Advanced Terrorism, Hate Crimes, Civil Unrest & Workplace Violence Among Top Growing Incidents
New conflict and violence threats continue to plague the nation and the globe as we all grapple with the “new reality” created by the COVID-19 pandemic – from increased domestic and workplace violence to elevated hate crimes, rising gun sales, and advanced terrorism plans. Recent racial tensions and civil unrest caused by ongoing police brutality of black Americans has also added fuel to an already volatile situation in America.
Vigilance Risk Solutions, Inc. (VRS), a first-of-its-kind technology company that specializes in conflict and violence prevention, has developed solutions to dramatically reduce all these risks. VRS – which includes a team of military special forces and law enforcement veterans – is currently working with clients across several industries to help identify and avert threats and violence, including in the workplace. VRS has developed a variety of solutions, including a cloud-based case management system, tailored security risk assessment, internal communications threat tracking software, and conflict and violence prevention training programs.
“These are unprecedented times and we are all looking for answers,” said VRS Founder Ty Smith, a retired Navy SEAL. “Now more than ever it’s critical for organizations to figure out their vulnerabilities and put effective strategies in place to ensure the health and safety of their employees and the general public.”
As businesses of all sizes prepare to bring their employees back to work, Smith said the ultimate goal for companies is to be able to maintain safe and sustainable operations under the ‘new normal’ and to also anticipate new threats and challenges of the future workplace.
“Most people are under enormous pressure and strain – from worries about health and safety to financial stress, lockdowns, and shortages of essential items. At the very least, these stresses can often lead to more conflict in the workplace or, in more extreme cases, to rage and violence,” he said.
The pandemic has also caused an uptick in domestic violence, which can and often does spill over into the workplace. Studies have examined the link between mental health and violence following the Great Recession (2001-2010), Farm Crisis (1980’s), and Great Depression (1930’s). More recently, an NIH Study (April 12, 2020), concluded that because of the length of COVID closures, an “increase in family violence reports during and after COVID-19 may be even greater than the substantial increase observed in reports following other natural disasters and catastrophic events.”
“There’s no doubt the current health crisis is escalating fear and uncertainty, as is evident in behavior such as a surge in nationwide gun sales,” Smith said. “Mental health and gun violence experts worry that the soaring sales of firearms could lead to a dramatic rise in suicides, domestic homicides, and accidental injuries and deaths in the coming months.”
There is also growing evidence of a rise in discrimination and racist violence against U.S. residents of Asian and Pacific Island descent due to COVID-19, since some erroneously believe these groups to have willfully caused the virus.
“The FBI believes that these attacks will continue to surge across the US, endangering Asian-American communities,” Smith said.
Experts agree that the current health pandemic also lends itself to potential new terrorist threats and tactics. According to the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, terrorists are expected to speed up plans by finding “new ways to attack and new targets” during and post-pandemic.
Government officials and researchers warn of global security threats as extremist groups and terrorist organizations exploit the coronavirus pandemic to increase their operations.
“Among these possible COVID-19 terrorist activities include extremist organizations calling for supporters to carry out attacks against overburdened healthcare systems in various Western countries,” Smith said.
Smith added that as we move into the so-called “new normal,” a myriad of other threats is possible, including:
- Attacks using COVID infected saliva.
- Attacks on companies creating vaccines.
- Attacks on testing sites.
- Attacks on foreign companies with U.S. locations.
- Attacks on Chinese specific companies with U.S. locations.
- Threats of an attack in order to disrupt business continuity (bomb threats, etc….).
- More cyber-attacks due to the rapid increase in virtual work.
- Attacks on corporate entities to further disrupt the economy.
- Attacks on government buildings.
- Increase of attacks on telecommunications companies and biotech/life science companies.
“These new types of threats are rapidly growing and if companies and organizations don’t have an automated process in place to protect them, they risk facing both human and financial loss,” Smith said.
VRS invites companies and organizations that need help in preventing and solving conflict and violence resolution to contact us here. This free guide on “How Companies Can Identify and Mitigate Emerging Pandemic Era Conflict & Violence Threats” is also available.
About Vigilance Risk Solutions, Inc.
Founded in 2015, Vigilance Risk Solutions (VRS) is a technology company that specializes in conflict and violence prevention. VRS helps clients to identify and mitigate unknown threats of conflict and violence both within and outside their company, protecting them from the three most damaging consequences of conflict and violence in the workplace: litigation, physical and psychological harm, and brand/reputational damage. If we can be of any help, please book a time to speak with us.