Glossary – terrorism/ crime at complex stations toolkit

Inevitably, an area as complex, detailed and technical as a security toolkit needs to define terms, not just for the end users, but to help synthesise the literature on which the toolkit is to be based, and to coordinate a project’s teamwork during research, knowledge synthesis and construction stages.

The following text, adapted from the unpublished report on Phase 1 of the project, sets out the rationale for the glossary developed in that project:

Two considerations have amplified the need for a glossary – first, the deliberately conceptual approach taken in the toolkit project given the dearth of rigorous empirical studies; and second, the sheer diversity of terms, and of meaning assigned to each term, in the literature and in practice. For example, Countermeasure is defined by DHS lexicon as ‘action, measure, or device that reduces an identified risk’, whereas for BS 16000 (see below) it is ‘Action taken to counter another action taken, or anticipated to be taken, by an opponent.’

For knowledge management, it is best to maintain a consistent ‘controlled vocabulary’, so drawing on previous work is preferable. Unfortunately these existing security glossaries differ from one another in significant ways, e.g. over ‘hazards’ or ‘risk assessment’; and none extend to cover the concepts imported from Crime Science and which were considered vital to understanding what works in what context, and how to implement it.

Graphical representation of the counterterrorism and crime prevention glossary

It was judged helpful to accompany the text version of the glossary with a graphical representation. The full version is interactive, with expanding/ collapsing elements, of which this is a static view: