A public inquiry following a critical event will highlight deficiencies and may ask challenging questions. With the many incidents that have taken place if a jurisdiction has not addressed risk mitigation properly, there can be significant liabilities and repercussions.

Recent incidents such as the Brussels International Airport bombing (2016), Las Vegas shooting (2017), Ariana concert (2017), and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (2017), have each illustrated challenges. We have learned that rapid intervention by police and security has the potential to significantly improve the outcome by reducing the number of casualties, but the aftermath can have a massive sustained impact on responders, staff and the public. 

Mass environment normally come with a large number of personnel, tenants, vendors, and more, let alone the public. No one knows an environment better than those who work there. The insider threat is just one of many on-going operational risks that must be considered and mitigated. Some of these covert activities are perpetrated over a long period of time.

Then there is the other; events during a crisis happen quickly. Our in-depth reviews of these events confirm consistent outcomes. Evidence shows that loss of communications, non-interoperable communications between agencies, public panic, self-evacuation, lack of coordination, and a lack of first responders, all negatively impact on outcomes. The oftentimes poor outcomes are exacerbated by the lack of good situational awareness in managing and controlling the unfolding threat. As practitioners involved in policing and counterterrorism, we understand what is required and what can help mitigate the threat and risk to those in the immediate environment. 

Requirements to ensure security and public safety have changed with today’s threats. Prevention and planning are essential and reaction to an incident requires a new approach that reflects and addresses the threat. Today’s changing threat landscape needs to be create a shift in practices and methods. Factors now need to include:

  • Board Level accountability for security
  • Enhanced stakeholder collaboration and communication
  • Evidenced-based security
  • More efficient business practices
  • Threat assessment methodology integrated into BAU
  • Empowering pro-active reporting
  • Driving a more assurance-based system