Silverstone – the Formula One home of the British Grand Prix provided the dramatic backdrop for this year’s ORIS Forums Risk Summit – the annual Cross Forum networking event that attracted more than 80 retailers to share not only best practice, but also ‘next’ practice.


The 8th May Summit was the third annual event for ORIS Forums that has celebrated a dramatic year with the launch of four new risk Forums – Health and Safety, Logistics and Supply Chain, Brand Protection and Ireland as well as securing the ‘Best Collaborative Solution’ award at the Retail Fraud Awards 2013.


The event, sponsored by TAG Company, Orridge, Securitas, The Cardinal Group, Clipper Retail, Arca, Trustwave, Transactis, LiveStore and Axis Communications attracted heads of LP, health and safety and supply chain risk from some of the UK’s biggest High Street and online brands to the Northamptonshire Circuit to hear keynote speakers and take part in round table discussions on the challenging issues impacting their businesses.


The day was opened by Alec Grocott, head of Health and Safety at Waterstones and chair of the newly-formed Health and Safety Forum, who said: “There is a clear need to share best practice and deal with some of the negative media coverage of health and safety which in reality deals with some really serious issues including malicious compensation claims and parents abandoning children in our stores.”


“I have been involved in health and safety for more than 30 years and the sharing of this Forum is the best I have been involved with in all that time – it has worked spectacularly well. Both in the meetings and offline, this group has acted like a Wikipedia of health and safety information. They are happy to share in an environment where everyone contributes and provides benchmarking evidence for members who may be trying to get additional resource from their own businesses, as well as providing CPD points for attending,”


DI David Parkes of the Met’s anti-terrorist Operation Fairway provided the delegates with details of insider threat document awareness – the use of forged papers including passports in order to perpetrate acts of terror.


He said that the threat had moved from terrorist groups to radicalised ‘lone attackers’, many of whom had infiltrated legitimate businesses using forged or stolen documents including passports that sell for as much as £10,000 each.


One example given was that of an animal rights activist who worked for the DVLA in Swansea who had provided fellow campaigners with the vehicle details and addresses of researchers and lab staff involved in animal experiments – a security breach that had resulted in targeted attacks.


Purges of employees carried out after the two-hour Fairways workshop training resulted in one company sacking 317 workers because a search revealed their documents fell short on authenticity. He said a staggering 80,000 people a year change their name on a whim and apply for a passport and a further 300,000 passports per year go missing. He added that it was not illegal to buy or possess a novelty passport, such as one from a country that no longer existed, although perpetrators would be committing the offence of deception if you try and open an account using a Czechoslovakian or Yugoslavian passport.
Doug Russell, head of health and safety at USDAW spoke about the shop worker’s trade union campaign ‘Freedom from Fear’ because there was concern that the latest figures revealed violence and threats against shop staff were on the increase and under-reporting was becoming a challenge.


“This could be for a number of reasons – they try to report it, but they are embarrassed or do not bother because nothing happened on previous occasions, or that reporting it would result in it being viewed as their fault,” he said.


“As a union, we have interviewed 3000 shop workers and found that 57 per cent had been victims of verbal abuse, 35 per cent had received threats and four per cent had been physically assaulted.”


The biggest flash points, he said, were not LP-related, but to do with service issues such as refusing under age sales, and a new phenomena of ‘self-scan rage.’


Kevin McMenimen then gave an overview of the LP Foundation certification programme that has been in the US since 2006 and is to be introduced in the UK and Europe during 2014.


“The LP Qualification and the higher LP Certification provide industry benchmarking for when organisations are making hiring decisions. It means that they know that the job applicant is at this level to begin with. It is a commitment to elevate the profession,” he said.


Both qualifications, to be launched through ORIS Media in the UK, require more than 40-hour study and a final examination.

“We are building a better candidate pool and advancing our profession – so why not lead it rather than be led,” he added.

The final presentation came from Mark Johnson, chairman of The Risk Management Group (TRMG) who gave an insight into the mind of the cyber criminal.


He said the City of London Police figures revel that 70 per cent of reported incidents were now cyber-crime related, many of which were using social media
through vulnerable hot spots including coffee shops as a result of businesses banning staff going online during working time, a policy that can make organisations more vulnerable to cyber attacks “Despite desk and laptop anti virus protection, less than five per cent of smart phones have anti malware, even though there may be more personal and transactional information on phones that double as mobile wallets,” he said.


He said modern malware was both automated and sophisticated and that the so-called ‘Deep Web’ – up top 150 billion Internet pages – is not penetrated by conventional search engines including Google or Yahoo. English language sites only represent 27 per cent of the web while Chinese language websites alone represent 24 per cent of all searches.


The afternoon sessions involved round table discussions on topics as diverse as preparedness for Glasgow 2014 – the Commonwealth Games, Supply Chain resilience, malicious ‘slip and trip’ claims and international loss prevention.


Director of ORIS Forums and managing editor of LP Magazine EU, Louise Henham said: “Silverstone has over the years seen some high-powered performances, both on and off the track, and this risk summit was certainly not short of high-octane subject matter. The day was extremely well-attended and provided some excellent networking and through-provoking presentations.”


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