Regional Private Security Summit – Bucharest 2019

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Bucharest, 15th of November 2019.

It was the most important security event of this year, in Romania and one of the largest in the Central and Eastern Europe area.

Starting from 2016, each and every year, in November, the Romanian Federation of Security Service celebrates the Private Security’s Day, an endeavour aiming to enhance the public image of our sector, but also to facilitate exchanges and cooperation both regionally and internationally.

This year’s event was particularly special as it coincided with the 10th anniversary of the Federation, the largest and all-encompassing associative structure of the Romanian private security sector.

The Summit was the starting event of the Private Security Day, and enjoyed a large audience of over 200 security professionals coming from both the public and private sectors, including representatives of important customers, from the banking sector, retail sector, energy, and other critical infrastructures.  A notable partaking in the summit, namely the representatives of the embassies of France, Qatar, and the United States to Bucharest, must be mentioned and saluted, as well.

Yet, the international participation in our event was a remarkable one. CoESS and EURALARM, the most important European private security organizations were represented at the Bucharest summit by their top representatives, Martin Harvey (the current president of Euralarm) and Eduardo Cobas Urcelay (Board Director of CoESS). Besides, representatives of the private security sector and security associations from neighbouring countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, and Ukraine, joined and contributed to the success of the summit, as well. Nonetheless, some remarkable inputs to discussions and exchanges during the summit came from outside our region, too.  Runar Karlsen, the director of NHO, the Norwegian private security association and Caroline Bashford, a board director of ASIS International, Chapter UK added their valuable contributions to our discussion panels.

The central theme of the summit was the regional and international cooperation in the private security sector.

A dedicated panel to this topic revealed the many benefits and opportunities resulting from participating in international professional exchanges. Both, Martin Harvey (EURALARM) and Eduardo Cobas (CoESS) emphasised the major role of private security organizations and associations, acting as some facilitating and collaboration platforms between companies and professionals, worldwide. They also presented the joint CoESS and EURALARM project The Cybersecurity Guideline as an example of such fruitful international collaboration. On the same note, Alen Javorovic (the Croatian Private Security Chamber) presented cases of successful projects of joint regional cooperation between security associations in South-East Europe and revealed the Croatian experience in managing and mobilizing its organization members’ support behind such cross-border projects.

Viktor Panchak from the Association of Corporate Security Professionals (ACSP) – Ukraine, also underlined the importance of cooperation between private security associations but, at the same time he pointed out another valuable cooperative dimension, namely the systematic dialogue between the private security organizations representing security providers and associations of the security services’ end-users such as, corporate security organizations. In his intervention, Mr. Panchak also highlighted the newly established excellent relations and exchanges between his organizations and the Romanian Federation of Security Services.

Gabriel Badea, the current president of the Federation’s conclusion was that “Cross-border networking and collaboration between security professionals and security companies are some key factors in enhancing both the security practice and security business, as well”.

Other panels in the Summit discussed equally important topics, covering almost the whole spectrum and denominations of private security.

For instance, regarding cybersecurity, a discussion panel was dedicated to the state-sponsored cyberattacks against critical infrastructures and available countermeasures. Debates on security technology were focused on the advent of Artificial Intelligence and its influence on the development of new and more effective security solutions. Security educational programs, the balance between hard and soft skills were debated by a panel of specialists in security management, while aspects of post-security assessment relations with customers were presented in a panel dedicated to security consultants.

Last but not least, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the private security sector was another theme of outmost interest in the Summit. In a sector that has to deal, on a regular basis with highly serious matters such as, human freedoms, property rights and labour rights, security companies should be more determined than others to follow a responsible and ethical behaviour. Moreover, as the panellist Runar Karlsen (NHO Norway) pointed-out, a sound CSR policy may generate some added value to security services and could be regarded as a quality differentiating factor in the cost-driven competition environment of private security. According to Silvian Pena (Romanian Security Employers Association), a social responsibility policy should start from within the security company by improving the working conditions and encouraging dialogue with its own employees and must continue outside by an increased and more visible involvement of the private sector in some sensitive and relevant issues that concerns the general public. Security for Children, the recent initiative of the Romanian Security Industry Association (ARIS), is an example of how private security can positively contribute to the general public effort of preventing and responding to crisis situations related to missing or abducted children.

Besides the debating panels, some memorable contributions and interventions came from the audience during the Q&A sessions, as well.

For instance, the legal protection for security officers emerged as a critical issue of these days, and in the context of an increased number of recorded assaults and other violent acts against security personnel, the participants concluded that this rising problem should be regarded more seriously by both, private security organizations and public authorities, as well.

DAHUA a world-leading video-centric smart IoT solution and service provider was the main sponsor of the event.

Along the Regional Summit, the Private Security’s Day in Romania featured also the Bucharest Security Trade Show and the Romanian edition of the Outstanding Security Performance Award (the OSPAs).

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