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SBD ATLAS returns bigger & better after pandemic hiatus

2023 has seen the return of the Secured by Design (SBD) ATLAS national training conference and exhibition for the first time since 2020, with this year’s event heralded as the biggest and best yet.

The event saw over 200 Designing Out Crime Officers (DOCOs) from across the UK join senior police officers and a range of guest speakers to attend workshops, as well as network with more than 50 SBD member companies exhibiting hundreds of security products.

SBD is the flagship of a range of crime prevention ventures that come under the banner of Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI), which also include the Police Crime Prevention Academy, the Licensing SAVI initiative, the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme, Secured Environments and the Park Mark Safer Parking Scheme.

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The SBD ATLAS event heard keynote addresses led by Martin Hewitt QPM, Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and Chair of the Police CPI Board; the NPCC Prevention Lead and Chief Constable of Merseyside Police Serena Kennedy; the Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Stephen Watson QPM; and the South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Lauren Poultney.

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There was a heart wrenching, emotive and inspiring presentation and address to the conference from Figen Murray OBE, who lost her son in the Manchester bombing and is the force behind Martyn’s Law, named in honour of her son.

Delegates also heard from the Home Office, who spoke about the Clear, Hold, Build response for UK policing and partner agencies to tackle Organised Crime; the British Parking Association who spoke on the changes to Park Mark scheme; SBD’s IoT Technical Officer who gave an update on the requirements on the manufacturer of all consumer IoT products now that the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Act 2022 has been enacted into law; and received an update on the Electronic Call Handling Operations (ECHO) system that provides an automated link between all police recognised Alarm Receiving Centres and police force responder despatch desks.

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Additionally, delegates attended six workshops over the two-day event, which included focuses on Planning, Prevention, SBD Technical updates, the Youth & Community Centre Safety Scheme and Licensing SAVI.

Every member company exhibiting their SBD accredited products had the opportunity to meet every DOCO and explain how their products, which have achieved SBD’s Police Preferred Specification standard to help keep buildings, vehicles, people and communities safe, could be used to deter and reduce crime and help build safer communities.

The first full day of proceedings culminated in a gala dinner and Awards Night, which saw in excess of £2,000 being raised for Police CPI’s charity of the year, Care of Police Survivors (COPS), a charity that supports the families of police officers and staff who have lost their lives on duty.

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In his closing address SBD Chief Executive Officer, Guy Ferguson said the ATLAS events provide a wonderful opportunity to share best practice across police forces and for member companies to engage with DOCOs.

“I believe this year has been the largest and best event ever” he said, “It’s really great to see DOCOs comes together, have the opportunity to network with colleagues and SBD member companies from across the UK, learn from each other, and help each other.

“We’ve also heard from some inspirational police leaders, speaking around the importance of prevention, the importance of asking the right questions at the right time, having a preventative mindset and being innovative in our problem-solving approaches.

“Figen Murray’s speech was fantastic and so powerful. I know a lot of us were struggling as she gave the speech and it really spoke to us about what we do – that’s what we’re all about, that’s why we do the job that we do, that’s what inspires us going forward. It’s a very powerful and poignant reminder of why we do what we do.”

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