Theft, Fraud and Property Crimes

An overview of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001

In this week’s article I’m going to back towards the legal side of the security industry. Im going to give an overview of probably one of the most commonly used and also commonly misrepresented pieces of legislation in Ireland. That is the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001. I like this piece of legislation and I’ve used it probably more times than any other law in my career. It covers crimes against property and is most often used in retail security, but I have used it in others areas as well. There is also often some confusion in its application which I hope to cover as well. When can you arrest for theft? The difference between theft and robbery etc. It doesn’t cover all property related crime and there are some like criminal damage and trespass that I’ll cover in a later article but for now this is an overview.

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From security training to developing people

Mindset + Training + Application = Development

This article is reproduction of a piece  I was kindly asked to write by Dr Alison Wakefield Chairperson of the British Security Institute for the Risk UK magazine in February of this year. I’m re-printing an altered version of it here in response to some issues raised recently about in house training in security  and the lack of development of security staff after completing in house training with security companies. 

The development of security staff has always been a challenge for the security industry. There are many contributing factors to this, such as staff turnover, cost, quality of entry level staff or lack of return on investment, which many of you will be all too familiar with. There is another factor, however, that contributes to all the above. I believe that in many organisations there is a fundamental misunderstanding of what people development really means. As an industry we tend to focus on training security staff in order to develop them, but is that really enough? The truth is that we can never truly develop other people. All we can do is give our people the trust, resources and support to develop themselves.

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A note on violence: When all you have is a hammer

This one could be a short musing on violence and its use as a problem solving tool in the security industry. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘when all you have is a hammer every problem looks like a nail’? Its something I’ve often related to the security industry and something which my younger self was often guilty of. Its not a complaint about the use of violence or physical skills but it is a cautionary message about over reliance on physical skills. I had a completely different idea for this weeks article but a conversation with an old friend this week put this thought into my head I was taken to thinking about my younger days as I started off in this industry. At that time I thought I was the best thing since sliced bread. I was probably a little over confident and definitely a lot more hot headed than I would now ever like to admit. I grew up with experience and harsh lessons but not without making a lot of mistakes and that is what I want to talk about here. My musing is on violence and the advantages and disadvantages of having a large skill set in that area in the security industry.

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Security Operative basics: Setting the standard

Short rant crossed with a basic message this week. Is it just me or have standards dropped in the security industry in the last few years. I’m not talking about the standard of person entering the industry or standards of work conditions. I’m talking about the standards of how we look, act and behave while on duty. Maybe its just me turning into an old grouch but I’ve definitely noticed a decline. I could be wrong but I’ve definitely noticed an increase in not shaving, not ironing, wearing runners with uniforms and all of the other small irritating things that drive me crazy. Has this now become acceptable in the industry? Whats caused it? Or am I completely wrong and turning into a grumpy old man? This is not for the experienced professionals who show up to work every day like they should. Its for the new people who see these things happening and think its ok. Its for the people who want to know how to look and act professionally and its for the supervisors who have let this slip into their teams without them

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Criminal Law in Ireland: An overview for security operatives

Following on from last weeks article on civil law and liabilty I’m going to do a series of articles on areas of Irish law and how it affects the role of the security operative. In this industry knowledge is power and blindly following the instruction of a supervisor or SOP when it comes to matters of law is not good enough. To apply legal principles at work we must have an underlying understanding much deeper than the law we are applying. In this article I’m going to take a look at the fundamentals of criminal law. The defining criteria for an act to be a crime and the various classifications of crime and their meaning to the security operative. This is not going to delve into specific parts of criminal (I’ll do that later) but it is an overview of the basic principles of criminal law and how it differs from civil law.