The word SUSPICIOUS, attracts the immediate attention of most and especially those that are security trained. Recent developments in safety and security highlights the importance in identifying and reporting any suspicious person, activity, an object or a situation. Although causing a security scare or false alarm may be embarrassing for persons reporting suspicious activity the irreversible damage or worst, lost of life could be a lot harder to deal with.

‘Suspicious’ generally is defined as anything out of the norm that we encounter in our daily life. We may notice someone unfamiliar loitering within our work place (suspicious person), someone who is taking pictures or recording videos in a restricted, area of non interest (suspicious activity), a parcel received without a sender’s name (suspicious object) and maybe a door left open when it was supposed to be closed (suspicious situation). All these may appear normal to an untrained eye but not to a security personal.

Various researches have been conducted and published many articles on how to identify a suspicious person or item. A security officer should be adequately trained to spot these anomalies and respond to it. However in our experience this is not always the case and it is not easy to spot such anomalies. If it were, there would not be incidents such as bombings, thefts or lives lost.

As such, there is a need to remain vigilant and be alert of any changes to our usual environment and surrounding. What we learn in theory may not be adequate or accurate to a real time situation, hence the need for us to keep ourselves updated on any latest security incidents. While we can read articles and share them with others, downloads apps from government agencies that sends out alerts, actively participate in events related to security and visit exhibitions that showcases recent trends, security threats are evolving and perpetrators constantly find and use new methods for example the use of using a vehicle to ram pedestrians during a public event.

Government agencies working together to create more security awareness to members of public, to gather information and detect threats, such people remains limited. What’s more commonly available everywhere are the security personnel and the common persons walking the streets: they play a far more important role being literally the eyes on the ground, with the former mentioned being security trained. In security, the role of a security personnel and of a non security personnel may appear to be less significant within an organization but the truth cannot be further: security personnel and other front line staff are the first line of defence. What is ignored as a small unimportant occurrence may be the starting point of a larger scale incident.

So how do we report a suspicious occurrence? Contact your immediate supervisor or the Call 999 or the police anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321 to report an immediate threat to life or property.. Describe specifically what you have observed including:

  • Who or what you saw?
  • When you saw it?
  • Where it occurred?
  • Why it’s suspicious?

Your actions could save lives and prevent property damage. Be vigilant, stay safe.