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SIA Update, November 2013
Welcome to the latest edition of SIA Update, the SIA's newsletter for people with an interest in the private security industry. We hope you find it informative and useful. If you have any suggestions on how we could improve it, please let us know.
Paper-Based Licence Applications To Stop
Business Licensing Factsheet
SIA Stakeholder Conference
Our Roadshows and ACS Forums
Fact or Fiction?
Spotlight On... Training Provider Search
Enforcement News
Telephone Renewals
Licence Processing Times

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SIA News
Paper-Based Licence Applications To Stop
In January 2014 we will stop issuing paper-based licence applications: this will have an impact on how you can apply or renew an SIA licence.

The private security industry has been telling us for some time they want a faster and more efficient method of applying for new licences. We have listened to the industry and worked with them to introduce the new application service with the Post Office, which was launched in July 2013.

We are committed to providing an easier, cheaper and quicker service for all our applicants. The move away from paper-based applications is a crucial step in achieving that.

For individuals, the only way to apply for a new licence will be to fill in your application online at the SIA website; you will then be told which identity and other documents to take to one of over 750 post offices around the country to complete your application.

The Post Office will complete licence applications by:
  • Checking and returning the applicants documents,
  • Taking a digital photograph and an electronic signature, and
  • Taking payment of the application fee.
Your photograph and signature are sent to us electronically by the Post Office. We will then add them to the application information already received and continue with our checks, just as we do today.

Fill in your application online

Renewing your licence will only be possible using our telephone renewals service.

Read more about telephone renewals

For businesses, we will continue to offer the bulk application service so that you can manage the completion and submission of new licence applications on behalf of your employees. However, to continue to use this facility the registered company sponsor will need to apply for an exemption. Our Business Support team will be contacting registered company sponsors to discuss the exemption process.

Our e-Renewals service for companies will continue - this service allows you to renew licences, or apply for additional licences, on behalf of your staff. We will continue to accept new company sponsors for this service.

Read more about e-Renewals
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Business Licensing Factsheet
Image shows the first page of the Business Licensing Factsheet From 6 April 2015, all regulated security businesses will need to hold an SIA business licence. We have produced a factsheet which provides an overview of our proposals for business licensing.

The document outlines the main elements of business licensing and provides answers to key questions which include: if your business will need a business licence, how you will need to demonstrate your business is competent, and how your business goes about getting licensed.

Business licensing is subject to Ministerial approval and the approval of the Scottish Government and the Department of Justice for Northern Ireland.

Download the business licensing factsheet - this link opens in a new window (PDF, download size: 223kb)
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SIA Stakeholder Conference
This year's Security Industry Authority conference was chaired by Bill Mathews, Acting Chair of the SIA Board, who welcomed delegates to the London venue.

The event opened with a video address from Lord Taylor of Holbeach, parliamentary under secretary for criminal information and the Minister responsible for the SIA. His speech outlined the Government's intentions for reforming regulation of the private security industry. He highlighted the SIA’s recent roadshows and how the valuable feedback received would be used to further refine the approach. He mentioned the Government’s intention to regulate private investigations and how this would be crucial to improving the reputation of the sector. He went on to highlight the Government’s new strategy to tackle serious and organised crime that includes formation of local partnerships across the country. He encouraged the security industry to engage with these partnerships.

He told delegates that "The work to be done on regulating private investigations is part of the Government’s wider aim to raise standards in the industry, combat criminality, especially organised crime, and is central to what the Government wants the SIA to continue to do in the future."

Read the complete speech - this link opens in a new window (PDF, download size: 140kb)

Lord Ramsbotham gave a presentation on physical restraint. He spoke about his experience of chairing the National Independent Commission on enforced removals. The commission was set up to look at a number of issues around enforced removals and the appropriate use of physical restraint. This followed the death of Jimmy Mubenga who died while being restrained by security escorts on an aircraft during his enforced removal. The commission’s main recommendations are:
  • The need for a multi-disciplinary panel for complex returns,
  • The need for a more robust system for regular and appropriate licensing of contracted detainee custody officers (DCOs) and escort staff,
  • The need for independent oversight of the enforced removal process,
  • The need for pain-free restraint techniques appropriate for use during enforced removals.
In addition to this the commission recommended that the Private Security Industry Act 2001 be amended to require contracted detainee custody officers (DCOs) and escort staff be licensed by the SIA.

Bill Waite, Group CEO of the Risk Advisory Group, gave a presentation entitled ‘Understanding the Private Investigations Sector’. Bill outlined the variety of roles currently undertaken within the private investigations sector and highlighted conflicts with the current definition under the Private Security Industry Act 2001. Bill presented a case that regulation using the current definition would be disproportionate to the risks. He stated that criminal law already creates a regime which provides protection and enforcement, not lack of regulation, is the main issue. He supported regulation of the sector but for intrusive investigative processes as identified by SIA and Risk Advisory in 2006 – necessary, justified, proportionate.

Download Bill's presentation - this link opens in a new window (PDF, download size: 781kb)

Terri Jones, Director General of Skills for Security. Terri’s presentation outlined how Skills for Security works with employers to improve security skills and the standards of professionalism. Terri discussed how they will continue in the role of sector body, to support the qualification and training needs of the industry and to promote the industry and its opportunities to ensure it is a career destination of choice. Terri’s presentation went on to look at forthcoming work in 2014 that included developing the National Occupation Standards and qualifications, as well as changes to labour market information. Terri also mentioned changes to apprenticeship standards process and new apprenticeships for the security sector

Download Terri's presentation - this link opens in a new window (PDF, download size: 804kb)

Geoff Zeidler, Director of GZC Ltd, gave an overview of the SIA's Strategic Consultative Group (SCG). He explained the role of the SCG is to provide strategic oversight of plans and progress of transition to a new regulated regime keeping Ministers & stakeholders informed. He outlined the current issues some of which included:
  • Business Licensing in complex provider situations,
  • Business Licensing employee cost basis in multi-employer situations,
  • No proportionate sanctions without primary legislation – only Criminal or licence withdrawal,
  • Continued process duplication with the issuing of individual licenses.
He went on to explain how the group has been effective for industry engagement and enabled many issues to be clarified and addressed. The SCG has guided some practical changes although there were still a number of core issues to be resolved.

Download Geoff's presentation - this link opens in a new window (PDF, download size: 83kb)

Gordon Meldrum, Director Organised Crime from the National Crime Agency (NCA), spoke about the remit of the new agency and more specifically about the issues surrounding serious and organised crime.

He provided an overview of the NCA explaining that it is broken down into four commands: Organised Crime Command (OCC), Border Policing Command (BPC), and Economic Crime Command (ECC). And Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP).

The new agency is a 24/7 operational crime-fighting agency with increased visibility and transparency. It has a broader remit in cutting serious and organised crime.

He went on to highlight the damage caused by serious and organised crime in the UK and highlighted the agencies main strategic aims to tackle it.

The strategy will:
  • Prosecute and disrupt people engaged in serious and organised criminality,
  • Prevent people from engaging in serious and organised crime,
  • Increase protection from serious and organised crime,
  • Reduce the impact of criminality where it takes place.
Download Gordon's presentation - this link opens in a new window (PDF, download size: 619kb)

Stephen Phipson, Director Security Industry Engagement from the Home Office, gave a talk on co-ordinating the Government's work with the private security industry. He highlighted the White Paper entitled National Security through Technology that recognised how a healthy and competitive industry makes a significant contribution to developing and sustaining key defence and security capabilities, as well as contributing to export-led growth and a rebalanced economy. His team’s responsibility is to reach across the security domain of Government including developing a UK Security Brand to promote confidence in UK product and services. As well as supporting exports across the wider industry, not just the regulated sectors.

Charlotte Jennings, Deputy Director for Operations at the SIA, explained how as part of her new role she wanted to gain a better understanding of how security companies operate and she would welcome spending time with them at their operation. She was looking to set up an end user group to develop ideas and gain valuable feedback on our services. She highlighted how our service had changed significantly in the last 12 months including the introduction of our application service with the Post Office. This new service has reduced the reliance on paper applications, reduced rejection rates and reduced cost. She announced that in January 2014 the SIA would stop issuing paper applications. Individuals will only be able to renew their licence using our telephone renewals service. Businesses should make use of the already successful online e- Renewals service which allows them to renew licences or apply for additional licences on behalf of their employees. Charlotte also stated that the SIA will continue to offer the bulk application service so businesses can manage the completion and submission of new licence applications on behalf of their employees. However, to use this facility the registered company sponsor will be expected to apply for an exemption.

Bill Butler, Chief Executive of the SIA, thanked delegates for attending and commented on the varied agenda of the day. He noted that the role of the private security industry is very diverse and that discussions go beyond regulation of the sector. Bill highlighted that the reliance the Government places on the private security industry is changing and growing, both the scale and the scope of the private security industry is significantly increasing. Bill drew attention to the noteworthy problems in the door supervision sector of restraint causing injuries and deaths. He urged that the private security industry recognise the high profile and high expectations of those working in it. Bill welcomed critics of regulation for speaking at the conference today, recognising it is important that a debate takes place on the future of regulation. Bill reinforced that skills are key to the future of the industry, that training is more important than criminality to raise standards and that it should not just be the responsibility of the regulator but of the businesses working in the sector. Bill closed by saying if the industry wants to end the burden of regulation, it must take action itself by raising standards and professionalism in the industry.
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Our Roadshows and ACS Forums
In October and November we held a round of 16 business licensing events around the UK: eight business licensing road shows and eight ACS Forums.

We received a fantastic response with just under 1,500 delegates registering and 814 delegates attending the events.

Overall we received a positive response to business licensing and we received some valuable feedback that will help us in our approach.

We plan to run more events in the first quarter of 2014, further details will follow.
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Fact or Fiction?
Image shows a question mark "Why should I apply for my business licence early, when the licence will start from the date it is issued?"

Fiction: A business licence will not start until 7 April 2015 regardless of when you apply. Therefore there is no incentive to leave it until the last minute to apply. We strongly recommend that you submit your application to us by 1 October 2014. This is because we can’t guarantee that we can complete the processing of applications received after this date in time for 6 April 2015 deadline.

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Spotlight On... Training Provider Search
Image shows two spotlights focused on our website Our search tool helps licence applicants find the training they need for an SIA licence.

Users can search on licensable activity and by geographical region. The list that is searched is updated every month from information sent to us by the awarding bodies that offer licence-linked qualifications.

Go to the search tool
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Enforcement News

During a joint operation with the SIA and Thames Valley Police, a door supervisor was found working on a fake SIA licence.

The targeted operation was built on intelligence received on a specific venue and its security arrangements. A door supervisor was found displaying a photo-edited, fake SIA licence.

The police cautioned the individual who will be interviewed at a later date. The police and the SIA will be conducting further enquiries into the door supervisor and the security company that deployed him.

An operation was conducted by Leicestershire Police and the SIA in Leicester city centre bars. In total, 11 door supervisors were checked across seven pubs and a club. A man is suspected of working with a forged SIA licence. The police confiscated the licence and a joint investigation will be conducted with the SIA. A second man was found working without an SIA licence, enquiries into this are being taken forward by the SIA.

Further warnings were issued to four door supervisors for failing to notify the SIA of a change of their address or for failing to display their SIA licence whilst undertaking licensable activity; both of which are breaches of SIA licensing conditions.


A security company, its director and two senior managers were found guilty of offences under the Private Security Industry Act 2001, at Leeds Magistrates’ Court.

The SIA prosecuted Leeds based Pro-Tech Security Northern Limited (Pro-Tech) and its director Joseph Grinion. Former director Stefan Rees and operations manager Richard Dyson were also prosecuted.

Pro-Tech pleaded guilty to supplying an unlicensed security operative and portraying itself as an ACS company; the court fined Pro-Tech 1,000 and order it to pay costs of 15,000.

Director, Joseph Grinion, pleaded guilty to portraying Pro-Tech as an ACS company and for failing to produce documents when requested to by the SIA. He was fined 470 and ordered to pay costs of 4,000.

Former director and now manager Stefan Rees, pleaded guilty to supplying an unlicensed security operative and for portraying Pro-Tech to be an ACS company. He was fined 470 and ordered to pay costs of 4,000.

Operations manager, Richard Dyson, pleaded guilty to supplying an unlicensed security operative. He was fined 135 and ordered to pay costs of 400.

At Coventry Magistrates’ Court, a security company owner was found guilty of failing to provide information to the SIA. Anita Corbett failed to disclose that her son was an employee, operating as an unlicensed door supervisor, and that he provided security at an under 18s event. In 2009, Matthew Corbett was convicted for offences that precluded him from holding an SIA licence, and which also led to a ban on him working with children.

The court heard Anita Corbett claim that she would not risk her job as a teaching assistant to cover up for her son, and her omission of information was a genuine oversight.
Anita Corbett was fined 1000, ordered to pay 2265 in costs and a 100 victim surcharge.

Search for press releases in your region
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Licensing Matters
Telephone Renewals
Image shows a telephone Our telephone renewals service allows licence holders to renew their licence or apply for an additional licence in another sector without having to complete an application form.

The service was introduced in response to customer feedback, and is available for anyone who:

  • Is renewing, or already holds, a current SIA licence;
  • Has previously supplied a passport, a UK digital passport number, or a UK driving licence;
  • Has kept their name and address details up to date; and
  • Will pay the licence fee by debit or credit card.
During the telephone conversation, applicants will be asked to confirm their details, make a declaration that the information provided is accurate and make a card payment for the licence application fee. The whole process should take around 15 minutes and means that no application form or documents need to be completed and sent.

We will then complete the required checks, including requesting a criminal record check, before making a decision on the licence application and, if granted, issuing the licence.
This year has seen an increase in applicants using our telephone renewals service: 45% of all licence renewals have been completed over the telephone.

If you would like to use the service call 0844 892 1025. Lines are open from 08.00 to 20.00 Monday to Friday.
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Licence Processing Times
We aim to process a minimum of 80% of all correctly completed applications within 25 working days.

In October 2013, 88% of applications were processed within 25 working days.
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All reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the information contained in this communication is accurate at time of release.
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