Britain leaving the European Union — dubbed a Brexit — will not make a difference to how fearful people are of a repeat of the Paris and Brussels-style attacks on the Western world, says the CEO of Newmark Security, a provider of electronic and physical security systems on London’s mid-cap market AIM
In a recent interview, Marie-Claire Dwek told Business Insider she believes that whichever way Britons vote in the EU referendum on June 23, people will still remain nervous of these threats and as a business, Newmark Security is seeing an increased level of demand for ballistic and blast resistant physical products.
“At a security industry level, a lot of attention will be drawn towards the terror aspect when the UK’s EU membership is called into question. Many of those that want out will cite the nature of the open borders and how people could potentially enter the country from continental Europe with minimal difficulty,” said Dwek to BI.
“I can’t imagine that much would change if we were to leave the EU as attacks on the continent, as anywhere else, will still make us nervous. We have already seen enquiries for our ballistic and blast resistant physical products grow exponentially and demand is driven by a genuine global market need, rather than anything that may happen at the UK polls. The majority of those who are investing in electronic security aren’t doing so because they expect to be attacked; they’re doing it because they want to keep unauthorised people out of sensitive areas, and again I don’t expect to see this trend change.”
Newmark Security, which has a market cap of £13.5 million ($19.7 million) provides products for businesses that include reactive security screens, reception counters, cash management systems and even bomb-proof doors for clients that range from Tesco, to the Post Office, and the Gherkin in the City of London.
>It also now has clients in the Middle East. They include a hotel client in Iraq (Erbir) which paid £307,000 for 25 ballistic doors, schools, hospitals and the Abu Dhabi National Oil company.
But in the West, Dwek pointed out that “the attacks we’ve seen in Brussels and Paris are at one extreme of a whole host of potential security threats that nations and businesses need to consider.”
France encountered one of its most brutal terrorist attacks in recent history when a number of gunmen and bombers killed 130 people and injured hundreds of others on November 13.
Only a few months later, in March this year, more than 30 people were killed after two bombings at Brussels airport and the Maelbeek metro station. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
“There has certainly been increased interest in our physical products and services over the shorter term, but we are seeing a longer trend evolving across the security and technology sectors,” said Dwek.
“There is an interesting paradox growing where businesses strive to be more efficient, more agile and have greater productivity, but set against a background of increasing physical security and greater regulation in the workplace. It’s our belief that these seemingly contrary goals can be achieved.”
Dwek told us that although the physical security is still needed, making sure that businesses start using more electronic and biometric security systems will also help protect companies.
“Individually we have strong growth plans in both our physical and electronic lines of business, but as I’ve stated we see a clear convergence across both sectors. By blending the two we can provide real value-add to customers,” said Dwek.
“Imagine for example someone using their smartphone or finger print to enter a workplace, and trigger a chain of events that increases both their productivity and safety. Not only is the physical access through barriers, doors or turnstiles granted but the smartphone or finger becomes a universal ‘key’ that is used for printing, cashless vending, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), task and project billing, or a dozen other daily routines and activities — every time slightly increasing the speed or efficiency of each of these tasks.”