British steel used to be at the hub of the UK’s export trade but as industry marks National Counter Terrorism Awareness Week it’s a different kind of steel that the UK is now exporting successfully throughout the globe –national security
It may have been an unfortunate way to develop expertise, but decades dealing with the daily threat of terrorism from home and abroad gave the UK the kind of ‘on the job’ experience that has seen it become the global spearhead for modern security thinking.
As the post 9/11 expansion of militant Islamic terrorism has brought the terrorist threat to new countries and new borders so have these new targets been reaching out for advice and best practice – and the UK is where they have found it.
Transport Security Expo (TRS), which takes place every December in London, has become the global hub for foreign countries looking to learn more about UK security best practice and in particular they want to learn about protecting their transport networks and increasingly how to protect their online infrastructure. Last year’s event saw a delegation from Libya arrive with the aim of improving security at 13 of the country’s airports; a Saudi team met UK rail security experts to discuss new rail projects in that country and Malaysia sent representatives to the event’s Cyber Workshops to gain experience from UK cyber experts.
Peter Jones, CEO of TRS organiser Nineteen Events, said: “It’s a very natural fit to have National Counter Terrorism Awareness Week leading up to TRS 2014 as transport security is such a vital component of the national security effort. We’re delighted to be showcasing the latest products and services from the UK and educating international delegations on the best of British.”
This year Australia’s Transport Commissioner Paul Retter is flying to host the event’s VIP Airport Programme and join 50 officials from the UK Department for Transport and 30 representatives from the British Transport Police while a further 20 foreign countries are sending delegations to the event including Brazil, Estonia, Ghana, USA, Spain, Switzerland, Morocco, Japan, India and Qatar.
TRS works alongside the Home Office and the UKTI DSO to identify those countries that are priority opportunity markets for the export of UK security and ensure the right industry representatives from those nations are sent to learn the latest security best practice from the UK.
TRS is now in its 12th year of providing an educational and networking centre for the global transport security industry and it has expanded its conference to include the latest area where the UK has developed an unrivalled understanding of – major events security.
The UK has added to its reputation in this area with the recent success in ensuring a safe and secure London 2012 Olympics as well as the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the legacy of these two events will be a key part of the conference programme at this year’s TRS. A standout collection of speakers includes Stephen Phipson from the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism, Shuna Mayes, Head of the Commonwealth Games Safety and Security Unit, Isle of Wight Festival Operations Manager Dave Steele and Tim Cutbill, Head of Operational Resilience for London Fire Brigade.
Alongside the event’s enhanced conference programme, foreign visitors to TRS are able to see a Live Demonstration Theatre, which will provide live real-time examples of security scenarios and solutions in action, and a Security Vehicle Zone showcasing the very latest in armoured vehicles for protection of VIPs, celebrities, high net-worth people and cash in transit.
CEO of TRS organiser Nineteen Events Peter Jones said: “Every year TRS welcomes more and more overseas delegations looking to learn from the UK security community in order to improve their own country’s defences. The message is clear that the UK is the pacesetter for global security.”
While the UK has been established as the global standard bearer for national security there are no illusions that the fight is won or that it ever will be. The threat is still there and will be dealt with with increasing effectiveness and focus. And that’s a message that the UK is at the forefront of.
Transport Security Expo takes place 2-3 December 2014 at Olympia, London. Visit www.transec.com for details on how to attend and exhibit.