Security Assessment and Planning
The history of security services goes as far back as the ancient times when communities would have warriors whose role was to protect the communities from external threats. Later countries formed security services which acted to respond to organised threats to the nations’ security. The secret services fight threats such as terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It is also responsible for providing advice to the governments, businesses and other organisations on matters to do with security. They guide the government on how to deal with any threats that may arise.
The sole responsibility of the secret service is to protect and reduce the vulnerability of the countries to threats paused by organised groups. The history of secret services goes as far back as the First World War. Most of the countries that were affected by the war saw the need of having a defined investigative department that could warn the government of any threats. Apart from recognizing threat from outside the countries, the services were also formed so that traitors and those who were plotting from within the countries could be identified and stopped.
During the First World War, most countries were caught unaware and since they had not prepared, they were adversely destroyed by the enemy ( Stees, 1998). After the cold war, most countries developed permanent secret services. Initially the security organizations only dealt with threats related to physical wars. Their main responsibility was to warn the government and the society of any impending war. They did not have sufficient technology to enable them to carry out their responsibilities effectively. They mostly depended on spies to give them information.
They also had to forge strong relationships with other services so that information could be exchanged. Their role required more physical presence than now. It was not easy for them as some times there was deception and wrong information passed. Spies could also become traitors hence jeopardizing the security of the societies. Problems arouse when deception problem was that there were. The role of security services has changed over time. Today, the security service organizations have a lot more to deal with in terms of threat to the security of societies and the nation as a whole.
Initially, the only threat was that of physical war and attacks to a society. But today they have to fight threats such as terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and espionage. With the development in technology, the security organizations also have to fight any form of threat to the societies through technology. For example thefts of vital governmental information like on military and defence by another country or enemy organization using the new information technology.
With the rapid increase in international terrorist attacks which have claimed many lives and caused destruction to property worth billions of money, most security service organizations have concentrate their resources on international counter terrorism. These organisations also deal with disasters that may occur abruptly such as earthquakes and hurricanes. They have the responsibility of responding by going to help the affected individuals (Stees, 1998). There are various types of threats to modern society’s safety and security.
These include the natural disasters such as drought, earthquakes, and hurricanes amongst others. These are threats that are caused by nature and human beings have no control over them. They are described as threats because when they occur there usually is massive lose of human lives and property. Another type of threat is that caused by development in technology. Some developments have been reported to cause accidents that cost human lives and also lose of property.
An example is the 1995 toxic gas release in Kosice, Slovak Republic that resulted to very many people losing their lives. Several other accidents have been reported in manufacturing industries and other organizations. Developments such as the genetically Modified Foods are also said to be a threat to societies as individuals are reported to be eating food stuffs that have chemicals still retained in them hence harming their health. International terrorism has become a major threat to the modern society’s safety and security.
Terrorism has caused massive loss of lives and properties. It has even made some individuals to be physically impaired as a result of the attacks mounted by the terrorists. Another threat that is related to terrorism is piracy. Today most people cannot travel by sea comfortably for fear of being hijacked. There have been numerous reports of ships being hijacked and the crew plus those on board killed. Piracy is becoming a major concern for societies as it is making it hard for those who depend on long distance trade hard to operate.
Societies can not comfortably import what they need as well as export what they produce. It has made businesses lose a lot of money in terms of paying ransom money and sometimes losing their cargo. Diseases are also a threat to the safety of the modern societies. An example is the HIV Aids which is claiming lots of lives daily. The fact hat its cure has not been discovered makes it worse. An outbreak of other contagious diseases is also a threat to societies. Risk refers to the probability of a specific event happening (Pearson, Roux-Dufort & Judith, 2007).
A risk is something that can be avoided and its impact or occurrence can be lessened or mitigated types of risks that are a threat to the safety of people and places are the natural and man made disasters such as the hurricanes, earthquakes and explosion of chemical lab, forced eviction, insecurity of tenure, violence such as that caused by terrorists and urban crime such as being robbed armed robbers. Most of the risks especially those that are man-made can be avoided or the probability of their occurrence can be minimized.
The risk of terrorism can be reduced by the security officials making sure that they are through with the documents of people entering the country. The reason for a visit should be thoroughly evaluated before a visa is issued. The activities of suspects should also be monitored and nothing ignored. The high technology surveillance equipment in public areas can also be useful in stopped such activities from being carried out. The natural disasters can not be stopped from happening but the number of lives claimed by such disasters can be reduced.
This is by way of using the new technology, in weather focus for example, it can be foretold if there is going to be heavy rains, storms or hurricanes. The citizens can then be warned to vacate the prone areas before it happens. Earthquake tremors can also be foreseen and people vacated before they occur. This would ensure safety and security to the citizens lives. Standards of the operation and working conditions of all manufacturing companies and the quality of their products should be checked to ensure that the conditions are conducive to the employees and that consumers are not consuming products that would harm their health.
Private security personnel usually have limited authority. Their role mainly is to watch over a place to ensure that order is maintained. They can only stop people from going against regulations of the institution they are watching over. They also deal with petty mistakes that are not serious. Most security officers have very limited or almost no police powers. These personnel are not allowed to carry weapons and in the event that they do, permits must be obtained. The only link between these personnel and the police is that they usually work together in cooperation.
They also have no powers to make arrests. However, some security officers such as the ones who work in the governmental intelligence security services have all police powers and sometimes even more. Security officials should be allowed to carry weapons such as guns. This is because their work is dangerous and most of the time they encounter armed robbers. Most security officers lose their lives because they usually have no means of defending themselves. The permission to carry these weapons should only be given after that has been investigated and has been found to have no criminal records.
The use of these weapons should also be restricted. The security officers should only use the weapons in the event that they lives or lives of those in the building they are guarding is threatened. They must have sufficient proof for this. The security personnel should also be allowed to make arrests. This in fact will make it easier for the police who are known for arriving for arriving late at crime scenes which usually give the suspects time to get away. Giving the security officers and guards these powers could help solve this problem.
The security officers have to be trained thoroughly on how to utilise these powers just as the police are so that they can avoid abusing them and making mistakes and in the event that they do, they can face the consequences. There are five levels of physical security protection. These are the minimum level, the low level security, the medium security, the high level security and the maximum security. The minimum level security is used to impede external unauthorised activities. This includes using simple barriers such as doors and windows that have locks.
A good setting of its use is in homes. In low level security system, the physical barriers are installed with more barriers that would also detect intrusion. This includes fitting the doors and windows with grills or a simple alarm system that would go off on unauthorised intrusion. They are commonly used in small business stores. The medium level system is one that detects and assesses any unauthorised external intrusion. It involves use of advanced intrusion alarms and unarmed security guards. It is mostly applied in manufacturing industries and other governmental institutions.
The high level security also impedes, detects and assesses unauthorised intrusion but at a higher level than the medium; level. It includes use of perimeter round the building fitted with advanced alarms, use of closed circuit television (CCTV), amongst others. It is mainly used in banks, supermarkets and pharmaceutical stores. The maximum security level detects, assesses and neutralizes any unauthorised intrusion. It includes use of sophisticated alarm system, trained and armed guards. It is mainly used in certain maximum prisons and territories with nuclear facilities.
The ASIS code of ethics is a guideline to the employees on what is expected of their behaviour. The primary requirements of this code are that the employees have to act in accordance with the law and exhibit high moral standards, that the employees are honest, truthful and perform their duties with high integrity. It also states that the employees perform their responsibilities with competence, safeguard confidential information and protect its disclosure to the wrong people and finally that an employee will not maliciously inure the reputation and practices of his colleagues.
A code of ethics is important in an occupation such as security because it helps to ensure the employees are carrying out sensitive operations in the most effective way. It ensures that mistakes that could have drastic effects are avoided. It also ensures that important and vital information does not get into the wrong hands hence jeopardizing security of the society. The element of safe guarding and protecting information so that it does not get in wrong hands is the most important element especially for the security of the nation.
The element of being honest and truthful also is important as it makes it easy to come up with solutions in case a problem arises as the solution will be based in the information given by the security personnel (Nemeth 2004). The code of ethics is important to warrant personal action if violated because the elements underlined in the code are vital for this profession and if any of them is violated, could causes a lot of insecurity or wrong firing of employees in the case of malicious inures to fellow colleagues. The code itself is a security measure hence should not be violated under any circumstances.