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East Midlands Chamber News

Security alert system launches in East Midlands

The concept that business is the heart of the community is driving a new counter-terrorism intelligence sharing system across the East Midlands.

Cross-sector Safety and Security Communications (CSSC) launched in the fourth and final week of the Action Counters Terrorism campaign.

CSSC is a partnership between the police and business. It uses an alert system to cascade information to and from the public and private sectors, not just in the event of a major incident such as a terrorist attack but also during quieter times to share security information and improve business resilience.

The process works in partnership with the emergency services and other authorities to ensure that pertinent security information and advice is delivered and received in an official capacity, quickly and efficiently, to enable businesses to make the decisions necessary to keep staff, customers and premises safe.

East Midlands Deputy Chief Constable Chris Haward said: “From global corporations to your local corner shop, communities are built on business. So when we talk about communities defeating terrorism we are very much talking to the business community as well.

“CSSC is one of a number of methods we use in bringing businesses into the fold to tackle terrorism, including regular liaison with key venues and the staging of training events and exercises to prepare and protect against this complex threat.

“CSSC is a very simple mechanism ensuring accurate and consistent information is shared with people at the time when they need it. But it’s not just a one-way thing. We hope this will open up the lines of communication not just between police and business, but also across the sectors.

“It’s a way of formalising existing channels of communication and ultimately strengthening our influence on keeping people safe.”

Updates from National Counter Terrorism Policing are shared with a network of regional business champions, known as Industry Sector Leads (ISLs), who have been identified as key individuals in their particular area. They will then cascade the messages within their sector.

Tailored messages to specific sectors can also be shared this way. And it’s not just pertinent to counter terrorism but information and advice around business crime, fraud and cyber crime.

Messages for the most part are shared via email. In more urgent scenarios text messages will also be used and in rare cases ISLs will be invited to log into conference calls.

There are currently 30 businesses signed up as ISLs in the region, including Boots, Next, Starbucks, BT, East Midlands Ambulance Service, Nottingham BID, the Post Office and Rolls Royce.

Andrew Nicholls chairs the CSSC East Midlands Management Board. The Deputy Chair of the Security Institute was involved in the inception of the CSSC concept in 2012, when it was used in London during the Olympics. With the system rolling out across the country he was keen to support the East Midlands region.

He said: “Having worked in the security industry for much of my career I have seen first-hand the power of well-developed channels of communication.

“CSSC doesn’t deal in rumour or speculation, only facts straight from the authorities. It’s what you need to know, when you need to know it. This is the police and other authorities utilising the business network to increase awareness and ultimately help keep people safer.

“There really is no catch. And it’s a completely free service ensuring we are all on the same page when it comes to crime, trends and threats.

“As far as CSSC is concerned, there’s no such thing as too many cooks, the more members we have the better. Better for the security of your business, better for the safety of your customers and better protection of the community at large.”

For more information about CSSC visit the website here. If you own a business in the East Midlands and would like to receive alerts email esmdad@hcs.oatilnstesccm.

When you’re on your rounds, during a routine inspection, as you’re opening or closing, if you see anything that could be indicative of terrorist activity call it in.

Report online here or call 0800 789 321. All reports are kept confidential and can be made anonymously. In an emergency, always dial 999.