Me and You Education is a collaboration between two companies with divergent backgrounds that provides deep insights into the murky and complex world of Counter Terrorism.
Is a Dog your Company’s Best Friend?
DOG IS MANS FRIEND, but it can also be his best work partner and a major tool in the company security toolkit.
The use of dogs by humans in support of his many roles through the ages has been significant, from hunting and guarding through to, more recently, specialist assistance and detection.
No other animal works so closely with humans and in such varied and specialist roles.
An odour detection dog is highly tuned, reliable and capable of sourcing many things. i.e. drugs, explosives bed bugs, gas leaks, faulty electrical cables, water leaks, buried bodies, cancer, mobile phones etc.
What makes them so talented is their physiology, which enables them to detect the most minute of odours, way beyond human capacity. By detecting odour they can home in on and find an object, which is not visible to the human.
Some people think that machines are better. In some cases this can be true, the machine can be directly placed over the odour or swabs taken from a suspect item, which can then be tested by machine.
There are some applications therefore where a machine is better suited. However the opportunities for the effective use of machines are limited and are a tiny proportion of the amount of search being carried out and more to the point an even smaller proportion of the amount of search that should be being carried out.
As a live animate object with brain and multiple processing capacity, a dog can self deploy, move and work an odour cone (the trail of odour emanating from an object), which a machine cannot do.
At Accted, we have carried out thousands of searches of venues and especially of aircraft. The dog can quickly search the entire plane providing a very high level of confidence that it is clear in a fraction of the time it would take a human.
Accted has been at the forefront of research in to the detection of bedbugs, using dogs, and the development of efficient training methods to produce accurate results.
We are currently embarking on new and exciting research with a local university to further develop our understanding of using dogs as an early warning of cancer to enable earlier intervention.
Many security professionals can be limited in the range of tools they have in their security tool kit and seldom use dog teams to full advantage.
By ignoring the dog in their resource list they can dramatically reduce their effectiveness missing opportunities and savings.
Many of the ‘government regulated’ industries, such as international travel and freight, put in place only the minimum measures the government dictate.
Sadly this leaves a massive hole in their real time security and detection capabilities. They often fail to see that they could still deploy other equipment and specialist dog teams in addition to their required provisions to increase their own confidence and their due diligence.
Recent court cases are starting to strip away the safety cloaks that many thought they had. The high courts have approved action against the police for poor investigations and failing the rights of their public. It may not be long before commerce and industry also suffer, where failure to protect the public, and/or their own staff, from dangers associated with either extremism or criminality, resulting in Gross Negligence charges and breaches of human rights.
It’s now time for security professionals to up their game and start to look at what they are doing. It is no longer acceptable to do the minimum or as some would say ‘enough’ as this is often not enough and in some cases may be woefully inadequate.
In enquiries following major incidents such as the bombings or major criminality the finger pointing starts in the press and social media within minutes of such an incident, and the damage limitation by a company or body can be very expensive, to contain charges of incompetence and neglect and often the commercial damage is irreparable.
There are many good companies out there providing services to assist and protect. Directors and consultants need to look at how best to deploy them, whilst avoiding the cowboy outfits.
It is imperative consultants/ officials commissioning the use of dog companies do their research and ensure the company meet the requirements of a recognised training system and assessment, such as NASDU or NPCC (formerly ACPO) as a minimum. Many reputable companies work closely with each other to ensure that they can jointly promote excellence and give the client high levels of confidence in their provision. Accted are happy to discuss companies’ requirements and encourage you to use such quality specialists to help reduce actual risks and to mitigate the potential commercial damage if the worst happens.
Anthony Cooke, Managing Director,
Accted Ltd. 83 Friars Nook, White Friars, Chester CH1 1AD