The public are the most valuable tool the police have in apprehending criminals. With the threat of the UK being attacked by terrorists currently rated as “Severe”, it’s more important than ever that everyone understands the role they have in our country’s security.
Following the recent attacks in Paris, the Metropolitan Police have increased the number of officers on the streets and across public transport, not only so that they can directly respond but also so that the public can react quickly and safely to any potential threat.
One officer on a busy train platform is more than just another pair of eyes, they give the hundred other pairs of eyes someone to report to if they see anything unusual.
That’s why all of us need to be vigilant to keep our public spaces safe. Now, that doesn’t mean living in a constant state of paranoia but it does mean that if you notice something unusual that you personally take the responsibility of reporting it to the correct channels. Don’t turn a blind eye.
Here’s an easy checklist to remember:
1. WATCH: If you notice someone acting suspiciously, make a note of their appearance and behaviour.
2. FIND: Don’t intervene directly, report to the nearest security, police officer or member of staff.
3. REPORT: Pass on details of what you observed and the last known location of the suspicious individual.
Magenta and other reputable security companies are an essential part of the police’s network. There simply aren’t enough police officers to protect every park, venue or business, so as the threats to public safety increase, it’s private security companies who fill the gaps.
At the top level are government buildings and facilities, where risk increases significantly both for our clients and for our staff, who are trained on how to identify and handle potentially deadly threats. Even if our client is relatively low risk, we always perform a full risk assessment of the premises free of charge, both for their safety and for the safety of my staff.
While anyone with a security license needs to have passed their City and Guilds qualifications, Magenta’s officers are trained to NVQ levels 2 or 3, along with additional courses depending on their responsibilities. Diffusing hostile situations, crowd control and public safety are just a few examples of the extra training programmes we employ.
If you manage a public space or own a public facing business it’s in the interests of everyone in and around your location to have visible security on site.
Say, for example, someone on the pavement outside your business was attacked and a member of the public saw the perpetrator before they fled. With uniformed security in your building, the witness can report to someone who knows the best course of action to take and gather the information the police need so that they can take immediate action.
In that situation, your business was never threatened, there was no loss of stock or profit. But without security on site, a dangerous criminal could have escaped justice, which puts all of us at risk. It’s only with the combined force of all our society – from the public and businesses to security and the police – that we can continue to enjoy our safety.
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