Security industry must capitalise on post-Olympic boost says minister

Security and counter-terrorism minister James Brokenshire – pic: Home Office

[Note: this story was updated on 22/10/12 with a quote from the BSIA and addition of links to the speech]

The UK minister for security, James Brokenshire, says the UK security industry has a golden opportunity to promote exports following the success of the Olympic security operation.

In a speech at the Royal United Service Institute (RUSI) this morning, he said, “The games were without doubt a UK success story. But they were also a security success story.”

He said: “We built a strong protective security infrastructure, we delivered an effective policing operation, and we developed proactive intervention strategies to disrupt those who wanted to harm or profit from the games.”

[Update] The BSIA chief executive James Kelly, who attended the speech, welcomed Brokenshire’s call for continued partnerships between public and private sector security. “The private security industry remains willing and able to play its full part in ensuring the country’s resilience,” Kelly said. “The BSIA met with the Minister at the recent Conservative Party Conference to reinforce this message, and to discuss the industry’s willingness and ability to meet the challenges of public sector reform.”

Capitalise on reputation

The security industry must capitalise on the boost to its international reputation, Brokenshire said.

“Our expertise has allowed the UK to demonstrate our agility, flexibility and capability to address unknown threats. And there are opportunities. We have a vibrant security industry that is adapting to the wider export market, and our SMEs are demonstrating innovation and speed of response to technically and operationally challenging problems. We can combine our long standing track record with the legacy and demonstrable solutions that we showcased through the Olympics. We can leverage our world leading strategic know-how and the approaches embodied within CONTEST and brands such as Secured By Design,” he said.

“Together these things have led to the UK being recognised across the world as a prime provider of security capability. They are a driver for growth in an increasing worldwide demand for UK government and industry support.”

The government will follow through on commitments it made in February this year in the National Security Through Technology white paper (PDF – opens in new window) published by the Ministry of Defence which aims to increase UK security exports.

In the speech he also addressed the need to stay ahead of the evolving security threat which could see terrorists deploying strategies such as that used in the Mumbai terrorist attack of 26-29 November 2008. This involved bombings, shootings and hostage taking.

Attacks like these were of particular concern to the security services during the Olympic Games but Brokenshire praised the police, military, Cabinet Office and the Border Agency for the security planning which contributed to a safe and secure event.

He didn’t mention the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games’ (LOCOG) security operation or G4S.

Speech in full

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