It's Time For The Private Security Industry To Evolve
At the heart of the security industry is a contradiction. Our goal is to prevent crime, yet we rely on the continued existence and threat of crime to sell our products and services.
We look to stop criminals, but we rarely look to stop criminality. We help to find evidence of wrongdoing, but what do we do to help minimise the factors that contribute to that wrongdoing in the first place?
We believe the most important task of the security industry is to reduce risk for our clients: to help create an environment where crime is less likely to happen.
We believe the time has come for the security industry to start playing an active role in this structural-level crime prevention.
This goes beyond 'Corporate Social Responsibility'. Genuine social change must be at the core of our businesses and our industry. Our aim should be to help to create a society in which criminality is less appealing, because other opportunities are widely available and accessible.
How can that happen?
- Security businesses should actively engage with organisations that make a difference to the lives of those who are most likely to commit crime: young people, the poor, the disadvantaged, those with drug problems.
- We should offer to partner with universities and other institutions to help undertake real world trials and research into the causes of criminality and potential solutions.
- We should advocate for structural changes and law reforms which would most benefit the vulnerable.
- Being seen to take the lead on civil liberties issues can be a powerful tool in changing the way the industry is perceived from the outside. We should support any measures designed to protect privacy and promote inclusiveness and diversity.
We believe the perspective of the industry needs to change, moving from a purely defensive mindset to one where protection and prevention goes hand in hand with ground-up social reform.
Alongside that social reform sits environmental change.
Protecting the planet should be at the top of our agenda in all areas of life and greening business practices should be a no-brainer.
Let's be realistic: there will be inexorable pressure to change the way we work and the way we live our lives to reduce the impact we have on the environment. We may as well start embedding greener attitudes and practices into all business areas now, because at some point we won't have any choice in the matter.
There's a commercial advantage too. Increasingly tenders and contracts will require evidence that our products, our manufacturing processes, our workplaces and our services actively work to minimise damage to the environment. By demonstrating in no uncertain terms that environmental concerns are factored into every decision that we make, security businesses will immediately become more appealing prospects.
Ticking boxes, improving marketability, and doing the right thing for the world: what's not to like?
This is what we think:
- We think all technology should be green technology.
- We think all businesses need to be green businesses.
- We think we should act before we are compelled to do so by legislation, standards or regulation.
- We think we should actively and continuously look to improve our environmental practices, and work with others who do the same.
This is a call for a change in outlook. We want to explore these issues and others connected with them, and we want to discuss them with you: our peers, partners, colleagues and clients. That's what Connected will set out to do.
Real change, after all, starts with us.
Anthony Hildebrand - Connected editor
Matt Gilmartin - Concept Smoke Screen managing director
Shayne Hubbard - Concept Smoke Screen head of sales and marketing
The editor of Connected, Anthony is a real good writer and journalist with a background in security and technology publishing. There’s every chance you met him at that thing that one time.