In this issue we take an in depth look at crime and terrorism in 2019. So many industry professionals have mentioned to me that this issue has been eagerly anticipated due to the critical importance of the subject matter. In many ways, that makes me sad.
Unfortunately we live in a world where those with twisted ideologies, who lack the intellect to argue in favour of their particular cause, or the patience to peacefully campaign for the changes they feel are necessary, think that the mass murder of innocent civilians is somehow a legitimate and effective tool to achieve their goals.
With Daesh (ISIS) now all but destroyed as a conventional fighting force, and the so called Caliphate now reclaimed by ‘infidels’ (the unfaithful…), it is increasingly turning to acts of terror, in a desperate attempt to demonstrate to the world that it somehow still matters. Make no mistake, the funds from looted oil, organised crime and antiquities sold on the black market, have provided a huge war chest with which it can continue brain washing disaffected youth across the world, using a twisted and extreme fundamentalist form of Islam to stoke the fires of hate, by blaming the West for all of the problems they could possible experience or imagine. The Prophet, Blessings Be Upon Him, would never, ever, approve.
The terrorist threat however, is far from just an Islamist only problem.
There is a disturbing rise in far right extremism. From the rapid growth of Neo Nazi organisations in Eastern Europe, Christian fundamentalist anti federal organisations in the U.S. to lone wolf, Islamophobic attacks, as tragically seen in the UK with a vehicle attack on a North London mosque, and alarmingly, in New Zealand, with the recent armed assault on innocent worshippers in Christchurch.
Old tensions are also now starting to bubble over as illustrated by the resurgence of Irish republicanism in the form of the ‘New IRA’, a very well funded and organised group, rising from the ashes of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, which we all hoped would never raise it’s ugly head again after the relative peace following the Good Friday agreement. Even cold war tension is returning with the increasingly unrestrained use of radioactive or biological agents on foreign soil, by Russia, to eliminate those it deems to have betrayed the Mother Country.
Terrorism is experiencing a new golden age……
When it comes to crime, we in the UK are reaping the results of massive underfunding of the Police by central government. The UK’s foreign aid budget in 2017 (£14 billion, Institute for Fiscal Studies.) was substantially larger than the combined funding of every UK Police Force (£11.04 billion 2017/18. gov.uk.) That, I find scandalous.
With additional demands on our Police, in the form of counter terrorism duties and manning demonstrations, there simply are not enough uniforms on the ground to effectively enforce the law any more, let alone deter offenders. Levels of stress and shear exhaustion amongst front line officers are at record levels. Serving Police Officers are now openly talking about having “lost the streets”!
Reported crime still continues to rise. Obviously, to any reasonable observer, crime is at epidemic levels, but with non emergency telephone numbers almost permanently engaged, many stations closed and others open for just a few hours a day, it has never been harder to actually report crime in the first place (if you don’t have internet access…..)
All this leaves an unprecedented and growing level of responsibility on the private security sector.
That’s you and me.
Whatever your level of influence or rank, every security professional has an important role to play.
For a detailed insight into the challenges we now all face, read on….