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02 Jul 2024

SAFECROWDS appoints former CTSA as Head of Counter Terrorism and Risk Assessment

SafeCrowds Stand: D90
SAFECROWDS appoints former CTSA as Head of Counter Terrorism and Risk Assessment

SAFECROWDS has appointed former Thames Valley Police CTSA, Jon Neal, as our new head of counter terrorism and risk assessment.

The appointment responds to high demand for our 3600 approach to integrated security and counter terrorism planning and delivery, bringing much of the company’s TVRA (Threat, Vulnerability & Risk Assessment), VDA (Vehicle Dynamics Assessment), HVM specification, and counter terrorism training services in-house.

NaCTSO (National Counter Terrorism Security Office) and NPSA trained, Jon has both military and police experience, along with a degree in criminology and criminal law, which included a dissertation on intelligence failings in the run up to 9/11. He is highly qualified and experienced to provide robust TVRA and VDA that consider a broad range of threats, including vehicle attacks, cyber security, vulnerability to IED and knife attacks, and online reconnaissance.

Jon is also an AET-qualified trainer with SCaN (Scan, Check and Notify) and ACT (Action Counters Terrorism) training experience, which will extend the course offering from our QNUK and Highfield accredited SAFECROWDS Training Academy.

Founder and CEO of SAFECROWDS, Rory McGoldrick commented: “Up to now, we have been working with consultants to provide our TVRA, VDA and HVM specification services. Jon will continue to work with those professionals as our head of counter terrorism and risk assessment, including Mark Cavies MSyI F.ISRM RISC, a counter terrorism expert with 22 years’ military experience and a UK government trained HVM design specialist, who has already carried out many of our TVRAs.

“By employing a full-time member of the team with Jon’s skills, knowledge and experience alongside our existing consultants, we are adding important resource, responsiveness and agility to the team. Jon also gives SAFECROWDS a risk assessment capability that takes a holistic approach to assessing all areas of threat, vulnerability, and risk, ensuring that we can highlight all potential security and safety issues, including those that sit outside our own services, such as cyber reconnaissance vulnerabilities, for example.

“From his police background, to his training experience, and his track record as a key figure in the development of the Help for Heroes charity, Jon is an excellent fit for our business and our clients, and we’re delighted to welcome him to the team.”

Jon was studying the US when the 9/11 terror attacks took place. Witnessing the impact of the attack at close quarters influenced his studies and future career. Following training at Sandhurst and a period in the armed forces, Jon worked in the Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit at Sussex Police and then in Specialist Operations at the Met., before becoming involved in Help for Heroes when the charity was in its infancy. He returned to policing in 2019, and has spent the past three years as a CTSA covering the Thames Valley region, advising on security for crowded places and Critical National Infrastructure.

“My whole career has been about making a difference,” Jon commented, “and my new role at SAFECROWDS means that I will be able to work with businesses, venues, local authorities and individuals who need support to develop and implement strategies for keeping people safer and making places more secure.

“As we anticipate Martyn’s Law, it’s more important than ever that those responsible for crowded spaces have expert advice about the correct, proportionate steps to take to protect people; whether that’s training their team, carrying out K9 explosives and pyro searches, or deploying HVM. My remit will be to provide that advice and work with our clients to ensure they are prepared and resilient, while proposing solutions that work with their budgets and within their operational parameters.”

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