Security firm chief warns against complacency

Former police officer and counter terrorism specialist Ross McDermott has been appointed as the new

Former police officer and counter terrorism specialist Ross McDermott has been appointed as the new head of aviation and specialist services at Dardan Security. Picture: Peter Treglown/FOUR - Credit: FOUR

The new head of special operations at East Anglia's largest security firm believes complacency is 'no longer an excuse' for companies or individuals to neglect their security arrangements.

Seasoned investigator Ross McDermott - an expert in counter-terrorism measures and hostage and crisis negotiation - joined Dardan Security in January as head of aviation and special services, with responsibility for security at Norwich and Aberdeen Airports.

After more than a decade with the police, he is looking forward to exploring new applications for his skills – beginning with some basic security advice.

'It is all about vigilance and making sure people are aware of what to do,' he said.

'Many people would say that it will not apply to them because they live in Norfolk, and nothing happens in Norfolk - but it can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Without meaning to go scaremongering, people need to be prepared for that.'

Mr McDermott worked his way to the rank of detective chief inspector before going on to work in special operations, particularly around public order.

He was approached for a job in the private sector but feels his new role will bring opportunities to work closely with his old colleagues.

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'The police is massively constrained by shrinking budgets, while also being asked to do more,' he said. 'You cannot do both effectively. From that perspective, they will lean more on private security to broaden their horizons and help their efforts.' Part of his remit will be ensuring the safety of VIPs visiting East Anglia and travelling into Norwich Airport, for which he also had responsibility while working with the police.

In his role as head of special services, he plans to look at companies' situations to assess the level of security needed, whether physically or digitally.

He believes there is no 'general plan' for company security. 'To give something meaningful, you need to know why the company or even the person is at risk or thinks they are,' he said.

He added that businesses and individuals often have a 'mixed understanding' of present security threats. 'Sometimes there is complacency, people thinking it will not happen - but that is not an excuse any more,' he said.