UK security industry calling for unification under one leader

 - 
02/01/2011

I'll admit it, when I first saw the headline "Leading security industry bodies call for single industry representative" in my inbox this morning, I was pretty tickled. See I wrote a story a while back examining the notion of a single industry body/person to be a representative to the world and the government.

Upon reading the story, I quickly realized it wasn't what I thought and was focused on the UK security industry. I don't pretend to understand how the industry works across the pond, but I have reached out to someone I know in the UK security industry and am hopeful that she'll be able to explain to me the finer nuances of what's going on over there.

Regardless of not understanding all the particulars, it seems clear that the industry over in the Old World is looking for consensus, unification and a single voice with the aim of promoting "a major uplift in the performance of the private security industry, supported by government through UKTI and other agencies, she stated that the aim should be to ensure that UK expertise and innovative security solutions are marketed more effectively both at home and overseas."

That sounded interesting to me, even if they're not calling for Merlin Guilbeau to be the face of the industry the way I did... So just what is the UKTI?

UKTI, or UK Trade & Investment, is an agency that  "works with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets, and encourage the best overseas companies to look to the UK as their global partner of choice."

Hmmm... Sounds like the UK security industry is trying to become more consolidated, more unified, more focused so that they can expand more effectively and more efficiently--both at home and abroad...

I also wrote stories recently about what the US security industry can learn from the UK and about UK security players moving into the US market...

Puline Norstrom director of worldwide marketing for the UK's AD Group, which owns Dedicated Micros among other security interests, in a May interview with me advised the US video monitoring industry to learn from what they had already done in the UK.

Norstrom said her company, along with the British Security Industry Association had developed a video monitoring standard that could easily cross the Atlantic. “The standard—BS 8418—was originally created by the BSIA and it was written around the code of practice that RemGuard was using. That formed the basis of the document,” Norstrom said. “They took it to the British Standards Institute during which time there was a public consultation and lots of industry input, and after about two years the standard was ratified and published in the UK. The standard has been adopted by the police and they issue a URN—unique reference number for a site that is accredited for 8418. What that gives to the user is a guaranteed first level response.” Norstrom said level one meant police respond immediately. Anything other than level one means the police respond “when they get around to it, or they don’t respond at all.”

Now they've formed a whole UK security industry association called the Security Alliance to try and get things done.

This whole thing might merit some close watching...