Business-to-business engagement for better security

(This guide has been prepared by the CSO at Canary Wharf and approved by the Advisory Board of London First.)


Steps to Best Practice

1.Define the Area of Responsibility(AoR). This is the area for which the Group is collectively responsible.

  • The AoR needs to be small enough to be manageable. It is better to start small and spread than too big and collapse.
  • It is useful if the AoR can follow a local government or a police authority boundary such as a ‘ward’, as this is likely to have structures already in place that will assist eg crime-reduction meetings, community groups, etc.

2.Define the Area of Interest(AoI). This will be wider than the AoR and will include all that which potentially impacts on the AoR. To determine the AoI, it will be necessary to consider what ‘threats and hazards’ there are within 400m (and optimally out to 1000m) eg a transport hub, a religious site, a major public-sector building. A full list of factors to consider is at Annex A.

  • Events within, originating from, or against these sites will impact on the AoR but not necessarily be controlled by the Group eg a protest against a major company or a government department not in the Group; a mass movement of people into/out of a mainline station; a tourist attraction close by.
  • The Group needs therefore needs to be aware of and have links to such entities although it is not responsible for their security.

3. Detail Points of Contact.This will include individuals and organisations that will be of interest and help eg police, local government, local authorities, etc.This list should include those who lie within the AoI to ensure full situational awareness.

4.Define the Vision. This states what you wish to achieve. Pick one or two areas that you think can be improved eg less street crime, anti-social behaviour, greater awareness and capability against terrorist attack, etc.

5. State an Objective or objectives to be achieved in a timeline. You are unlikely to meet total success in one year but achieving a small change is likely to have positive effect in other areas. For instance:

  • reduce the amount of new graffiti appearing in the area by 50% in the next 12 months;
  • reduce pick-pocket activity in the area by 40% in the next 12 months;
  • reduce shop-lifting over the Christmas period (Oct – Jan) by 20%.

6.State how the objectives may be achieved. For instance:

  • put in a greater level of street lighting;
  • increase shop to shop communications regarding likely suspects;
  • ensure all important surfaces are covered in anti-graffiti paint;
  • install CCTV

7. Put Resources against the objective(s).

  •  Cost:
    • What can be paid for through government-backed schemes eg local-authority grants, crime-prevention assistance, MOPAC, etc?
    • Is there a partner who can gift equipment?
    • Is there a large corporate in the area?
    • What are the through-life costs, eg maintenance?
    • What is in the contract?
    • Can you reach out to another B2B group for assistance?
    • How will costs that remain to be paid, eg monthly subscription?
    • How is that to be determined, eg flat rate, square footage, turnover?
  • Time: how long will it take to get all the pieces in place?
  • Personnel: who is responsible for any equipment once it is in place?
  • Management: 
    • Who is heading the scheme?
    • How is the scheme to be managed?
    • Who will record decisions and chase actions? eg secretary
    • How often will you meet as a Group?

8. Other Considerations

  • Legal: if CCTV is part of the scheme, who is watching it, who is the data controller, system manager, etc? (See Information Commissioner’s Office notes on CCTV for advice and guidance.)
  • Media: consider publicity for the scheme in local press. This reassures visitors and tenants, and deters those out to do harm.
  • Promotion: advertise that yours is an area akin to a ‘neighborhood watch’ district, thereby providing reassurance and deterrence factors.
  • Communication: reach out to others who have set up such schemes eg South Bank, Canary Wharf, and Oxford Street and share challenges and solutions.

9.  Once established look to expand….



Risk Assessment – Factors to Consider

Within 400m (primary) and within 1,000m (secondary) of the target building/office, consider:

  • other corporate premises, especially US owned or managed (also key commercial sectors for possible protest groups eg mining, oil, pharma);
  • government offices, including embassies/consulates and national tourist offices;
  • national iconic sites ie picture-postcard locations;
  • military locations and barracks;
  • religious sites, especially synagogues;
  • top hotels (catering for major conferences, VIPs and high-profile delegations);
  • shopping malls and plazas;
  • sports grounds and jails (for potential protest or crowd activity);
  • overflight routes for aircraft, including locations of airports and helipads;
  • industrial/chemical factories and storage sites;
  • petrol stations and fuel depots, including rail or road transit/delivery and storage;
  • utility supplies, including tanks, pipes and distribution points;
  • drainage to cope with possible inundation (from sea, river, surface water, burst dams and levees);
  • major IT connectivity sites and routes (eg exchanges, cables, servers);
  • major transport intersections/hubs for road, tube/rail and shipping.

Other factors to consider in immediate vicinity:

  • other tenants in building/office;
  • banks and ATMs (for potential theft and kidnap);
  • location of emergency services (for speed of response);
  • police and warden coverage, including CCTV and guarding;
  • underground car parks and surface lorry parks;
  • open ground (for launch of line-of-sight rocket launchers);
  • WiFi sites (for war chalking);
  • ground and building resilience (for earthquakes and storms)