The National Museum Security Group was set up by the V&A last year

Museum security group to address rhino horn and metal theft

Simon Stephens, 07.02.2012
UK-wide group set up to share knowledge on security
The theft of metal and rhino horn and the challenges posed by the Olympics are among the concerns that a recently formed museum security body is hoping to address.

The National Museum Security Group was set up last year by the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and already has 350 members.

It will provide information from the Cross Sector Safety and Security Communications Group (CSSC), which was created by Scotland Yard and London First to improve knowledge sharing on security issues between public and private sector organisations.

The CSSC has created 25 Industry Sector Leads (ISLs), including the National Museum Security Group. The heads of ISLs met for the first time late last month.

The National Museum Security Group is led by head of security and visitor services at the V&A Vernon Rapley, who headed up Scotland Yard’s Art and Antiques Unit before he joined the V&A in 2010.

Rapley says the security group is looking for more members, particularly outside London. It is free to join and open to organisations in England, Wales and Scotland.

Information is disseminated by email to the group's members, which include museums, galleries, archives, libraries, historic houses and archaeological sites.

Rapley says the information will help organisations to target their security more effectively.

“This is going to become more and more valuable,” he says. “The Olympics is the big one where you will need to circulate information on a regular basis.”

The National Museum Security Group is funded by the V&A. Anyone interested in finding out more should contact Victor Batalha at