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Staff As Important As Technology

Despite the advances in technology, people rather than products can still be the most effective element in ensuring the highest levels of security in the maritime and aviation sectors.

That was the view of Andrew McClumpha, Director of Transport Security at BMT, speaking at the Maritime and Supply Chain Security Conference at London Olympia.

Focusing on the human factors within aviation and maritime security, Mr McClumpha told delegates that while staff working in the frontline were under increasing pressures, there was a constant need to raise the levels of performance.

“One of the challenges we face is how we acquire some ‘headroom’ for these staff to achieve even higher standards,” said Mr McClumpha.

“So how well are we doing? Not very well at all, I would suggest. There are a wealth of documents detailing the need for improvement in human performance.”

He highlighted the issues of certification, competency assessments and selection and training as critical in the development of transport security staff, with the target of securing a 100 per cent effectiveness record.

Referring to the heightened state of security following the potential terrorist threat at airports over the summer, Mr McClumpha continued: “After August, a lot of focus was placed on not looking at what people are carrying, but looking at the people who were carrying it.

“Individual attribute screening, based on verbal and non-verbal cues can be an important contribution to a total security solution.” However, such an approach was not always favoured by organisations because “it cannot be plugged in and run on electricity, it needs individual human skills,” he added.

“People, if integrated properly, are our most effective decision makers, given the standards of equipment we have.”

Much of that equipment was on display at London’s largest ever security exhibition which ran alongside the Maritime and Supply Chain Security Conference, featuring more than 150 leading companies including, the website for the security industry. Andrew Greenfield, MD, said: “The standard of debate in the conference was matched by the innovation and technology on display in the exhibition, and we had a fantastic response over the two days from delegates and exhibition visitors alike.”

Andrew Greenfield
Security Oracle
Unit 7 The Old Bakery
South Road

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