Dean Jones: Safeguarding the Heart of Governance – Leading a Multimillion-Pound Security Program at the UK Parliament


Dean Jones: Safeguarding the Heart of Governance – Leading a Multimillion-Pound Security Program at the UK Parliament

by Jamaica Homes - December 30, 2021

In the heart of the United Kingdom, where history, tradition, and governance converge, I had the privilege of serving the House of Commons and House of Lords at the UK Parliament. My role as an Associate Director (consultant) was a unique and challenging experience, primarily focused on overseeing the setup of a multimillion-pound security program. It was a journey that taught me invaluable lessons in the realm of security, adaptability, and leadership.

In the hallowed halls of Parliament, security is paramount. The safety of legislators, staff, and visitors relies on a robust security program. On March 22, 2017, a terrorist attack occurred outside the Palace of Westminster in London, the seat of the British Parliament. Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old Briton, drove a car into pedestrians on the south side of Westminster Bridge, injuring over 50 people, four of them fatally. He then crashed the car into the perimeter fence of the palace grounds, fatally stabbing an unarmed police officer in New Palace Yard before being shot and killed by an armed police officer.

Police treated the attack as "Islamist-related terrorism." Masood claimed in a final text message that he was waging jihad in revenge for Western military action in Muslim countries in the Middle East. The Amaq News Agency, linked to the Islamic State, stated that the attacker responded to the group's calls to target citizens of states fighting against it, although this claim was questioned by the UK police and government. The police found no link with a terrorist organization and believed Masood acted alone.

Before the attack, the UK Threat Level for terrorism in the country was listed as "severe," indicating a "highly likely" attack. The incident was a grim reminder of the vulnerability of parliamentary security and the need for enhanced measures.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, who was in the Commons for a vote, was evacuated by her security team in the Prime Ministerial car and taken to 10 Downing Street. Additional armed police officers, including Counter Terrorist Specialist Firearms Officers, arrived on the scene within 6 minutes. An air ambulance from London HEMS attended the scene, landing in Parliament Square. Parliament was suspended, and MPs remained in the Commons debating chamber as a precaution. Parliamentary staff were confined to their offices, and journalists and visitors to Parliament were not permitted to leave the building. Some were later evacuated to Westminster Abbey.

Following this harrowing incident, the imperative for a comprehensive security program became evident. In this context, I worked closely with the Parliamentary Security Department (PSD), responsible for the security of both Houses. The PSD collaborated in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service, which provided armed and unarmed policing for Parliament.

My role extended to close collaboration with the Director of Security for Parliament, who served as the Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) for a large multimillion-pound project aimed at enhancing parliamentary security. I became a pivotal figure in setting up this new program, demonstrating a real drive to succeed and the ability to deliver tangible results. Serving as a constant source of ideas, I played a crucial role in stabilizing the program and maintaining a positive trajectory.

One of my key responsibilities was establishing a Program Management Office (PMO) to support the Project Delivery team. This included producing a Strategic Outline Case (SOC) and implementing an Assurance regime for the entire program. Successfully managing a complex stakeholder group, I facilitated the production of the SOC.

To ensure the program's success, I brought specific tailored expert resources to the PMO, working collaboratively with both in-house staff and contractors. This collaborative effort aimed to develop standardized reporting across all projects and provide the levels of assurance required for such a high-profile program.

Approaching the challenging task with admirable calm and patience, my substantial professional expertise became a welcome addition to the team. The program I led stands as a testament to the resilience, adaptability, and effective leadership necessary to safeguard the heart of the United Kingdom's governance.

Dean Jones, the founder and CEO of Jamaica Homes, is not only a visionary entrepreneur but also a distinguished professional recognized as a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). This coveted status is a testament to his skilful leadership, extensive experience, and profound knowledge in the field

Jamaica Homes

Jamaica Homes ( is a trailblazer in the real estate industry, offering a comprehensive platform for selling, buying, renting, and financing. With a commitment to innovation, accessibility, and community-building, Jamaica Homes is not just a real estate company; it's a journey towards home, enriched with the vibrant spirit of Jamaica.

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