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Election fever is all around us and the result of the forthcoming General Election should be of particular interest to us all, as it will impact on the facilities management and security industries as much as impacts on other industries.

Regardless of the outcome, unless one of the more radical parties wins in a shock result, we can certainly expect to see a continuation of the austerity programme. None of the main parties have committed to ending the austerity programme, and its continuation will hit the public sector hard; and that includes policing, as well as other essential services.

The Police Federation is already deeply concerned about further cuts to policing and is warning that it is at breaking point. So concerned in fact, that in the run up to the election the Federation has emailed all Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPCs) to highlight their fears and to ask for support against further cuts should the PPC be elected. The email highlights that there has been a noticeable drop in visible neighbourhood policing in recent years, and warns that further cuts will impact on the ability of police to respond effectively to calls.

For facilities managers this means less reliance on police to investigate or intervene in low level crime. For security suppliers this means more onus on delivering a complete and holistic service that relies less on liaison with police.

So what exactly should facilities managers expect from their security supplier?

With less police visibility, it is important that people know you have security in place. Of course this needs to be done in a way that it is not too intrusive. It is vital that your security supplier is able to deliver a more complete service that compensates for the police shortfall. It is also crucial to look at how different estates, businesses and organisations can pull together in collaboration to deliver a more robust and effective security stance.

Such collaboration is proven on a wider stage in initiatives such as the Cross-Sector Safety and Security Communications (CSSC) initiative – a partnership between law enforcement agencies, local and national government organisations, and private sector businesses. Schemes like this prove the importance of collaboration, and in the smaller environment of an individual estate can be replicated by closer working between management, individual businesses and the security provider to help strengthen the security stance, cover the inevitable shortfall in policing, and indeed relieve some of the pressure on police forces.

As published in PFM Magazine www.pfmonthenet.net/

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