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Published: January 28, 2015

Sir David Veness CBE QPM, Senior Advisor at Pilgrims Group, was asked to provide an overview on security risks in 2015 for the current issue of City Security magazine. This appeared as part of an ask the experts comment feature. Read Sir David’s input below.

Global threat and response developments in 2014 are significant. Four aspects are especially relevant. Firstly, the instability of states allowing the presence of organised crime and permitting high rates of violent offences. Secondly, expanding violent extremism on a broader agenda. Thirdly, growing economic crime with a shift in the forensic balance between public and private sector defences. Finally, the weakness of the capacity and capability of nations to address basic issues of security including public health.

These issues are particularly pertinent to those with corporate/NGO/media responsibilities across Europe, Asia (including the Middle East) and Africa. Many such operations are based in London. Staff safety and security is a key priority.

Self-help is essential but is not a comprehensive policy and all available assets should be leveraged including private sector peer groups. The protection of female members of staff both expatriate and nationally employed is a vital aspect. For all staff, counter hostage taking measures are critical.

High grade and bespoke hostile environment awareness is increasingly important as is exercising crisis management at all levels. Effective staff safety and security against the likely threat pattern for 2015 needs greater recognition and integration across corporate structures to ensure that enterprise enthusiasm for emerging markets does not run ahead of the duty of care for those exposed to potential harm.