Meet the team – Scotland

Executive Board


ACC Gary Ritchie, Police Scotland

As strategic lead for the Partnerships, Prevention and Community Wellbeing portfolio (reporting to DCC Local Policing), ACC Ritchie has responsibility for developing new approaches to working with other Scottish public services to achieve better outcomes for communities.

Before taking up his current post ACC Ritchie had also been working in the Operational Change and Resilience portfolio since late 2018, having been seconded from his role as Local Policing Commander at Dumfries and Galloway Division.

He had been promoted to Chief Superintendent at Dumfries and Galloway in 2016, having previously been a support superintendent in Edinburgh.

On inception of Police Scotland, Chief Superintendent Ritchie led the Local Policing Development and Support team as both a temporary and substantive Superintendent from 2013 to 2015.

He joined Strathclyde service in 1991 initially in Irvine and had various uniform and corporate support roles in North Ayrshire and Glasgow, latterly as Area Commander in North Ayrshire from 2010.

Russel Kerr

Managing Director, SecuriGroup

A graduate of the University of Aberdeen, Russel Kerr joined the board of SecuriGroup in 2001 before his appointment as Managing Director in 2003. His role at SecuriGroup involves oversight of statutory compliance and corporate risk, IT and communications.

Russel is a member of the Security Institute, and is an Executive Committee Member, as well as Regional Chair of the British Security Industry Association. He continues to support best industry practice by working closely with the sector’s Home Office Regulator, having held a number of positions including the Security Industry Authority’s Strategic Consultation Group and Quality Standards Committee.

Project Manager:

Sergeant Neil Grant

Scottish Business Resilience Centre

Neil is a Police Sergeant with over 24 years’ policing experience. He joined the Scottish Business Resilience Centre on secondment in August 2020. Neil has experience in a variety of policing roles including armed policing, management support, response, community and rural policing.

Neil is responsible for day-to-day management of the seconded team of police officers working within the centre, and has overview of Best Bar None and the counter terrorism element of the centre workstream.

Executive Board:

Alasdair Perry

Deputy Assistant Chief Officer, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service 

Alasdair is a Deputy Assistant Chief Officer and Head of Prevention and Protection for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, and undertakes Incident Command as required in this role.

He is experienced in partnership working, including involvement in large scale projects, including the reform of the fire service in Scotland, and has held a number of positions within the SFRS including as a Local Senior officer for Midlothian, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders, the Business Manager for the Chief Officer, and Head of Service Delivery for the East of Scotland.

In his current role, Alasdair is responsible for Fire Safety Enforcement, Fire Engineering, Fire Investigation, and Community Safety Engagement on behalf of the service. In this role, he engages with partners across the public sector, businesses and local communities.

Ross Baird

Head of Resilience, Scottish Government

Ross joined Strathclyde Regional Council on leaving school and joined their Emergency Planning Unit in 1990. He has worked in the Resilience profession ever since, including the following key roles:

Council Emergency Planning Officer for North Ayrshire Council; Emergency Preparedness Engineer for the Nuclear Industry;  Senior Regional Resilience Co-ordinator, and latterly as Head of Response, Communications, and Resilient Communities for the Scottish Government.

Inspector Ian Stephen

Head of Business Resilience, Scottish Business Resilience Centre 

Originally from Perthshire, Ian joined Northumbria Police in 1992 and spent the first 8 years of his service in Sunderland and Newcastle before transferring to Armed Policing at Jarrow.

After transferring to Lothian and Borders Police in 2002, Ian worked in various stations in Edinburgh before a 2 year stint in the Stolen Vehicle Squad. Ian was then promoted to Sergeant in Operational Planning where he was lead policing planner for many of Edinburgh’s main events, including Hogmanay. Ian then worked on the transformation to the single police service where he was promoted to Inspector and was appointed Staff Officer to the Gold Commander for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Ian was operational in Fife Division for 3 years before moving to his current post at the Scottish Business Resilience Centre. Ian has significant experience of partnership working and currently leads on business resilience at the SBRC.

Emma Russell

Emergency Response  & Security Manager, INEOS

Emma has worked within the Petrochemical sector for over 25 years, having primarily focused on emergency management and then moving into her current role as the Emergency Response & Security Manager for INEOS Olefins & Polymers based in Grangemouth. Her role covers the INEOS Chemical and Petroineos Refining businesses and their associated sites in Scotland and the North of England. She is responsible for ensuring all legal, Government and INEOS Group requirements pertaining to site security and access control are appropriately identified, defined, and implemented.

Emma also manages a critical team of Industrial Emergency Responders who provide a multitude of services to top-tier COMAH sites.

Rob Mason

Senior Commercial Manager, Forth Ports Operations

Rob has been the Senior Commercial Manager and Head of Security for Forth Ports Scottish Operations for over 12 years. He is responsible for managing and implementing security solutions across 7 ports and 2 statutory harbour authority areas, which support a diverse range of market sectors, involving everything from containerised cargos to passengers. Rob ensures compliance with strict government counter terrorist guidelines, security of supply chains, operational and reputation risk mitigation and ensuring business continuity in the event of security incidents through contingency and operational planning.

Rob is a qualified chartered Surveyor and Port Facility Security Officer, holding the posts of Chair and Port Security Officer for two Port Security Authorities, with extensive experience engaging across key stakeholder and working groups including local and national government organisations, UK Law Enforcement Agencies, and private sector businesses.

Sonia Kumar

Principal Manager (Cyber Security), Vodafone

Sonia Kumar joined Vodafone in 2016, and is responsible for Cyber Security Incident Management globally across Vodafone. Sonia leads a global team of incident responders to provide fast and structured response to security events, and is passionate about security and keeping people safe.

Sonia enjoys coaching colleagues, engaging with apprentices and graduates and generally supporting people in their career development. Before joining Vodafone, Sonia spent sixteen years in different roles within HMG Intelligence and Security departments. She was responsible for maintaining national security interests, and was pivotal to maintaining public safety and security during the London 2012 Olympics.

Stewart Hughes

Head of Group Security, SSE

Stewart holds the position of Head of Group Security & Investigations at SSE, a role that is responsible for the safety and security of staff, operational assets and investigations along with the running of the company whistleblowing register. He also Chairs an Industry Security Group with broad and varied security responsibilities.

Following a degree at Heriot Watt University, he joined Fife Constabulary. Several roles and 8 years later, an opportunity to lead the fraud team at Morgan Stanley’s credit card division presented itself where he progressed to Senior Manager, and after a further 5 years, he joined Scottish and Southern Energy taking up the position of Deputy Head of Asset Protection.

Stewart has a firm commitment to ensuring that his organisation has a unique approach to Whistleblowing investigations and protections and is a regular speaker at such events.

Johanna Buchanan

Customer Security Business Manager, NatWest Group

Johanna is a Security Business Manager at NatWest Group, with over 15 years of experience in Security and Fraud roles within the bank. She has expertise in security strategy, fraud prevention and information security.

Seconded from NatWest, Johanna managed the creation of CSSC Scotland in 2013-2014 ahead of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.  She worked closely with public and private sector partners to help keep businesses informed and safe ahead of and during the Games.

Johanna holds an MA in International Business and Languages from Heriot-Watt University and a Diploma in Financial Crime Prevention.

Ciaran Pugh

Threat Intelligence, NatWest Group

Ciaran is a security professional specialising in Global Physical Security Threat Intelligence at NatWest Group. He has expertise in threat intelligence monitoring and assessment pertaining to physical crime occurring at retail estates, country security and terrorism, protest and campaign activity, infectious disease and travel security.

Ciaran founded the Scottish Intelligence Sharing Forum in 2017 with its sole purpose of bringing together Scottish-based security professionals to discuss and share intelligence. This became a huge success with the SISF now hosting c.40 security professionals across 30 different organisations, and received recognition from organisations across the world as well as Police Scotland for the work carried out alongside CSSC for COP26.

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