Extended Security Communities as Part of the War Against Terror

The report last week from India on http://uk.news.yahoo.com/hyderabad-blast-7-feared-dead-141443751.html caught my eye as well as my heart.

“At least 12 people have been killed and dozens others injured in two bomb blasts in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad which police have branded an act of “terrorism”. The blasts were about five minutes apart and took place in the early evening – the first going off just after 7pm local time.The first device went off near a cinema, and as people fled the area a second went off near a bus station, in the busy district of Dilsukh Nagar.

The bombs were attached to two bicycles about 500ft apart, according to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.

Questions have been raised after it emerged Indian intelligence agencies received non-specific warnings of an imminent terror strike.”

The past several decades have seen official security agencies locked in battle against an adversary that continuously demonstrates its adaptability in the face of the security measures employed. All across the world, security deployments attempt to enhance their forces by adding personnel and technology to the protection of their facilities. While such attempts might meet some of the ever-evolving challenges posed by the adversary’s resourcefulness, they are inevitably constrained by economic factors, training restrictions, customer service issues etc.

Our extensive experience has taught us that protected assets are characterized by a large community of service providers, vendors, maintenance workers, and so forth. Most members of this community, while not formally trained in security matters, are characterized by great familiarity with the facility as well as a strong sense of commitment to its safety and to the wellbeing of its occupants.

Potential force multipliers who, while not ultimately engaged in security work, may nevertheless be harnessed to the effort of enhancing the facility’s security by detecting and reporting irregular activity around them.

Security awareness consists of two complementary cognitive factors that coincide in the mind of the security-informed community member: Appreciation of the threat and Comprehension of how it may be mitigated.

Possessing both Comprehension and Appreciation, the non-security community member is well equipped to effectively contribute to the facility’s security effort. His motivation to contribute to the effort increases, his ability to detect irregular activity is enhanced and his willingness to report it when encountered – boosted.

The past few years has seen an increase in training non-security communities but still many security heads are complaining that this has not lead to the desired results.

In my opinion, In order for us to begin implementing this concept we should first start with the changing of our terminology. We need to comprehend that these communities are part of our security deployment and are therefore an Extended-Security community and not a non-security community as they are called in many places around the world.

Let’s embrace them as part of the deployment and then we will be able to reap the benefits of the move. Imagine how these extended security communities could have saved the day In March 2010, in the German Bakery blast at Pune, in which a bag which contained the explosives was found un-attended at the bakery by its staff. Due to  lack of security awareness trainings, the staff didn’t know what to do & precious moments ( and hence the opportunity to mitigate the blast) were lost. The powerful explosion killed 17 & injured more than 60 people.

Written by Mr. Vikas Chauhan and Mr. Dotan Sagi

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