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AUCSO announces security conference theme

February 27, 2023

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The Association of University Chief Security Officers (AUCSO), the organisation for security professionals working in higher and further education around the world, has announced that the theme for the AUCSO 2023 Annual Conference is ‘The Changing Face of Security in Higher Education.’
Commenting on the Conference AUCSO Chair Elect, Oliver Curran, said: “Like many other sectors of the Security Industry, those of us who work in the Higher Education sector are being asked to provide more and more services in order to protect our communities. This is why our Conference theme will focus on the Changing Face of Security in Higher Education, where we can both discuss our new challenges as well as have our expert speakers provide us with some key insights in adapting our service.”
The 37th AUCSO Annual Conference, which is being held at the Heriot-Watt University Conference Centre in Edinburgh on Tuesday 18 April 2023 until Thursday 20 April 2023, is open to both members and member institutions.
The Conference will be opened by Professor Mark Biggs, Vice-Principal and Provost, Heriot-Watt University.

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There will be key-note speeches from Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans, Scottish Government and Cory Davie, Vice President Asia/Pacific, Control Risk.
There will be both presentations and a workshop from representatives from Homeland Security Group, UK Home Office and the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) who will talk about defining Martyn’s Law for Higher Education.
There will also be engaging and thought-provoking break-out sessions as follows:
Dave Wilson, Regional Modern Slavery & Organised Immigration Crime Coordinator, Regional Organised Crime Unit, West Midlands Police – Student vulnerability to organised crime influence.
Mick McNally – Director, Violence and Vulnerability Unit (VVU) – Initiatives to tackle county lines and the associated violence and exploitation.
Mark Chesworth – Senior Officer, Anti Kidnap & Extortion Unit (AKEU) National Crime Agency (NCA) – The rise of Virtual Kidnaps in UK Universities.
Don Oakley – Development Director, National Security Inspectorate – The benefits of Third Party Certification for HE Security Managers.
Lisa Broad, Team Leader, CT Protect, Prepare and Security, Department for Education – Martyn’s Law in Higher Education: Group Workshop (with reps from DfE, Home Office and NaCTSO)
Andy Freeburn, Assistant Chief Constable, Specialist Crime Division, Police Scotland – Tackling Organised Crime, Counter Terrorism and Intelligence in Scotland
Dr Amy Clarke – Research Fellow, School of Criminology, University of Leicester – Hate Crime in Higher Education
New suppliers and AUCSO partners will be supporting the Conference with a compelling exhibition of products and services, and delegates will be able to visit the exhibition in between workshops and talks.
There will a welcome event and exhibitors fair on the Tuesday evening in the Conference Centre and a Networking Evening is planned for the Wednesday evening, held at the stunning Edinburgh Castle.
Celebrating some incredible achievements across 2022, a glittering Black Tie Gala Dinner and Awards Evening will take place on the Thursday evening when the winners of the AUCSO Awards will be announced.
Commenting on the Conference, AUCSO Chief Operating Officer, Julie Barker, said:
“We are very much looking forward to our 37th Annual Conference, we have an excellent line up of thought provoking, topical speakers. Last year we had a record attendance, and this year we are determined to beat that. If you would like to attend, do register as soon as possible as places are filling up quickly.”

Registration includes:

  • Attendance at all Conference sessions, refreshments, and lunches.
  • Attendance at all social events including the Welcome Reception Tuesday 18 April, AUCSO Dinner Wednesday 19 April and the Gala Awards Dinner Thursday 20 April.
  • Accommodation at the Conference hotel (check-in Tuesday 18 April, Check Out Friday 21 April).

Registration for this year’s Conference closes on Friday 17 March.

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