International Security Expo 2018 - A platform to inform

The Irish question
Andrew Parker the Director General of MI5 said in May this year that: “Europe faces an intense, unrelenting and multidimensional international terrorist threat. Daesh continues to pose the most acute threat, but Al-Qaeda and other Islamist terrorist groups haven’ gone away.”

He barely mentioned Irish Republican terrorism. On 12 April a picture of a group of five men wearing combat jackets and carrying two automatic rifles, three pistols and a pipe bomb was passed to the Irish News from an organisation calling itself the Irish Republican Movement (IRM). The IRM are a new republican terror group based in Belfast and West Tyrone and have stated they will ‘actively target Crown Forces’ involved in policing operations against republican commemorative events.

It is believed that they are made up from disgruntled members of another republican terror group called Óglaigh na hÉireann which had earlier announced a cessation of its armed struggle. How big a threat is this new group and how much terrorism is there still in Northern Ireland? I think given the lack of press coverage you are about to be shocked…

In the last two years there have been eight security related deaths, 111 shooting incidents, 53 bombing incidents, 88 firearms recovered, 75.6kg of explosives recovered, 6,357 rounds of ammunition recovered, and 313 people arrested under section 41 of the terrorism act, of which 34 were charged. That is almost one arrest every other day and one bombing or shooting incident every four days and it has been like this since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

If this was happening on the UK mainland then it is highly likely that the Prime Minister would be chairing COBR meetings on a daily basis and the Metropolitan Police Commander Cressida Dick would be permanently on our television news screens.

Instead the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) quietly get on with dealing with the incidents and the national press quietly get on with ignoring them. However, for the wider security community there is a very real opportunity to look at the security situation in Northern Ireland and to take as many lessons from it to apply on mainland UK. Picking the lessons from many years dealing with the terror threat in Northern Ireland and reflecting on how to counter the ‘momentum’ threat at the International Security Expo is Ken Pennington, just retired from PSNI.

The chance of safety
Keeping abreast of the threats, the countermeasures, the developing technologies, having a platform to discuss and share best practice is always a challenge for the security community. This is where Peter Jones, the CEO of the Nineteen Group comes in. He recently said in a blog: “All I want to do, with my team, is something to help make it a little less chaotic and bring the chance of a little more safety and security. If I can do that, then it is all worth it and will leave the world a little better for my loved ones!”  This is his mantra behind his event.

What many don’t realise is a big part of his team consists of 40 Advisory Council members who come from all aspects of the security community, including government, industry and academia, all at senior levels and they assist in the development of International Security Expo and help shape the content to attract the highest calibre visitors. The Expo is all about expert content and debate, and to enable the sharing of best practice and a greater understanding of how technology can help.

That content is delivered in 12 free to attend conferences held over the two days and these conferences include: Retail, Hotel, Education, Maritime and Transport, CNI, Crisis Response and Business Continuity, Protecting Crowded Places, Night-time economy, Designing Out Terrorism, Cyber, Data and Information Security, Aviation and Border security and finally Facilities Management security. Some of the speakers come from the Advisory Council but many are industry leaders in these spheres and are not generally on many conference circuits.

One such speaker looks at people. Security isn’t a technology issue or a policy issue it is a people issue. In fact, that statement can be easily expanded to include all business and the reality of life.  Now that I have answered Douglas Adams quandary, (what is the question about Life the Universe and Everything that has the answer 42, as described in the bestseller The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy), I should stop now.  But this isn’t the people solution, Darren Stanton, ex police officer and prison psychologist, now the ‘Human Lie Detector’, will shed some light on the mysterious world of reading people.

Innovative products
The International Security Expo provides a unique platform for the entire security industry to come together to source products, share experience and gain the knowledge needed to address current and emerging security challenges. It and all of the conferences are free-to-attend and unite the entire security community allowing shared learning and collaboration from government, CNI, law enforcement, military, major events, transport and borders, cyber security, facilities and public and private sectors.

A key theme running through the two days of the expo is that of innovation and many new technologies will be on display, ranging from a cost effective British built drone with thermal and optical zoom cameras that has a flight time of an hour by the Guildford based company Evolve Dynamics, to the Protecting Urban Spaces feature. This new immersive demonstration area will showcase physical products, technologies and have live scenarios to illustrate how urban spaces can be protected from mass casualty terrorist attacks.

Given its ambition, the UK government has come on board in strength and forms the core of the Government Agency and Department zone. The USA, Canada, China and the EU all have their own zones, but it is expected that representatives from over 50 countries across the globe will attend the event. In fact, over 12,500 are confidently expected to attend over the two days, and collocated is the new International Disaster Response Expo, the networking alone will be amazing.

With the rapidly changing threat landscape the one place to come for two days to be brought up to speed with everything that is needed, is the International Security Expo. This is one not to miss. Visit the Expo website for further details and register to attend the free conference series.



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