July 2019 / News

Process and Compliance, the New Best Defence

As an industry that was once seen as mercenary and cloaked in secrecy, to one of meticulous  governance and regulation by an International Code of Conduct and ISO standards, the reputation of private security has done a positive about turn.

After 15 years in the security business, Claire Green, Regional Director Europe for Hart, has witnessed first-hand the highs and lows of the industry as it continues to evolve.

Claire Green

Claire Green, Regional Director Europe, Hart.

What do you think was the defining point for the private security industry as we see it today?

When I first started working in security our focus was on the maritime sector and ISPS compliance for ships and ports. The US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 changed everything and the private security industry exploded to meet the demands of the international community (military, diplomatic and commercial) working in far more complex situations.

Today the security industry plays a vital role in supporting humanitarian, reconstruction works and capacity building in hostile environments – work that could otherwise not take place.  We are an enabler to the international community to do more good in more places. Hart’s workforce relies heavily on the local community, be that for manpower, services and local knowledge; we can help create a safe space for progress to take place.

How has security changed in terms of its options as a career choice?

I’m often asked how I got into security.  I believe security is now a career choice available to everyone, but when I started out it was almost exclusively former military personnel; I was an anomaly.  A lot has changed since then – for the better.  The industry has had to evolve to meet not only new international security challenges but also the demands of business and compliance with various standards.

What was your personal journey into the security industry?

It’s funny how I sort of fell into this line of work.  After a decade with blue chip companies, I decided I wanted to work for the UN.  Being overseas and doing something meaningful was important to me.  An opportunity came up with Hart that would set me on the right path in terms of exposure to operations and overseas work, and I grabbed it eagerly.  After a stint in London, I found myself in Iraq for two years at the height of the war (2005-2007).  After eight years living in and around the Middle East I returned to London to take up the Regional Director’s position.  I am still involved in global work with my main focus currently on Somalia and Afghanistan.

So, what happened to your dream of working for the UN?

That quickly faded when I became immersed in the security industry.  It’s ironic because I actually do work with the UN now but as a subcontractor rather than an employee.

So, through Hart I can learn about missions and provide services that enable humanitarian work to take place on the ground, but NGOs are now my clients.

I love the variety of clients, projects and countries I am involved in.

You’ve spent time working with the UK Government – how was that?

With Hart’s support for a new Government initiative (Joint Security and Resilience Centre or JSaRC) I was fortunate enough to be seconded to the Office for Security and Counterterrorism for 2 years as a security industry exert.  I was involved in working with industry to find solutions to national security challenges – everything from protective security measures in public spaces to fighting child sexual exploitation.  Government and industry must continue to find ways to work more closely together to keep our citizens safe.