Chair: Martin Gill

Jamie Williamson, Executive Director of The International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers’ Association (ICoCA) (Switzerland)
Sean McMurtry, Security Risk Manager; Security, Crisis Response & Social Conflict Expert (Kenya)
Charles Oloo, Chapter Secretary General of ASIS Kenya 
Michael Center, Security Adviser (Belgium)

Sponsored by ICoCA

Key points

The panel discuss some of the real-life challenges facing the provision of security in high risk environments, challenging ones where contexts are different and more complex and where the requirements of security therefore demand a more nuanced approach.

Michael Center makes the point that even in high risk environments the role of security is to enable success of an organisation, the role of protection evolves from that and does not dictate it. You will see him make a distinction between risks and threats (which are not always risks). He calls for a more analytical approach, highlighting the value of contextual intelligence rather than emotional intelligence and advocates the merits of customer service and inclusion. Michael is the first to raise a point that is reiterated at different points in the webinar that effective dialogue and engagement with people, all stakeholders, is a key component of good security. You will hear him talk – pressed by an audience question – on how you measure the key requirement of community acceptance of security.

Sean McMurtry notes that most organisations will be in recovery phase at present facing new contexts and where there will be a high degree of suspicion. In times where people are unsettled the risks of violence are very real ones. You will hear him discuss the importance of sustainability in business life and notes that security needs to engage with this.

In response to a question about the progress security has made Sean felt that it had made enormous progress but has more to do. You will hear an important discussion about the role of intelligence, key in high risk environments, but surrounded with added complexity. His final call is for security to be guided by frameworks and he names a few that merit particular focus.

Charles Oloo notes that providing security in high risk environments is a tricky affair. The need for analysis and the defining of the parameters are amongst the key components of a good security approach. He makes a special case for effective security being dependent on creating a social fit with the type of community in which it operates; the locals determine the type of security and the ways in which Covid-19 is evolving is posing its very own challenges.

Jamie Williamson highlights the progress that has been made in providing a framework and guidelines to govern the conduct of security operating in the most challenging contexts. The push to recognise human rights is of course fundamental to good security but this is work in progress; there are examples of a lack of transparency and oversight. He touches on one of the fundamental challenges for commercial security; to ensure adherence to good practices when they can be seen to be in conflict with the commercial imperative. You will hear him emphasise the need for international efforts to continue; and one again the theme that security has made progress but is on a journey rather than at its destination is emphasised.

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