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Security & Counter Terror Expo 13/06/2017
Security experts come together to tackle terrorism at SCTX

The terrorist landscape has changed in recent years with extremists going to new measures to cause harm and disruption across the globe. Attacks are no longer limited to methods such as improvised explosives and the hijacking of planes. Everyday items such as cars and knives have been used by radicals in the latest wave of attacks across Europe.

9,850 security professionals from over 114 countries travelled to London in May for the latest instalment of Security & Counter Terror Expo (SCTX). The show once again incorporated leading forensics show Forensics Europe Expo and Ambition – the event for the emergency preparedness, resilience & response (EPRR) community. Show organisers, Clarion Events, reported that the number of visitors was up three per cent on the 2016 event, with one in ten representing a police or counter terror force.

Covering over 15,000 sqm, the show’s footprint also increased by 7%, enabling 351 companies to showcase their latest products, technologies and services alongside 9 conferences, 2 live demo areas and the eagerly anticipated World Counter Terror Congress.

David Thompson, Event Director at Security & Counter Terror Expo, commented: “The recent attacks in London, Manchester and Paris have highlighted the vital importance of ensuring that nations, security professionals and the public, are fully aware of the best way to tackle terrorism. This year, the programme was specifically developed to inform and educate visitors on the most effective strategies to protect the public and infrastructure.”

The World Counter Terror Congress
One of the main attractions at this year’s event was the World Counter Terror Congress, which was attended by 1,050 delegates including diplomats and high-ranking police officers. Covering policy and strategy in a number of key areas, such as de-radicalisation and preventing attacks, the congress featured dozens of world-renowned speakers, including Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Europol’s Rob Wainwright and Lucy D’Orsi, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Metropolitan Police.

In her presentation, Lucy D'Orsi, addressed the threat posed by both international and home-grown terrorists stating the importance of educating children in schools on the “Run, Hide, Tell” message. Meanwhile, Rob Wainwright, the head of Europol, spoke about the use of the ‘dark web’ and how extremists can buy a British passport for as little as £750. He went on to condemn, encrypted Russian messaging app Telegram, with its refusal to cooperate with the authorities in discovering and preventing attacks before they happen.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former Foreign Secretary and former chairman of the Intelligence & Security Committee of Parliament, said: “Events such as the World Counter Terror Congress provide the ideal platform for experts across the field to come together and discuss best practice on the most effective ways to disrupt plots and protect the public and infrastructure.”

Richard Walton, former Head of Counter Terrorism for the Metropolitan Police Service added: “The biggest change we’ve seen from terrorists over the past year is the move towards simplifying their attacks as much as possible. This has completely changed the goal posts in how we must prepare and try to prevent these atrocities from happening. Motor vehicles are now one of the most common weapons of choice which presents a completely new challenge for security professionals to face. Events such as the World Counter Terror Congress are key in bringing the industry together to overcome these challenges and keep us one step ahead of the terrorists.”

In addition, SCTX provided a series of free-to-attend conferences focussing on the ever-growing cyber threat, infrastructure, border & transport security and advanced technologies. Located on the show floor, the sessions were at full capacity on both days, with visitors keen to hear the latest thinking from universally recognised experts.

The growing cyber threat
The Cyber Threat Intelligence Conference, presented by techUK, brought together those who work to prevent cyber terrorism and crime – one of the security industry’s biggest concerns in today’s world. Among the topics discussed was an analysis of the top cyber threats and emerging trends this year. Key speakers included Dr. Louis Marinos, NIS R&A expert, Paul Thorlby, CTO at Qinetiq and John Godwin of UK Cloud.

Talal Rajab, techUK’s Head of Programme, Cyber, National Security, added: “The cyber terrorism threat grows immeasurably year-on-year and we as an industry, must grow, adapt and react in equal measure. Security & Counter Terror Expo provides opportunities to learn from and meet with some of the key figures in the sector addressing the most important issues we face today.”

Protecting infrastructure and businesses
The Critical National Infrastructure & Business Reliance conference featured a series of presentations examining the policy and strategy responses to today’s terror threat. Among the 20 high-ranking officials and academics who presented was James Brandon, Director of Geopolitical Risk - Stirling Assynt. He discussed the threat assessment challenge for critical business and infrastructure protection in the UK.

“Carrying out accurate threat assessments on a regular basis can be challenging with the continuously changing environment, however it is vital in maintaining a security procedure that is both up-to-date and appropriate to the threat posed to that particular building,” said Brandon.

Preventing transport attacks
Atatürk international airport in Turkey and both Brussels airport and metro station have been subject to recent terrorist attacks. Transport links are increasingly a target for terrorists, with aeroplanes, mass transit buses, rail terminals, ports, vehicles and transport facilities all facing the risk of future attacks. The SCTX Border & Transport Security conference focussed on airport security, anti-trafficking, customs and immigration. The conference attracted key stakeholders from Border Agencies, Border management & Immigration professionals, Customs and security policy makers and practitioners, Rail, Air, Sea, National and Homeland security advisors, Law enforcement and Diplomats and foreign affairs officials.

The latest technologies on show
Public and private sector buyers, influencers and government delegations from across the globe attended SCTX to explore how the latest technology can be matched to their current and future needs. Advanced Technologies Live played a key role in delivering this as visitors were able to see and hear more about innovative solutions that the industry has to offer through a series of live demonstrations.

This year saw a focus on drone and anti-drone technology. With technology developments enhancing their capabilities, these devices are becoming increasingly important to the security industry. As a result, a number of leading businesses, including Diametrex, Drone Defence and Aerial Academy showcased their latest solutions at the show.

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