One-off security event for museums to be held with National Security Advisor

The unique security training event will take place at Hull University and led by Arts Council England’s National Security Advisor, William Brown, on Thursday, May 11

This event has been designed to help professionals in the arts sector understand what the exact requirements are for security in application in regards the Government Indemnity Scheme, which offers an alternative to the cost of commercial insurance.

Why was the event set up, and what will be its main aims and objectives?

This training event at the Brynmor Jones Library at Hull University has been organised following the successful installation of roller shutters around the building, tested and accredited to meet the Loss Prevention Certification Board Standard LPS 1175.  These shutters helped to enabling the high value exhibition ‘Lines of Thought’ to be put on.

The main aim of this training event, is to create an opportunity for people in the arts and cultural sector to understand what the published security requirements are for the Government Indemnity Scheme. Furthermore, it will provide an excellent opportunity to see how the layers of security were used in the library building to maximum advantage and to allow high worth exhibitions to be taken. In addition there will be a chance to ask questions of the people involved.

The key objectives are:

  • Understanding the Security requirements of Government Indemnity scheme.
  • Layered Security in application; Roller shutters, detection and electronics.
  • Understanding the LPS 1175 Global Security accreditation.
  • Installation Challenges and concealment for roller shutters.
  • What made the difference on this project.

By the end of the day invitees will come away with a clear understanding of the requirements and have all the contacts in place for moving their project forward.

Charter Global's Obexion shutters, installed in the Brynmor Jones Library at Hull University, meet security standards. To disguise the mechanics from visitors to the gallery, motors and shutter boxes were hidden in a fake beam, designed to look like part of the structure, and meant that the shutters were hidden when raised

Who will benefit from attending the event and are there more planned for the future?

Anyone connected with security for museums, art galleries or cultural spaces that has a need to physically secure exhibition spaces. This event also has a direct correlation with insurance professionals and the need for estimators and assessors to understand the importance of the security standard LPS 1175. This event is being hosted at excellent facilities in Hull during their year as the UK Capital of Culture 2017. As such this event, cannot be repeated. It is strictly on a first come first served basis.

What is the Government Indemnity Scheme and how can it assist both large and small museums?

This scheme offers an alternative to the cost of commercial insurance. It allows organisations to display high value art and cultural objects to the public that might not otherwise have been shown due to the high cost of insurance. The scheme also provides cost-free indemnity cover to borrowing institutions for loss or damage to art or cultural items on short or long-term loan. Objects can be intended for public display or study purposes. However, it is conditional and covers loans from lenders in the UK and abroad, but not for loans from UK national museums and galleries – these museums lend at their own risk subject to the published Conditions being present. The scheme can cover collections in transit to and from the borrowing venue; storage; setting up; display; and dismantling.

What are the ‘Conditions’ for museums to be granted Government Indemnity?

The main security criteria for museums to be granted on the Government indemnity scheme is having security products accredited and certified to LPS 1175 to mitigate or minimise risks to the collections. In addition, products needs to be installed correctly and in line with the security risk plan approved by the security consultant.

What are the challenges of your role and why do you think is it important to offer museums assistance in this area?

Staff and volunteers engaged in Collections care are not specialist in security and have to understand that whilst an object has historic value it may have constituent or intrinsic values much greater and much more desirable than they ever anticipated. Rhino horn and Chines Jade being two such objects.

It is now seen as a challenge to gain an immediate police response to a venue with competing demands and as such venues have to use security barriers which are going to deter, delay and deny criminals gaining quiet, rapid and easy access to any collection objects. The time delays in creating security layers around collections require particular skills and the availability of devices which are tested to withstand considerable attack using various methods and tools sufficient to totally deter them or to delay them sufficiently to allow the response to capture them. Prevention is best and so professional advice as to the level of security required, and how to create the secure line to ensure the loans will get government indemnity sign off at completion are essential.

Security consultants, Project managers, Architects and Construction professionals work together to ensure the security hardening is fulfilled in the most efficient and cost-effective way. Charter Global is one company which specialises in providing solutions to these challenges.

What are the challenges faced by museums trying to achieve a more secure venue and what advice to you give them to overcome any obstacles?

There are many challenges faced by museums and art galleries especially if the building is a heritage site.

  • Balancing costs and priorities
  • Engaging knowledgeable security professionals at each level from the outset of the project.
  • The availability and accredited products to meet the LOSS Prevention Standards (LPS 1175.
  • Ensure the installation can be accredited and certified, not just a product off the shelf installed in inappropriate ways.

To register for the one-off security event visit event organiser Charter Global’s website and fill out the form.