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Cultural Change: Security Risk Management in the UK


Security is an Enabler


Governments have a primary responsibility to protect national populations from a number of threats, including those posed by individuals and groups that orchestrate acts of violence to cause destruction and to instill fear in the name of ideological and political beliefs. The national security strategy for the United Kingdom, " A strong Britain in an age of uncertainty" ranks the threat from terrorism upon UK interests both at home and abroad as a Tier One threat to national security. The events in Europe five days before Christmas were another stark reminder of the necessity for individuals to remain vigilant and organisations to develop resilience.


The identified threats have not merely resulted in the production of strategies and policies outlining the potential impacts and illustrating the governmental committal to protecting the United Kingdom, it's interests and citizens, but also to an acknowledgement that they are a daily reality which threaten both UK physical and financial security. The potential large-scale devastation, loss of life and the associated instability caused by such attacks, can result in an existing and perceived lack of confidence in a region within both commercial organisations and foreign partners. The reticence to invest in such regions can potentially thwart national development, international collaboration and therefore long term global security, alongside negatively impacting upon the quality of living of populations. In concert with these existing views, the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure identifies a number of industries and services alongside government infrastructure and energy supply networks that are critical to the UK’s national structure. 


The present state of global security demands the adoption of an appropriate and pragmatic approach by all stakeholders, in order to ensure that UK security is sustained. The growing recognition that there is a need for national agencies, public services and private enterprises to increasingly collaborate in response to the threat and to operate within a challenging public and financial climate, is initially reflected by the common adoption of strategic framework components in both the National Strategic Assessments for Counter Terrorism and Serious and Organised Crime; Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare. Such a thematic statement could be viewed to indicate the beginning of an influx of new methods and the shared use of existing practice, when it is viewed to be appropriate. Recent global interventions in the fight against terrorism are illustrative of the necessity for early and on-going communications to take place between different bodies, particularly in recognition of the increasing evidence of the crime: terrorism nexus. In recognising that national security and law enforcement agencies are unable to identify all potential risks, a cultural change may be necessary across both private sector organisations, and perhaps communities, in order to effectively support National Security; to Prevent, Protect and Prepare for potential attacks upon the UK. The proactive activities of Security Risk Management, information and physical security have become an enabler for business and the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of the United Kingdom, rather than a cost or threat to perceived social freedoms.

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