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Crisis Response Journal Crisis Response Journal

Robert McAlister

After leaving the British Army and spending several years in the private sector in senior security and risk management posts, Robert joined London's Westminster Local Authorities Community Protection Department, in its infancy to work on crime and disorder projects across the city, including the implementation of its command, control and surveillance systems as Head of City Co-ordination. In 2003 this work was recognised and led to a Police Commissioners Commendation for Making Westminster a Safer City.

In 2009 his post expanded to include Head of Civil Contingencies, corporately managing and directing the Emergency Planning, Business Continuity and Special Events functions across Westminster.
As part of preparations for the UK 2012 Olympics Games he was the lead officer for developing and managing the local authorities C3 Plan (Control, Co-ordination and Communication) this included preparation, resilience and operational delivery. He developed and implemented their 2012 testing and exercising programme.
In 2014 against an increased UK security threat, Robert took on an additional role as the Acting Head of Community Safety with responsibilities as diverse as Counter Terrorism (Prevent and Prepare), introducing new UK Anti-Social Behavior Legislation and a joint agency Integrated Gangs Unit.

During his time with Westminster, he hosted and presented to over 30 different countries to promote the work of City Coordination and Civil Contingencies at strategic, tactical and operational levels. He represented Westminster on the international stage in several advisory visits to United States and Brazil, and South Africa as part of a joint Counter Terrorism Command Metropolitan Police Team delegation.

Robert has been a lecturer on CAST (Home Office Centre for Applied Science and Technology, CPNI (Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure) Protective Security and Surveillance courses since 2004.
In parallel as part of the UK Civil Protection Mechanism for the Civil Contingencies Secretariat he completed EU Civil Protection training in Italy and Germany and international exercises in Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.

Robert now runs his own consultancy, Glenbarr, which provides specialist advisory and training across varied portfolios. He is a visiting lecturer for Bournemouth University International Disaster Management Centre and provides instruction on UK and International HMG Rapid Deployment Team and Hostile Environment Awareness Courses. These teams have since successfully deployed to the world’s crisis zones such as Libya, Gaza, Syria and, most recently, Tunisia.