There Has Been a Shift in Concern in Contemporary Society Away from Problems Such as Poverty and Unemployment to the Problem of ‘Risk’.

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Paul Stanton
Student Number 119050903

Foundation Degree in Security and Risk Management
March 2012
Module 2

Submitted on 19th August 2012

There has been a shift in concern in contemporary society away from problems such as poverty and unemployment to the problem of ‘risk’. What do we mean by ‘risk’ and what are the implications of such a shift for the security industry?

This essay will discuss how there has been a shift in concern in contemporary society away from problems such as poverty and unemployment to the problem of ‘risk’. What do we mean by ‘risk’ and what are the implications of such a shift for the security industry?

This will be done by firstly defining what is meant by risk. This will be done in the first part of the essay by using examples of different types of risk then the essay will also explain what is meant by common terms such as Emergencies, Crises and Disaster. In the final part, the essay will use the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers to show how society began to fear the threat and risk of terrorist attacks. The essay will use the war on terror to show what the implications were to the security industry. In conclusion, the essay will show that the implications of contemporary society’s shift in concern have been massive to the security industry.

“The entire history of the human species is a chronology of exposure to misfortune and adversity and of efforts to deal with these risks” (Department of Criminology (2012).

The perception of risk has changed over time. Risk has become a key question which we consider in relation to almost anything that we do as human beings. Risk is the hidden danger lurking beneath everything we do (Department of Criminology, 2012). You can never completely eradicate risk but you can implement systems that can help. The British Infantry encounter risks everyday whilst in Afghanistan. These risks are life threatening and so to minimise the danger to front line combat troops the army developed the Ministry of Defence (2006) Combat Estimate. The Combat Estimate is used by all ranks within the infantry. It is based on seven questions.

What are the enemy doing?
What have I been told to do and why?
What actions/effects do I want to have on the enemy?
Where can I best accomplish each action/effect?
What resources do I need to accomplish each action/effect?
When and where do these actions take place in relation to each other? What control measures do I need to impose?

In any combat situation the commander uses these seven questions to eliminate possible risks when planning an attack. The effectiveness of this combat estimate has been proven many times. Within the security industry in the United Kingdom, SIA trained guards are taught to use the dynamic risk assessment and static risk assessment whilst carrying out their duties. The static risk assessment can be carried out over time and will never change, but the dynamic risk assessment is something that consists of on the spot decision making.

So how does a contemporary society categorise the different risks that we will encounter? Rick is sometimes interchangeable with the term hazard. Hazard generally refers to a naturally occurring or man-made event which has a potential to create loss. The term risk means the actual exposure of something of human value to a hazard… These hazards can be a minor incident like tripping over a paving slab or a major disaster like an earthquake or terrorist attack (Department of Criminology, 2012). But minor incidents have the potential to become a serious threat or even escalate to a major disaster. There are many words used to describe certain events which involve risk. Three of the most common words used are Emergencies, Crises and then finally Disaster.

Emergencies are situations requiring a rapid and highly structured response and in which the risks can be relatively well defined (Department of Criminology, 2012). The nuclear industry has...
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