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 glossary on this page was produced as part of an EU-funded project to develop an interactive toolkit to guide security managers to prevent, and prepare for, terrorist and criminal incidents at complex, ‘multimodal’ rail stations. The glossary element was developed based on diverse sources including current Situational Crime Prevention thinking and an earlier ‘risk lexicon’ by US Department of Homeland Security. But it also reflected the specific needs of this project and aligns as far as possible with Crime Frameworks.
The full glossary used in the terrorism/ crime prevention at complex stations toolkit, is downloadable, accompanied by some explanatory notes:
The following text, adapted from the unpublished report on Phase 1 of the project, sets out the rationale for the glossary developed in that project: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.’
Several well-developed security glossaries exist. The most developed one is the risk lexicon of some 60 terms by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).The very recently published British Standard on Security Management (BS 16000) contains a glossary drawing on/consistent with earlier British Standards and ISO 31000 – the more general international Risk Management Standard. Other glossaries/definitions consulted include the SecureStation report, the Haddon Matrix for injury prevention and UK counterterrorism strategy, CONTEST.
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.
The toolkit project team therefore developed its own glossary, which relates as much as possible to these existing ones, but which endeavours to resolve differences and inconsistencies between them and also to connect security with Crime Science concepts, theory and research.
The security-Crime Science connection – which may be the first of its kind – is principally via two frameworks: the Conjunction of Terrorist Opportunity Framework (CTO – Roach et al. 2005), which covers the immediate causes of terrorist incidents and principles of intervention in those causes in the service of protection and preparedness; and 5Is, the process model originating in crime prevention but extending to security.
From the 5Is and the CTO Frameworks, and extended to cover preparedness as well as protection, Intervention is taken to refer to reducing the risks of terrorist/criminal incidents via both elimination of possibility, reduction of likelihood and reduction of harm. This is closer to the definition of Countermeasure by DHS; the latter term is reserved for the narrower BS 16000 definition stated above. For reasons explained under the ‘intervention’ entry, we reject the use of the vague term ‘measure’.
The definitions used in the toolkits glossary were developed in parallel with a realist review of the literature and the fieldwork for this project, and with a ‘Conceptual Attack Framework’ (described in this presentation). The aim was to create ‘definitions in depth’, i.e. to ensure that when a particular definition refers to subsidiary concepts, those are defined too; and the whole suite of definitions is intended to be mutually consistent.
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:
A higher-quality static version of the diagram (.svg) and the original expanding (XMind) version are available on request.
A narrative presentation on the graphical glossary, expanding the elements in succession, is here: