The supervisory body that manages the licensing of the private security industry is one of 177 quangos on an, as yet unconfirmed, government hit-list. With over 1000 licensed premises in the city, many with static doorstaff, who will take over the responsibility is an important question?
The SIA is an independent body reporting to the Home Office which regulates the industry according to legislation set out in the Private Security Industry Act 2001. It has two main duties:
- The compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking certain designated activities e.g. security guards, door supervisors, close protection officers etc
- Managing the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme which is the “gold standard” for companies involved in the sector.
Although the Security Industry Act has subsequently proved to be an often tricky piece of legislation to interpret, the private security industry broadly welcomed its introduction in 2001.
Since the regulation regime started in 2003, which requires practically all security personnel to be trained, tested, background-checked and licensed, there has been a reduction in the extent of criminal involvement and influences in the private security sector.
The SIA also plays a role in policing misdemeanors by companies and individuals although this is limited by a tiny number of investigating officers being deployed across the entire UK.
BUSINESS FORUM COMMENT
Even if the SIA is abolished there will still be a need for some form of regulation for what is generally considered to be an important part of the wider police family. Given the coalition government’s enthusiasm for localism it seems compelling to suggest that it will probably fall to councils and the police to vet, test, license and regulate the industry at the local level.
How much money will be devoted to this activity remains unknown.
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Security & door supervisors
Security Industry Authority