Evaluating Security Interventions in Public Locations: Developing and Testing a Co-created Framework for Protective Security

This project will help understand unintended consequences of flawed protective security logic, and more importantly provide a framework to consider success from the earliest possible stage across the protective security spectrum (e.g., training, physical security, people and personnel, and procedural).

There is a growing need to understand how protective security can be co-created effectively and efficiently and – more fundamentally – what data should be collected to gain a better picture of whether and how the intervention measures have ‘worked’ in terms of both delivery and uptake. If protective security is not considered properly and at the earliest stage, it can lead to unintended social consequences, such as the over-securitisation of spaces, visible measures that don’t blend in to the environment, and unintended vulnerability where protective security has not been considered holistically – including where hostile vehicle mitigation has been introduced but an organisational security culture does not exist, or where people security has not been a core consideration in the recruitment or operational deployment of staff. This may then increase the threat of terrorism rather than to manage, mitigate, or reduce it.

This research seeks to fill the gap by developing a new methodological, evaluative framework which enhances the holistic effectiveness and socio-economic impact of a wide range of protective security policies and practices formulated for the protection of publicly accessible locations and implemented by government, security, and law enforcement agencies, as well as business organisations. Underpinning our approach is the need to ensure that measures are proportionate to the threat.

The project will achieve this aim by utilising a predominantly qualitative research methodology divided into four phases:

  1. Assessing Protective Security Evaluative Practice
  2. Formulating Protective Security Logics for the Evaluation Design
  3. Evaluative Action Research in Use Cases
  4. Adapting and Developing Evaluation Thinking Tools and Frameworks.

Project resources

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