Andrew Pope, our Head of Risk, was invited to speak at this week’s ATM Cyber and Security Conference as a result of our efforts to tackle ATM crime with the introduction of SmartWater technology across our stores.
Sharing the stage with likes of the Home Office, Met Police and the FBI, this was a great opportunity for us to show how we were leading the way with our approach. Andrew told me how one consideration behind the project was colleagues’ responses on last year’s Talkback survey. The messages about safety and security were clearly heard and this project helps to remove the temptation to target our stores for this sort of crime. As they say, prevention is better than cure.
Andrew leads our team of risk managers across the UK who look at reducing crime, improving health and safety and making sure that we comply to all regulations in these areas – all so that colleagues and customers have a safe and secure environment to come to work and shop in. With previous roles in the Home Office and law enforcement agencies, it’s no wonder that he’s helping our Co-op be seen at the forefront in the battle to tackle crime. He’s also been awarded the OBE for his public services.
One thing that was clear from the conference itself was that the issue isn’t just for us… it’s one where we need the co-operation of the ATM providers to work together and not in isolation to sort out this nationwide issue.
Of course, SmartWater across our ATMs is just one visible security and safety action we’ve taken. Andrew assures me that most of his team’s work is actually invisible to the majority of colleagues and customers as it’s all about thinking what could happen, and making sure we’re working in a way that means it doesn’t happen.