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Meet one of the most dynamic team members of the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, Carole Wyllie, seconded Police Constable and Business Resilience Advisor. She is not only a trailblazer in the Scottish business crime prevention area, but is also a well-known name in the Scottish Police for being a champion of collaborative working. She is setting a great example with her journey for the next generation of police professionals.

Carole joined SBRC a year ago, and is currently working with various organisations across Scotland promoting business resilience and crime prevention. Read on to find out about Carole’s motivation to encourage preventative policing practices for your organisation, and her journey as a PC and a business resilience leader.

Question: Tell us a bit about your role with SBRC and your journey so far as a Police officer in Scotland.

It’s been nearly two decades since I joined the Police and there has been no looking back. I spent most of my time working on frontline policing, which was primarily spanning around operational community policing and response policing. I also got the opportunity to spend some time working on recruitment which was a great learning experience for me. At the time, I was able to identify, and understand the areas of diversity under-represented within Police Scotland, and it was an honour to work on bettering that in the Police community of Scotland.  

Carole at the start of her Police career and on a poster!

One of my biggest learnings of working with Police Scotland was to witness how many efforts were put into, and still are, in evolving and moving ahead with the times whether it was the subject of diversity, equality and inclusion, or putting the wellbeing of employees at the forefront. There is more work still to be done but we’re getting there. Most of all, this is what has kept me going and has encouraged me time and again, to do my best when it comes to serving our community, protecting them from, and preventing crime.  

I saw an opportunity with SBRC in the field of preventative crime and traditional business resilience at the start of 2021, and even though it felt like a challenge at the time, I felt ready to take it on. It was a completely new work area for me to get into, and needed a shift in the mindset, but I took it up and I am so glad I made that decision. I undertook the role of a Business Resilience Advisor, specifically in the field of retail, tourism and finance, which entails helping Scottish businesses identify and prevent incidents that could compromise the safety of their staff, customers or business activities. 

Question: Can you tell us a bit more about how significant it is for the Police to work with the SBRC? Did you face any challenges along the way? 

The role has pushed me to look at crime with fresh eyes and a different perspective. Before joining SBRC, I was recording and investigating crime through traditional policing. At SBRC, I am in a very privileged position where I am able to prevent the crime before it even takes place through preventative policing.  

My role in SBRC is to reach out to businesses and offering them educational training and presentations around cyber crime prevention, alongside traditional business prevention. As well as providing them with current crime trends that might affect their business or any intelligence that I’m able to share with them in relation to ongoing incidents, and by doing this, we can make sure the business is aware of potential threats that are commonly known to them and help prevent their business becoming the next victim of a crime in the first place. 

Carole at work, encouraging businesses to prevent crime.

At SBRC my role involves working with the retail, tourism and finance sector to raise awareness around business resilience, to help organisations identify and avoid incidents that could compromise the safety of their staff, customers or business activities. 

In addition to the above, I also represent SBRC at various groups with a focus on preventative crime such as the Scottish Anti Illicit Trade Group, the Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime Group, and a few other local community trade groups to support and encourage the messaging around preventative policing, with a special focus on personal safety and dealing with conflict. I am also contributing to an on-going study working on the new legislation on the Protection of Workers Act.  

On behalf of SBRC, in my capacity as a Business Resilience Advisor, I deliver interactive Lone Workers Personal Safety Presentations. During these trainings, we discuss in detail about the employer having a legal responsibility to provide a safe working environment to its team of employees, and taking the responsibility to follow the guidelines.​ The presentation is aimed at lone workers and for employers to identify who requires support at work, how to minimise risk and the incident assessment in the event of one. If this sparks interest to you, or an organisation you know that can benefit from it, do reach out to us. I am proud of the work I do at SBRC and to be able to make an impact since COVID hit us, is a great achievement in itself.  

The only challenge I would say I have had to work hard towards overcoming was the big shift to virtual working during the pandemic. In my entire 20 years with the police, it has always been face to face interaction with people at work. However, when I joined SBRC in the midst of lockdown, I was handed a laptop and I started my journey of home working. It was a great learning experience at the end of the day, I learned a lot and so did the people I worked with. We have learned a lot from home working and I would like to say resilience and drive to make an impact was something that we learned even more about. As Police folk, working on traditional business resilience, we worked even harder as the crime did not stop during the lockdown, and neither did we. To be honest, I think we could build a case study around it!  

Question: What role does the Police along with partners such as SBRC, play in building a safer and more resilient Scotland? Do you have a message for aspiring police officers? 

Although I’ve only been with SBRC for just over a year, I feel it’s been a huge learning curve for me, and for the better. I’ve developed some incredible skills and techniques that I was never exposed to in the past and did not think I will have the capacity to learn. In addition to that, I have noticed how the relationships between businesses, the Police (through our work) and SBRC has developed and they have all come together to build a more secure, safe and resilient Scotland. This collaboration is indeed working and we can witness the impact of our work as more businesses and organisations are approaching us to work together and benefit from the services we provide.  
My work at SBRC has given me a great insight into cyber crime and business resilience. I always did understand the amount of crimes that took place, and now I have even more awareness of the extent of it, and the best ways to prevent it. Within the last one year, I have had the opportunity to work with cyber experts, crime prevention experts from the Police and leaders in various fields whether that’s academia or law enforcement. That kind of collaborative working is unique and hard to find in Scotland. If this isn’t what will prevent crime and prepare organisations to plan responses to combat crime, I am not sure what will? 

In my understanding through our work, preventing one person or one business from falling victim to a crime basically means we’re contributing towards building a better society and making an impact. Since joining SBRC, I feel very passionate about prevention work, whereas before I was always about the investigatory work, so it has given me a better mind shift and a drive to support the business community through crime prevention.  

My message to the current and future police officers would be to open your mind to other, more progressive ways of crime prevention. Yes, the blue lights, the chase and the locking up of the criminals is all crucial and very relevant work and is probably why we all joined the police force in the first place, but preventative policing is an assured and successful way in which we can work towards building a safer and more secure Scotland. At the end of the day it also makes our job easier if you prevent the crime from happening in the first place and we work towards building a more resilient nation. Therefore, don’t overlook prevention! Enjoy every minute of your police career because you will learn a lot from it and it is a very rewarding place to work. 

About Carole

Carole is a police officer seconded to the SBRC. She has been with Police Scotland for 20 years and was seconded to the SBRC at the end of March 2021. Carole has the portfolio of Retail, Tourism and Finance. Her role is to engage with members from these fields and provide them with crime prevention advice and other Police led presentations. She also delivers the Scottish Business Resilience Award presentations to members looking for additional assistance. Outside of work Carole is a mum to 2 kids and “a wee annoying puppy”. Her spare time is taken up running after the 3 of them.