Brian Sims

Security Matters Podcast – Episode 11 now live to view

THE ELEVENTH episode of the fortnightly Security Matters Podcast for practising professionals in the security business sector is now live to view. Each episode features a round-up and analysis of the biggest news stories published on the magazine’s website in addition to discussions with specially selected professionals from the security business sector.

Our guests on Episode 11 of the Security Matters Podcast are Tony Porter QPM LLB (the Surveillance Camera Commissioner at the Home Office) and Professor Phil Wood MBE MRAeS FRGS SFHEA, Head of the School of Aviation and Security at Buckinghamshire New University.

The office of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner was created under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 in a determined bid by the Government to further regulate CCTV. The Protection of Freedoms Act required a Code of Practice to be produced about surveillance camera systems. The resulting Surveillance Camera Code of Practice duly sets out guidelines for CCTV and, indeed, Automatic Number Plate Recognition Systems.

In essence, the core role of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner is to encourage compliance with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice, continually review how the Code of Practice is working and provide salient advice to Government ministers on whether or not the Code of Practice requires amendment.

Having no enforcement or inspection powers, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner works with relevant authorities to make them aware of their duty to have regard to the Code of Practice. The Surveillance Camera Commissioner must also consider how best to encourage voluntary adoption of the Code of Practice by other operators of surveillance camera systems

In addition, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner is responsible for providing advice on the effective, appropriate, proportionate and transparent use of surveillance camera systems, as well as operational and technical standards.

Surveillance challenges

Benefiting from a combination of business and law enforcement expertise, Tony Porter is an intelligence specialist (having gained experience in this field within the financial sector) and is also a retired senior police leader. Indeed, he’s a proud holder of the Queen’s Police Medial.

Porter’s experience spans community and business engagement, international counter-terrorism and working to defeat serious and organised crime.

When his spell as Surveillance Camera Commissioner began back in 2014, Porter said that he wouldn’t remain in post unless he could make a genuine difference. Does Porter believe that he has made that genuine difference across the years? Listen to Episode 11 and find out.

During Episode 11 of the Security Matters Podcast, Porter also addresses some of the biggest surveillance challenges currently facing the security business sector.

Artificial Intelligence is being put forward by many respected commentators as the future of surveillance and technology in general. Recently, Security Matters reported on the Court of Appeal case involving Ed Bridges and Liberty. On the Security Matters Podcast, Tony Porter offers his assessment of the verdict in that case and its impact not just on policing, but also for the general users of automated facial recognition technology.

Of late, there has been talk of one individual carrying out the role of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner and the Biometrics Commissioner simultaneously. What might that scenario look like in practice? Is it workable? What would be the end result? Porter offers his considered and thought-provoking views on the matter.

Looking ahead, what will be the biggest challenges facing Porter’s successor at the Home Office? Listen to Episode 11 of the Security Matters Podcast and find out.

The Security Consortium

As stated, our second guest on Episode 11 of the Security Matters Podcast is Phil Wood, Head of the School of Aviation and Security at Buckinghamshire New University.

Wood is an organisational resilience specialist and also an academic. His background includes military service in various roles and the delivery and management of corporate resilience programmes for industry. He’s fully committed to the ongoing progression of the Higher Education sector and to finding solutions for the challenges it faces.

Wood holds a Master’s degree in Security and Risk Management from the University of Leicester and was awarded the MBE in Her Majesty The Queen’s New Year’s Honours List in 2000.

As reported by Security Matters, Buckinghamshire New University, Frontier Risks Group, the Silverback Security Academy and the SGW Consulting Group have joined forces to launch The Security Consortium with a stated mission of inspiring and developing excellence in security, risk and resilience through innovative, current and collaborative learning opportunities, accredited qualifications and general support for the global interconnected security profession.

The founding partners describe The Security Consortium as “a progressive, non-aligned consortium of UK and globally recognised, trusted and long-established security and resilience training and educational specialists. Each of us has a proven track record of innovation and success and, together, we share an independent, impartial and inclusive approach in our drive for excellence in ourselves, our learners and our clients.”

On Episode 11 of the Security Matters Podcast, Phil Wood outlines the idea behind The Security Consortium and explains precisely how the various partners came to be involved in this excellent initiative which is designed to benefit practitioners and the security sector as a whole.

Further, Wood pinpoints the key aims of the initiative and advises how the readers of Security Matters can become involved. Long-term plans for The Security Consortium are also discussed.

Listen to the Security Matters Podcast

You can listen to the Security Matters Podcast – kindly sponsored by The Security Event, which runs at the NEC in Birmingham from 27-29 April 2021 – for free on iTunes or Spotify. To download the Security Matters Podcast on iTunes or Spotify, all you need to do is enter the term ‘Security Matters’ into your chosen platform’s search box.

Alternatively, you can listen to the Security Matters Podcast online at or via the dedicated Security Matters YouTube channel by clicking here.

*If there are any particular topics or themes you would like us to cover on future editions of the Security Matters Podcast (which are live to view every fortnight on Wednesdays) please do contact us. You can do so on Twitter by using the hashtag #SecurityPod or simply send an e-mail direct to

**Don’t forget to follow Security Matters on Twitter at and make sure you access all of the latest news, views and opinion from the security world by visiting our website at where you can also sign up for our popular weekly eNews bulletins

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