in keeping with the desired aesthetic. As with all our steel products, the Sentry residential railings are manufactured carefully to ensure long-lasting protection so they withstand the test of time. Moreover, we know from experience that these manufacturing techniques will also help to significantly reduce the long-term costs for repairs and replacements, leaving maintenance budgets for the local area available for other necessities.”
The Security & Counter Terror Expo will provide valuable knowledge to those tasked with protecting nations and assets Over recent years the threat of terrorism has increased exponentially and today terrorist activity is undertaken on an almost a daily basis. In 2015 alone, there were more than 380 recorded terrorist attacks by violent non-state actors for political or unknown motives. These attacks are now wide reaching and intercontinental. The Nigerian government is just one example, it has been combating the ever increasing Boko Haram insurgency for over a decade, while elsewhere the undercurrent of political instability in the Middle East continues to be a breeding ground for both Al-Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State. Yet the advent of global terrorism has not been exclusive to war-torn and typically unstable nations. Over the past 12 months, Europe has played host to some of the deadliest attacks in its history. Paris has been the epicentre of terror activity with Islamic extremists carrying out a series of co-ordinated attacks at six locations, including the Stade de France stadium and the Bataclan Theater in central Paris. Global Threat Of Terrorism The threat is constantly evolving and is currently at a significantly high level worldwide. Following recent events in Europe, the issue of national security and counter terrorism is now firmly at the top of government agendas. Returning to Olympia, London from 19 – 20 April 2016, Security & Counter Terror Expo, will help nations improve border control, critical national infrastructure protection, cyber security, major events, offender management, policing and counter terrorism, and the emergency services. It will showcase the latest cutting-edge technology and provide those tasked with protecting nations and assets with valuable knowledge through a series of conference sessions. David Thompson, Event Director, said: “The recent global events have reminded us that the security can’t be taken for granted. Targets are becoming more diverse, as are the methods employed by those that seek to do us harm. “With the safety of millions of people on their minds, security professionals have an increasingly important role to play as the threat evolves. Security & Counter Terror Expo 2016 is aligned with the Home Office’s seven security capabilities and will offer industry experts the perfect platform to source the latest technology, discuss important issues with likeminded peers and hear from the leading voices in security and counter terror policy.” Innovation At Security & Counter Terror Expo The exhibition has established itself as an international hub where the industry elite come together to identify the security sector’s most significant innovations and new product launches. "Security & Counter Terror Expo 2016 is aligned with the Home Office’s seven security capabilities," says David Thompson, Event Director Security & Counter Terror Expo 2016 will showcase a wide range of product innovations from more than 240 exhibitors, including those supplying the latest in high security fencing, cybersecurity modeling, simulation and training platforms, surveillance control systems and drone technology. Geoquip, CLD Fencing, NEC, Aselsan and Jacksons Fencing are among the major multinational companies to already confirm their presence at 2016 show and will join more than 50 new exhibitors offering cutting edge services and security solutions to the industry. This year visitors will find a number of exciting product launches. Having recently successfully completed 8.5km of security fencing and associated gates at the Eurotunnel Terminal, Coquelles, France, Jacksons Fencing will launch its full range of LPS 1175 SR1 - SR5 security rated fencing systems on stand K40. Peter Jackson, CEO of Jacksons Fencing, commented: “Security & Counter Terror Expo acts as a broad and direct communication channel to one of our key markets, allowing us to engage with prospects, as well as existing clients. It is a great platform for us to showcase our latest innovations and provides us with a great insight into what’s happening in the security sector – all under one roof.” Lincoln Security will be launching its latest range of locks, eLOQ, on stand C82. The devices are electronic and contain no wiring or batteries allowing them to be deployed anywhere, instantly. The solution also features unique electronic keys that can be programmed to open locks based on time and date restrictions, while also providing a full audit report of who has unlocked the eLOQ. Also confirmed, HGH Systèmes Infrarouges will showcase its wide area surveillance systems, for critical infrastructure protection, based on its award-winning 360-degree thermal camera, the SPYNEL, and its automatic intrusion detection and tracking software, CYCLOPE. Speaking about the decision to return to Security & Counter Terror Expo 2016, Gildas Chauvel, Marketing Manager, said: “We are able to meet high level, influential security professionals who specialize in protecting critical national infrastructure and homeland security and the show affords us the opportunity to discuss our solutions with potential new customers.” Discussing New Strategies To Tackle Terrorism With counter terrorism firmly in the spotlight, more than 400 security professionals from across the globe will attend the high-level paid-for World Counter Terror Congress, from 19 – 20 April 2016. Reflecting the international nature of the exhibition, the Congress will feature speakers from national, international and supranational institutions. The World Counter Terror Congress will feature six sessions, covering policy and strategy responses to the changing terror threat; radicalisation, de-radicalisation and preventing radicalisation; geopolitical security briefings; encryption, communications and security; security for critical national infrastructure; and emerging terror networks and tactics. Focusing on the four key areas outlined in UK government’s CONTEST strategy, the congress will be opened by John Hayes MP, the UK’s Minister for Security. As the person ultimately responsible for the country’s counter-terrorism, security, serious organized crime and cyber-crime strategies, he will deliver a speech on extremism, border security and international counter terror strategy. A total of 29 high ranking officials and academics will lead the congress, providing invaluable trends and information. The leading security professionals are set to discuss a variety of topics such as extremism, border security and the UK’s international counter terror strategy. Covering current counter terror and security tactics, extremist propaganda, and the expansion of ISIS it is not to be missed. "Security & Counter Terror Expooffers the ideal platform for theindustry to learn from some of themost prominent figures, whilenetworking with key decision makers” Cyber Security Takes Center Stage Following the recent increase in cyber threats, Chancellor George Osborne pledged that the UK will spend £1.9bn over the next five years to deliver a series of initiatives to protect the economy and infrastructure, grow cyber companies, and deter adversaries. Security & Counter Terror Expo will mirror these advances in the industry, showcasing cutting-edge technology and exploring the latest cyber security strategies at the free-to-attend Cyber Threat Intelligence Conference. Starting on April 19th, leading figures will discuss the latest solutions and strategies at the two-day conference. Presented by techUK, the representative body for the UK’s technology industry, the sessions will bring together all those who work to prevent cyber terrorism and crime. Among the topics to be discussed will be an overview of global cyber security threats and how to mitigate against them, protecting the “smart” critical infrastructure and overcoming the cyber security skills shortage. Key speakers will include Chris Gibson, Director at CERT-UK; Richard Parris, Chairman and Chief Executive of Intercede; Prof. Chris Hankin, Director at the Institute for Security Science and Technology; and representatives from the National Crime Agency’s National Cyber Crime Unit. Talal Rajab, Program Manager for techUK's Cyber, National Security and Criminal Justice programmes, added: “What was once considered a niche area in the wider national security debate has emerged front and center in many government's priorities. Security & Counter Terror Expo offers the ideal platform for the industry to learn from some of the most prominent figures, while networking with key decision makers.” Protecting Critical National Infrastructure In addition to safeguarding the digital frontier, security professionals are tasked with the protection of critical national infrastructure (CNI). Terrorist groups continue to not only threaten civilians, but also communications networks, the emergency services, energy plants, financial institutions, governments, health services, transport links and natural resources. The Critical National Infrastructure & Business Reliance conference will aim to aid public and private entities to identify, assess, prioritise, and protect critical infrastructure and key resources. Allowing them to detect, prevent, deter, devalue, and mitigate deliberate efforts to destroy, incapacitate or exploit a nation’s CNI. The conference will feature a series of presentations examining the policy and strategy responses to today’s terror threat. Leading figures will discuss the latest advances in the protection of critical national infrastructure in Europe, staff responses to extreme events and the impact on national infrastructure organizations and critical information infrastructure protection in financial services. Providing invaluable insight and information, more than 20 high ranking officials and academics will feature during the conference. Representatives from the likes of the National Counter Terrorism Policing HQ, the Home Office Center for Applied Science & Technology (CAST) and the Israeli Ministry of Transport will discuss a variety of topics. The lively and engaging sessions will focus on the latest advances in the protection of critical national infrastructure in Europe, staff responses to extreme events and the impact on national infrastructure organizations. The potential for UAVs in the protection of critical aviation infrastructure will also be covered. Security & Counter Terror Expo will collaborate with The UK Drone Show to showcase the latest drone technology Driving The Transport Security Agenda Running alongside the Critical National Infrastructure & Business Reliance and Cyber Threat Intelligence conference, the Transport Security Live will focus on discussing effective security solutions for the global transport infrastructure. The global terror threat is high and transport networks are a favoured target. The free-to-attend Transport Security Live Conference will showcase international case studies and the latest developments in protecting transport networks, transport hubs and passengers. The conference will bring together the key stakeholders from government, police, aviation, maritime, public transport, and rail to discover best practice, the latest solutions and developments in transport security. Comment on the importance of Peter Cook, Chief Executive Officer, of the Security Association for the Maritime Industry said: “Terrorists will stop at nothing to cause maximum damage and that includes targeting critical national and global infrastructure. Preventing these kinds of attacks has never been more essential especially as 90% of all global trade moves by sea. Events like Transport Security Live are critical as they bring together a diverse group of professionals to exchange ideas in the hope of creating a safer and smarter transport network for all”. Cook will be joined by the likes of Dvir Rubinshtein, Manager, Aviation Security Operation Center, Israeli Ministry of Transport; Inspector Chris Boyle, Strategic Partnerships – Prevent, National Counter Terrorism Policing HQ; and Peter Cook, CEO, Security Association for Maritime Industry. Witness Cutting Edge Technology Public and private sector buyers, influencers and government delegations from across the globe will be attending Security & Counter Terror Expo to explore how the latest technology will enhance their current and future security needs. At Advanced Technologies Live, visitors will be able to see and hear more about the latest technologies and innovative solutions that the industry has to offer through a series of live demonstrations. Attendees can view latest innovations from the likes of Canon, The Defense Science and Technology Laboratory which is part of the Ministry of Defense, CEA and Squarehead Technologies On the second day of the event, Security & Counter Terror Expo will collaborate with The UK Drone Show to showcase the latest drone technology for the first time in the show’s history. Attendees will see live demonstrations by some of the UK's top drone operators and companies. Designed to showcase the very latest in aerial and terrestrial unmanned vehicles, this new area will allow greater flexibility for product demonstrations than ever before. Richard Wright of the UK Drone Show said: "This is a very busy and exciting year for us, and the collaboration with Clarion's Defense & Security Division brings our experience of the UAV/drone industry to a sector that will see huge benefits from this rapidly developing technology". David Thompson, Event Director, said: “The 2016 event is set to be the best yet. The calibre of speakers at this year’s show highlights that Security & Counter Terror Expo is the place to be for security professionals from across the globe.” Security & Counter Terror Expo 2016 is co-located with Ambition – the EPRR Expo – and Forensics Europe Expo.