Police and Crime Commissioner Speaks at Security Conference

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September 3, 2021

This week Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen was a keynote speaker at the International Arts and Antiquities Security Forum Conference 2021 – Protecting Cultural Heritage in a Global Pandemic held at the Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel.

The International Arts and Antiquities Security Forum(IAASF) hosted a two-day event this week to provide advice and guidance about the security and safety risks that the cultural heritage sectors face, and sensible approaches to proactively manage and reduce them.

The conference provided delegates, who have responsibilities or an interest for the protection, custody and management of arts, antiquities,or cultural heritage, with a professional learning experience assured by the presence and involvement of renowned professionals, speakers and exhibitors,from across the sectors.

Durham Constabulary Chief Superintendent Adrian Green also spoke at the event on Organised Crime, alongside Darlington MP Peter Gibson,Mayor of Darlington Councillor Cyndi Hughes,  industry specialist Dr Emma Cunliffe from Blue Shield International, Steward Kidd Vice President of Security Institute and William Brown National adviser for Arts Council England.

Durham PCC Joy Allen said “I am delighted to have been invited to speak at the Conference and that the organisers chose Darlington as the venue for such a prestigious event.  It is vital that we provide security advice and support to organisations who need it, as well increase awareness of how best to report crimes.

“The last 18 months have been extremely challenging for everyone working and operating in the cultural heritage sector. During this time, the overall attendance at the world’s 100 most-visited art museums dropped by 77%. More than 85,000 museums around the world have shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic and may never reopen.

“During the pandemic, security continued to play a critical role in the protection of collections and cultural venues.  This vital protection has come in the form of security personnel, technical security measures and effective security operations.

“With this backstory, there is certainly a need for a conference like the one here in Darlington today, that seeks to support those operating within the cultural heritage sector and facilitate the protection of valuable and sometimes priceless artefacts.

“It’s vital that we ensure these precious historic assets are safeguarded and we continue to work with our partners and the industry to tackle heritage crime more effectively.”

A spokesperson for IAASF said: “The International Arts &Antiquities Security Forum is delighted to welcome Joy as one of our Conference’s keynote speakers. Her proactive thoughts on crime prevention,alongside her deep understanding of the issues facing the cultural and heritage communities made her an ideal choice for keynote speaker, and we are truly grateful for her acceptance.”

You can find more information on local support services as well as security advice on our website www.durham-pcc.gov.uk/victims-services/services

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