Do you need to increase security measures in an age of violence?


Corporate surveillance has been called a breach of privacy and a symptom of mistrust, but as unpredictable violence appears to be on the increase, will heightened security become a necessity?

Do you have cameras in your workplace (that you know about), or a burly security guard who greets you in the morning? Organisations both public and private, based in busy areas, may need to take a different approach to security due to increased threats.

At the Australian National University today, a man attacked students and staff for no apparent reason. The Lindt cafe siege in Sydney’s Martin Place in 2014, is also representative of the need to consider heightened security in areas of high density.

Workplace surveillance may have had a bad rap in the past, and on occasions it can appear oppressive. Take the use of radio frequency identification that follows employers around to track what they are doing, for example. But is increased surveillance and security measures the price we pay to ensure the safety of staff and customers?

Following terrorist attacks in Europe, the Turnbull government  last week unveiled a national strategy that it has been formulating on how government, the police and business can work together to protect people when they are in communal spaces. The strategy seeks to make  business and venue owners more alert and prepared to potential threats.

The plan takes into account building design, CCTV, permanent blockades and even secret codes that can be used in the event of an attack.

Deterring, detecting, delaying and responding

What can HR do to ensure employees are protected from violence or terrorist attacks? If your organisation is based in the CBD or near popular tourist attractions, there are certain measures that need to be considered.

The Australian government strategy for protecting crowded places from terrorism mentioned four key areas of a ‘layered security’ scheme to help ensure safety:

  • Deter attacks using physical barriers such as fences and electronic access control. Also consider security patrols, perimeter lighting and CCTV cameras.
  • Detect intruders through encouraging reporting of suspicious behaviour, vehicle screening and searching, and electronic intruder detection systems.
  • Delay potential attacks through environmental barriers such as water features, pedestrian and vehicle access control points, and training staff and security in rapid response and intervention.
  • Response to threats requires a comprehensive security staff that is sufficiently accredited and trained.

Assessing security consultants

If you decide to bring in security specialists, there are lots of businesses out there from which to choose. When deciding which firm to work with, it is important to have a well-equipped security team that will be both proactive and reactive, so consider the following:

  • Do they have the necessary security license, education, skills and experience?
  • Do they have references from previous clients, and professional affiliations?
  • Do they have experience in reviewing and adjusting current security procedures?

How are they responding to heightened security in Europe

In London, blocks and bollards have been erected in the financial district following the spate of terror attacks across the UK this year. In France, a 2.5 meter bulletproof glass wall is expected to be built around the Eiffel Tower. The UK government issued a report following the London Bridge attack titled “crowded place guidance” that discussed the value of trees, large planters, water features and stone art, which are prevalent around parts of London Bridge popular with office workers.

Whether we like it or not, it seems as though we may need to get used to changes in security and surveillance moving forward.

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Do you need to increase security measures in an age of violence?


Corporate surveillance has been called a breach of privacy and a symptom of mistrust, but as unpredictable violence appears to be on the increase, will heightened security become a necessity?

Do you have cameras in your workplace (that you know about), or a burly security guard who greets you in the morning? Organisations both public and private, based in busy areas, may need to take a different approach to security due to increased threats.

At the Australian National University today, a man attacked students and staff for no apparent reason. The Lindt cafe siege in Sydney’s Martin Place in 2014, is also representative of the need to consider heightened security in areas of high density.

Workplace surveillance may have had a bad rap in the past, and on occasions it can appear oppressive. Take the use of radio frequency identification that follows employers around to track what they are doing, for example. But is increased surveillance and security measures the price we pay to ensure the safety of staff and customers?

Following terrorist attacks in Europe, the Turnbull government  last week unveiled a national strategy that it has been formulating on how government, the police and business can work together to protect people when they are in communal spaces. The strategy seeks to make  business and venue owners more alert and prepared to potential threats.

The plan takes into account building design, CCTV, permanent blockades and even secret codes that can be used in the event of an attack.

Deterring, detecting, delaying and responding

What can HR do to ensure employees are protected from violence or terrorist attacks? If your organisation is based in the CBD or near popular tourist attractions, there are certain measures that need to be considered.

The Australian government strategy for protecting crowded places from terrorism mentioned four key areas of a ‘layered security’ scheme to help ensure safety:

  • Deter attacks using physical barriers such as fences and electronic access control. Also consider security patrols, perimeter lighting and CCTV cameras.
  • Detect intruders through encouraging reporting of suspicious behaviour, vehicle screening and searching, and electronic intruder detection systems.
  • Delay potential attacks through environmental barriers such as water features, pedestrian and vehicle access control points, and training staff and security in rapid response and intervention.
  • Response to threats requires a comprehensive security staff that is sufficiently accredited and trained.

Assessing security consultants

If you decide to bring in security specialists, there are lots of businesses out there from which to choose. When deciding which firm to work with, it is important to have a well-equipped security team that will be both proactive and reactive, so consider the following:

  • Do they have the necessary security license, education, skills and experience?
  • Do they have references from previous clients, and professional affiliations?
  • Do they have experience in reviewing and adjusting current security procedures?

How are they responding to heightened security in Europe

In London, blocks and bollards have been erected in the financial district following the spate of terror attacks across the UK this year. In France, a 2.5 meter bulletproof glass wall is expected to be built around the Eiffel Tower. The UK government issued a report following the London Bridge attack titled “crowded place guidance” that discussed the value of trees, large planters, water features and stone art, which are prevalent around parts of London Bridge popular with office workers.

Whether we like it or not, it seems as though we may need to get used to changes in security and surveillance moving forward.

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