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Personal Security Threats in the Current Political Climate

Security Guard on duty near a public buildingWhile the issue of personal security frequently involves only immediate surroundings, it is an undeniable fact that extraneous situations can have a very real impact upon existing threats. Those within decision-making roles as well as the general public need to be aware of such risks as well as the ways that they can be mitigated. So, what are companies such as Surelock doing to address this challenging climate and what steps can be taken to lessen the perceived (or real) threats that currently exist within the United Kingdom? These are two very important questions to answer.

A Looming Brexit?

The population will soon decide whether or not Britain should formally leave the European Union. While much of the focus has been placed upon the potential economic impacts that such a move could cause, the security of the general public is another factor to consider. Although this article points out that the United Kingdom will remain a core contributor to the NATO alliance, the question of cross-border intelligence sharing must be addressed. Will security services and relevant agencies be as free and as open with one another? We have already seen that intelligence failures were partially to blame in regards to the Paris attacks. Will the average commuter on the streets of London or Birmingham face a similar risk in the event of a Brexit?

The second point to make in regards to a Brexit involves the potential for cyber crime and financial instability. Once again, this may partially revolve around less transparency within the international marketplace. Will instances of money laundering rise? Some officials are already observing that a Brexit would be thebiggest risk to domestic financial stability. This holds just as true for instances of cyber crime as companies are forced to modify or even scrap their current security architecture. As of yet, these issues have not been fully addressed.

Terrorism

There is no doubt that terrorism is an issue mentioned frequently in the news and many believe that it is only a matter of time before a major city within the United Kingdom is attacked again. Whether we are referring to the soft-target threats associated with ISIS strategies or the increasing concern that homegrown factions may already be present, the public is understandably worried. These situations can be tackled with the synergy of proactive governmental intervention and better cross-border communications between nations within the European Union and the United Kingdom. However, this will only be effective if used in conjunction with greater public vigilance and political decision-making processes that appreciate the potential for a Paris-style attack (or perhaps worse).

Migration Issues

We have already seen areas within Europe such as Germany become polarised over the issue of mass migration. The same could very well hold true for the United Kingdom. Of course, this is one of the issues which has affected the upcoming Brexit vote. Many analysts believe that the United Kingdom could already be “sleepwalking to catastrophe” in regards to the influx of refugees from war-torn areas of the world such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Although Surelock and other firms certainly provide effective private investigationtechniques, these are literally only the tip of the iceberg. Tighter border controls and more thorough background checks are two steps which need to be taken on an administration level.

Governmental and Leadership Changes

Changes in political and leadership roles have always been prone to cause a certain amount of instability. Perhaps the most recent example can be seen in the election of the first Muslim mayor of London. We have already witnessed a polarisation over immigration issues and some are concerned that the allowance of more refugees under the leadership of Sadiq Khan may impact the safety of the general public. In this case, we are not only referring to the potential of attacks. We also must keep in mind ethnic tensions, a rise in hate crimes and similar violent reprisals from all sides. Some are of the opinion that the very social fabricof Britain could be at risk. From the standpoint of the private citizen, this is just as much of a relevant topic.

Natural Threats

Not all of the present risks are caused by mankind and political decisions. Some of the issues which the United Kingdom (and the world as a whole) currently faces are:

Of course, this is but a general overview of some of the most pertinent security threats which may impact the United Kingdom. It is just as important to appreciate what decision makers and the public can do in order to lessen their exposure to such circumstances.

Mitigation, Deterrence and Prevention

Brexit

The public needs to be made aware of the risks as well as the rewards associated with a potential Brexit. Issues such as cyber security, international trade, financial transparency and immigration all need to be clearly summarised by those within leadership positions. An informed public is one that can make the correct choices when the time comes.

Terrorism

From the point of view of the private citizen, vigilance and prudence are two top concerns. Basic steps such as reporting suspicious activity and realising international travel risks can go a long way. It could very well be an individual citizen who thwarts a planned attack.

Perhaps more importantly, those who are in charge or large venues or gatherings must be made aware of the potential for planned attacks. The application of crowd control techniques and the hiring of trained security personnel should be high priorities in any counter-terrorism plan. One example of how an exercise can be used to prepare for any terrorist threat has recently been seen in the terror training exercise at Trafford Centre.

Migration

As mentioned previously, the government must seek to develop more thorough screening standards while bolstering the security within high-risk areas (such as around Dover). The point is not necessarily to deny entry entirely, but rather to make certain that those who are arriving have only honest intentions. This will take a great deal of logistical coordination and it is likely that the use of companies such as Surelock will be necessary.

Governmental and Leadership Changes

During any change in leadership, policymakers need to maintain a focus on security during and immediately after the transition. As political instability can often lead to events such as protests, race conflicts and the destruction of property, it is also prudent to bolster security forces located within any purported urban “hot spots”.

Natural Risks

A shift towards environmentally friendly technologies, greater international cooperation and investments into ecologically conscious companies are all ways to help protect the environment. Ongoing public relations campaigns should likewise be employed to educate the average citizen of the threats which are currently present. Not only would these practices allow the United Kingdom to beless dependent upon oil from the Middle East, but investing now for an environmentally sound future will help protect generations to come.
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Surelock is a global leader in the field of investigations, risk mitigation and security services. Whether in reference to home and personal security or other areas of specialisation, preparation is critical in terms of prevention. Surelock is pleased to be able to offer additional services such as fraud detection, surveillance services and security training.

In a world that is now partially defined by rapid political and social changes, it is now more important than ever before to be adequately prepared for whatever may be around the next proverbial corner. Surelock is here to help.

Read a presentation version of this article on Slideshare.net (and brought up to date, now that the UK is negotiating to leave the EU).