Opinion piece brief:
We would like to invite you to contribute to an opinion piece for the winter edition of City Security magazine. We are asking a number of senior representatives from law enforcement and security organisations to respond to three questions:

“Given the increased number of terrorist attacks on major European cities in 2016 and the diverse methods used, what are the lessons we can learn? What other challenges are likely to face us in 2017? How should organisations (or how will your organisation) deploy resources to protect their businesses or communities?"

Please answer all questions briefly, or choose one or two to focus on within about 200 words, by 7th October 2016.


A key lesson is that we need to be vigilant and alert at all times. While we can’t possibly always second guess new ways that terrorists look to infiltrate our cities, we can work with a mind-set that questions every last detail and aspect surrounding the security of our buildings and our people. By not being afraid to report something unusual, no matter how small or trivial it may seem, will ensure we avoid falling into the trap of not seeing something because it is always looked similar or been done that way. We need to continue to work closely with the police and intelligence services and share information through closed networks such as the CSSC so that security alerts are quickly circulated and actioned.

In terms of delivery, for us it’s certainly about investing in intelligent people and ongoing refresher training for security officers is crucial. Recent terrorist events have proven how important the role of the security officer is in the modern world. Smart, alert, efficient teams will make terrorists look elsewhere and if security teams from different companies can work together to help the police and other security services, then London and other cities will become even safer.

The diversity of attack methods reflects the diversity of opportunities presented to terrorists by modern society. This is the big challenge for security, and not only with regards to terrorism. It is simply no longer good enough to consider older models of security and intelligence gathering as an effective deterrent or response.

The world of security needs to fully understand and appreciate the multiple ways that criminals can gather information, plan, monitor, communicate and operate.