New challenges for the security industry

November 2015 Conferences & Events

Global security managers work in the global village and could have regionally based security managers located in various countries or regions that are of different cultures and religions.

We are also in a decade of a multicultural war of thoughts and actions. We therefore have to realise certain elements of different cultures impact the security and investigation professionals working to “extract reliable and usable information”.

For example, these are issues taking place impacting on urban terrorism.

1. Religious or politically motivated demonstrations which may lead to violent situations and/or riots.

2. These demonstrations can filtrate into buildings where the boycott activities are taking place. This is when demonstrators attempt to persuade shoppers not to purchase products or services from another country or culture.

3. The influx of refugees from war torn countries includes those that were child soldiers. They are victims of kidnapping and were trained to kill. In fact many did. In addition, there are also victims from these war torn countries in the refugee population that may react quite differently to what the conventional manager in the West would expect.

The militant impact of urban terrorism can result in ‘Lone Wolf’ or small attack teams and the impulsive attacks, all of which impact the security manager.

1. They could target one large venue such as a mall, abduct hostages and hole up in there for a few days. They will fight to the death as in their ideology there is more reward in death than in life. It is their religious obligation to kill.

2. They could also attack a primary target then follow the route of least resistance, killing randomly and finally hole up in a venue with hostages. The same death scene will occur.

These are very determined terrorists. All of the above mentioned have one thing in common, they are of different cultures and religions. Therefore, it is essential that cultural gesture awareness needs to be part of any curriculum for security training to heighten situational awareness for city and building security, crowd control and a number of other situations which will be further elaborated on.

‘Situational Awareness’ is a mind-set that has to be trained. Training, therefore, must comprise cultural awareness.

Social situational awareness is focused on the person

It is not the weapon that kills, commits crime or maims, it is people. Consequently, people awareness skills are crucial. Specific cultural knowledge must be included within the curriculum. This is cultural communication – cultural conduct and the conduct relating to physical gestures. These differences often confuse the body language interpretation for lie detection and communication.

Security professionals must realise that they are working in a very responsible career. They are handling real life issues. The world must realise and accept that security professionals function in the world of violence and crime, therefore, they are making decisions that affect people’s lives and can cause their deaths. The security professionals must take their job function as seriously as any other industry that is involved in life and death situations.

Security management professionals therefore must be skilled in people interaction skills. This has to be supported with the most effective training by responsible trainers that provide substantial and undiluted training material. The emphasis must be on people critical core interaction skills, which, must be included in all security job function training and prioritised by:

1. Human investigation management skills.

2. Knowledge of crime investigation management, risk management and security resilience.

3. Technologically awareness of equipment available.

4. Close combat.

5. Weapons handling.

Obtaining reliable and usable information

Professionals need to extract reliable and usable information in order to make decisions. Information extracted from people, may be flawed, since people lie, hide things or volunteer information for their own personal agenda. The only way to validate information is by using lie and deception detection skills – regardless of culture.

Managers of all industries make decisions based on information. The security industry, however, is unique as workers may interact with life-impacting and/or life and death situations. Security success depends on the level of situational awareness of the decision makers and the people on the ground.

Security professionals have to evaluate the situation, consider their position and comprehend what could be the impact on various actions to take within split seconds. Their decision making therefore has little room for error.

Professionals also need to manage their emotions for a number of reasons namely, crowd control, conflict resolutions and investigations. Consequently, the art of reading people using lie and deception detection skills is a critical core skill for these professionals. These skills need to be mastered for them to be applied instinctively.

For more information contact BTC Training Africa, +27 (0)11 869 1946, [email protected],


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