OSPAs Thought Leadership Summit: Ex offenders talk about security

They have a term for medicines designed to do good but actually make things worse, it is called the iatrogenic effect. Exactly the same is true of security. It is not just that if security is poor, it will fail, it is worse than that; it can actually make things worse. I know this because offenders tell me. I have interviewed them in prison and they confirm that they rely on security not being effective in order to be successful, and mostly they say security has gaps that they can exploit. Of course, prolific offenders will occasionally get caught, but only occasionally, most often they are successful and the principal over-riding reason is that security is inadequate.

I want to point you to three examples, insurance fraudsters, shop thieves and drug offenders.  What is clear is that all these offenders look for easy opportunities – conditions where they believe they will not be caught. Sometimes security can actually help them. Offenders tell me that often people think the security they have is good and so it lulls them into a false sense of security. We need to be careful of underestimating just how capable offenders are at identifying security weaknesses.

It can be quite galling, yet very instructive to hear them speak. The real danger is that we don’t listen to what they have to say. Contrary to what many people think, ex-offenders are the ultimate thought leaders when it comes to security.

Don’t just take my word for it; you have the chance to see for yourself and listen to some ex-offenders at the OSPAs Thought Leadership Summit on Thursday 1st March 2018, in the afternoon before the UK OSPAs event, at the Royal Lancaster London hotel. More details can be found here.

Professor Martin Gill.

Learn more about Shoplifters, Insurance Fraudsters and Drug Dealers