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Tackling terrorism at SCTX
9,850 security professionals from over 114 countries travelled to London in May for the latest installment of Security & Counter Terror Expo. Here, we look back at some of the main themes, and what the leading figures had to say
The terrorist landscape has changed in recent years with extremists going to new measures to cause harm and disruption across the globe. Attacks are no longer limited to methods such as improvised explosives and the hijacking of planes. Everyday items such as cars and knives have been used by radicals in the latest wave of attacks across Europe.
9,850 security professionals from over 114 countries travelled to London in May for the latest instalment of Security & Counter Terror Expo (SCTX). One of the main attractions at this year’s event was the World Counter Terror Congress. Covering policy and strategy in a number of key areas, such as de-radicalisation and preventing attacks, the congress featured dozens of world-renowned speakers, including Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Europol’s Rob Wainwright and Lucy D’Orsi, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.
In her presentation, D'Orsi addressed the threat posed by both international and home-grown terrorists stating the importance of educating children in schools on the ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ message. Meanwhile, Rob Wainwright, the head of Europol, spoke about the use of the ‘dark web’ and how extremists can buy a British passport for as little as £750. He went on to condemn encrypted Russian messaging app Telegram, with its refusal to cooperate with the authorities in discovering and preventing attacks before they happen.
Richard Walton, former head of Counter Terrorism for the Metropolitan Police Service, added: “The biggest change we’ve seen from terrorists over the past year is the move towards simplifying their attacks as much as possible. This has completely changed the goal posts in how we must prepare and try to prevent these atrocities from happening. Motor vehicles are now one of the most common weapons of choice which presents a completely new challenge for security professionals to face. Events such as the World Counter Terror Congress are key in bringing the industry together to overcome these challenges and keep us one step ahead of the terrorists.”
The Cyber Threat Intelligence Conference, presented by techUK, brought together those who work to prevent cyber terrorism and crime. Talal Rajab, techUK’s head of Programme, Cyber, National Security, said: “The cyber terrorism threat grows immeasurably year-on-year and we as an industry, must grow, adapt and react in equal measure. Security & Counter Terror Expo provides opportunities to learn from and meet with some of the key figures in the sector addressing the most important issues we face today.”
The Critical National Infrastructure & Business Reliance conference featured a series of presentations examining the policy and strategy responses to today’s terror threat. Among the 20 high-ranking officials and academics who presented was James Brandon, director of Geopolitical Risk - Stirling Assynt. He discussed the threat assessment challenge for critical business and infrastructure protection in the UK, saying: “Carrying out accurate threat assessments on a regular basis can be challenging with the continuously changing environment, however it is vital in maintaining a security procedure that is both up-to-date and appropriate to the threat posed to that particular building.”
Atatürk international airport in Turkey and both Brussels airport and metro station have been subject to recent terrorist attacks. Transport links are increasingly a target for terrorists, with aeroplanes, mass transit buses, rail terminals, ports, vehicles and transport facilities all facing the risk of future attacks. The SCTX Border & Transport Security conference focused on airport security, anti-trafficking, customs and immigration.
The drone zone
This year saw a focus on drone and anti-drone technology. With technology developments enhancing their capabilities, these devices are becoming increasingly important to the security industry. As a result, a number of leading businesses, including Diametrex, Drone Defence and Aerial Academy, showcased their latest solutions at the show.
AARONIA AG were proud to demonstrate the latest in anti-drone technology with their Real-Time Spectrum Analyzer drone detection system. Founder, Thorsten Chmielus, commented: “It’s a constant battle to keep up with the developing drone technology. We are working with drone manufacturers looking at every new model that comes to market.”
In the Advanced Technologies Live zone, Risk GOC displayed their smart stab-proof clothing. Despite being as thin as a t-shirt, the item is designed to protect the wearer from a knife attack with the blade unable to penetrate through the material.
Security & Counter Terror Expo is the ideal opportunity to showcase your products and services to the most influential purchasers and specifiers. For all exhibitor enquiries for the 2018 event, please contact Sophie McKimm, event manager on +44 (0)20 7384 7894 or email Sophie.McKimm@clarionevents.com
Security & Counter Terror Expo will be taking place at London’s Olympia on 6-7 March 2018. As part of the build up to the show, Counter Terror Business will be providing monthly, leading industry reports on a number of topics, including border security, cyber resilience and counter terror policing.
Make sure to keep an eye on the Counter Terror Business website and the Security & Counter Terror Expo site for their release.