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Tax You Lot - Time to Put Your Money Where Your Clout Is

15 April 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

This morning’s announcement in Washington by UK Chancellor George Osborne that the five largest economies in Europe will in future share financial data in an effort to deliver a ‘hammer blow’ to those who avoid paying tax in their country of residence is a step in the right direction, writes Jeff Little.

However, many other countries will need to be involved in the new sharing agreement if it is to have a real deterrent effect. Some of the shadier economies known for their privacy and discretion laws may not readily agree to play along – but perhaps pressure may now be brought to bear upon their leaders by naming and shaming.


Information sharing

The agreement illustrates the importance of the sharing of information and intelligence in order to defeat crime.  Britain has more visual surveillance systems per head of population than any other country in the World.  However, because the imagery from these systems is not presently shared, the potential power of the overall network is greatly reduced.  Police forces currently even find it difficult to share data across county boundaries let alone on a national basis.

Criminals will willingly exploit this rift.  Crime is now national and organised crime is international in nature.  Businesses, the police, intelligence agencies and security companies now need to come together, with proper scrutiny and standards, to pool their resources to defeat a common problem.

Leadership will be major factor which is presently lacking.  The technology is now available to achieve such a goal, and the good news is that the science is getting better every year and costs are coming down as more and more organisations upgrade and improve their systems.

Digital IP cameras and DVRs offer new capabilities to detect, recognise and identify the small number of criminals who cost the wider business estate and tax payers so dearly. The systems are there to identify un-insured vehicles and un-taxed drivers who cost us all so much more on our insurance premiums.  We can deny such drivers fuel at retail forecourts – no tax, no insurance, no fuel – if only agencies would cooperate and share data on such malcontents.  There is no need to wait years for this to happen, no need to form time consuming committees and conduct lengthy studies and reviews – we need to get on with it now and protect our society. 


When do we want it?

The security industry is traditionally conservative and slow to respond to changes in technology. It is up to customers and consumers  to now demand better quality imagery, improved cooperation and rising standards of integrated systems working together to protect communities and the law abiding citizens who make up the vast majority of the population.

Government too has its part to play and must put some urgency and speed into the exchange of data if terrorism is to be controlled. This is the security challenge of this decade.  The ability to solve it is now available.

Join for action

SERIFM aims to promote debate and stimulate action on this very issue. The first conference in London on Wednesday 15 June will highlight the risks facing the business community and begin the journey towards an integrated future where escape for those who seek to defraud, deny and damage our way of life will be much more difficult.



SERIFM is spearheaded by TWinFM in conjunction with TriTectus Strategic Resilience Limited.

SERIFM aims to create more resilient organisations and assist the FM community to share threat data and exploit new technology.

It is the intention of SERIFM to help enable this sharing.  Security and Resilience In Facilities Management will provide the ideal platform to help create a highly informed customer, to demand the highest quality imagery from visual surveillance systems, to inform the supply chain of the need for resilience and to highlight new technologies, procedures and tactics as they are deployed and as experience is gained from their use.

SERIFM is a not-for-profit group dedicated to leading the fight back against crime and strengthening resilience at a time of reduced national resources.

SERIFM’S inaugural conference will set the UK’s strategic resilience picture as seen through the eyes of the Metropolitan Police, the Cabinet Office, academia and the security services.  The date and location to be advised.

Article written by Jeff Little, OBE | Published 15 April 2016


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