Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Anyone seen my security pass?

I know that data security has been a hot potato with Government in the last year or so, but another asepct of security that needs to be remembered is that of physical access by security pass right? Of ocurse, security passes, even in the private sector, get lost, or might be stolen when they're in a wallet etc.

Interestingly, most of the departments that have responded to questions on this matter have not really lost that many, the Cabinet Office for example has only had to issue one replacement pass over the past few years. Meanwhile some other departments have reported ranges from 10 to about a 100.

That is with one exception, the Ministry of Defence. Since January this year they have recorded the loss or theft of 5,313 security passes. That's about 15 security passes a day lost or stolen in the department that really ought to be the most anally secure.

Scary huh?

13 comments:

Scott G said...

Having some specialist knowledge and experience in this area, generally it's contractors not handing them back in when they leave site and gate security being unwilling to go out in the wet to collect them

Anonymous said...

Scott G - I also worked on a RAF base for a bit, and, to an extent, I agree with you.

However, that's still worrying, no?

Niccolo Machiavelli said...

Do the MoD figures include figures for the armed forces? If so that's an awful lot of people, many in circumstances where they may mislay something...

Martin said...

Anyone seen my security pass?

Sorry, couldn't get the right cartridge for my new inkjet. You wanted 2 dozen, right?

sniper said...

Is this "proper" MOD or are they including all forces ID cards?

DC said...

Like the other commenters I'd be interested to know if it includes members of the armed forces. It's also worth remembering that an ID card is only there to prove the identity of an individual - it doesn't guarantee or grant access to all locations. That's not an excuse but it's a bit simplistic to think that a lost ID card can be picked up and used to gain access to sensitive areas.

Anonymous said...

I think that's more evidence that the Cabinet Office is the scary department.

MB said...

A friend wondered how many of these are day passes, issued to visitors and handed in when leaving site.

Mike Law said...

Newham has a parks constabulary - referred to in Private Eye as the Keystone Kops. These ARE NOT police officers but they are given warrant cards that look very much like British Transport Police warrant cards (they don't actually need them as they have no need for them).

Through a FOIA request I found out that the Council has no idea how many of these warrant cards have been issued (I have one that was given to me by a Keystone has he has about seven of them he told me "if you say you've lost it they give you a new one, no questions asked - they dish them out like sweets).

How scary is that?

Martin said...

How scary is that?

Not.

Mike Law said...

Martin,

It is fucking scary if you happen to have been stopped and searched by them on the street (they also wear police uniforms) for some bollocks charge that they have no lawful right to pull you up on. As happened to two young Asian lads in Redbridge - not even in Newham, let alone a park!!

Martin said...

Bollocks.

A copper drew a truncheon on me once, that was scary, but only because he had totally lost his rag. Fortunately I calmed him down a bit before he frog marched me off.

Mike Law said...

Martin,

Yep your experience must have been scary.

The point I'm making is that Newham's elected Mayor (Sir Robin Wales) set up his own little private police force (even though they had no police powers) and issued them with warrant cards that any ordinary person would think are legit. To add insult to injury, the Council has no idea how many of these warrant cards have been issued and to whom.

I was told by a serving Met police officer in Newham that when the arrested a local who has a colourful background (and who used to have a security sub-contract with Newham Council) he was found in possession of a parks constabulary warrant card made out to him.