SIA Update December 2015
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SIA Update Christmas masthead
December 2015
We lead this month with the new content available on our website to help inform and prepare you for the forthcoming changes to our licensing services.

We have created a new section on our website ‘Review of the SIA’ dedicated to our imminent review by a senior Home Office official. The review is to identify what we do well, what changes might be required and areas where we could be more effective and efficient.

We have provided a summary of the presentations given at our recent stakeholder conference. As well as details of the new powers we have been given under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Changes To Licensing – New Content Available
Review of the SIA
SIA Stakeholder Conference 2015
Security Research Institute Cyber Crime Survey
Enforcement News

Consultation on British Standard for Keyholding and Response Services

Licence Processing Times
Christmas Opening Hours
SIA News
Changes To Licensing – New Content Available
Image shows Changes to Licensing page on the SIA website
We are making changes to our licensing processes in the near future.

Take a look at the new content we have created on our website to help inform and prepare you for the forthcoming changes.
Information includes:
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Changes to the application process
  • A video demonstrating the new self-service website
  • Definitions of the new services and terminology to help with your application
Take a look at this and more on our website.

Go to Changes to Licensing
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Review of the SIA
Image shows Review of SIA section of SIA website
All non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs), like the SIA, are subject to periodic substantive reviews (known until recently as Triennial Reviews).

The purpose of the review is to identify what an organisation does well, what changes might be required and areas where the public body could be more effective and efficient.
In the case of the SIA, the review will be carried out on behalf of the Secretary of State by a senior Home Office official who is independent of both the SIA and our sponsorship unit in the Home Office.

We are preparing for a review and we expect it to be announced soon.

We have created a new section on our website called ‘Review of the SIA’ for your information. It also includes a new publication ‘SIA Annual Review 2014-15: Improving Standards and Protecting the Public’.

All private security industry stakeholders will be encouraged to contribute to the review process by completing a consultation questionnaire. We will let you know when this is available.

Download SIA Annual Review 2014-15 (PDF, download size: 991kb)

Go to Review of the SIA
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SIA Stakeholder Conference 2015
Image shows conference table and plinth
Summary of presentations by:
Professor Martin Gill
Director of Perpetuity Research and Consultancy International; Professor of Criminology, University of Leicester

Professor Gill opened the conference, he stated that the private security industry makes an enormous contribution to business and society.

He asked how businesses can demonstrate their excellence and differentiate themselves from businesses that are simply average. Professor Gill set out several characteristics of an excellent private security business and explained how security is an essential business function that enables businesses to function, prosper and follow good practice.

Professor Gill felt that it is a mistake to interpret security just as the “protection of assets” and that the private security industry needs to speak up about the value it delivers.

Download Martin’s presentation (PDF, download size: 5MB)
Back to list of presenters
Alan Clamp
Chief Executive, SIA

Alan talked about our journey towards a private security industry that has gone from regulatory compliance to a commitment to improving standards and protecting the public that is so great that it needs minimal regulation. He explained that we would get there by adhering to our mission to hold the industry to account for continuously improving standards in order to protect the public.

Alan emphasised that we recognise the needs of business and the impact of our policies on them as any good regulator should. He also covered:
  • The training that is required to operate in the industry – is this right and how can it be improved?
  • New developments such as communities in the UK using neighbourhood security
  • Engagement and feedback – We already work in partnership with the police, with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and with Home Office Immigration and it is important to continue to do that to help punch above our weight
  • Improvements – including delivering value for money. We operate on the basis of cost recovery, if we can do things more efficiently this will mean that we can reduce the licence fee.
Alan announced that the SIA will be subject to a review the purpose of which is to challenge whether we are needed or whether things can be done differently. All private security industry stakeholders will be asked to contribute to the review process by completing a consultation questionnaire.

Download Alan’s presentation (PDF, download size: 525kb)
Back to list of presenters
Elizabeth France CBE
Chair, SIA

Elizabeth spoke about the key priorities for the SIA, which are:

Violence reduction – We are currently implementing our strategy on violence reduction. We will play our part alongside our partners, using our influence and powers to enable and to support the private security industry in reducing violence.

Equality and diversity – Elizabeth commented on the research we had conducted in the private security industry. The research concluded that the security industry compares unfavourably with most trade sectors, with a large gender imbalance in the security sector. The issue with race and ethnicity was less imbalanced, but there appear to be limits on career progress within the industry.

Working with buyers – We will be engaging buyers to encourage them to help deliver higher standards through their choices of security suppliers. We will communicate the risks for an organisation if it does not look to the quality of provision when buying security services.

Improving our services – In the spring of 2016 we will be launching new online services. It will be easier for individuals to apply for a licence, monitor the progress of a licence application and keep personal details up to date. It will be easier for qualifying security businesses to manage licence applications on behalf of their staff, find relevant information about their employees’ licences and have greater involvement in their employees’ online licence account.

Download Elizabeth’s presentation (PDF, download size: 167kb)
Back to list of presenters
Simon Letchford
Commander, Metropolitan Police

Simon described the Force’s high level strategy to work with businesses in London to prevent them from becoming victims of crime; to drive an increase in the reporting of crime and to increase the number of business crimes solved.

Simon spoke of the challenges and changes facing the police, businesses and private security providers in London as well the opportunities available to make a difference, including:
  • How partnership and co-operation (and in particular information sharing between businesses) must increase
  • How private security can provide vigilance, information and intelligence about criminal activity in general and anti-social behaviour in the night-time economy in particular and potential terrorist threats
  • How the costs of private security can be shared between businesses when they focus less on their own premises and more on the wider area in which they are located.
He also highlighted the on-going work of Project Griffin, to help London’s financial sector better protect itself against terrorist threats and Project Argus, to raise awareness of the threat from terrorism nationally.

Download Simon’s presentation (PDF, download size: 2MB)
Back to list of presenters
Tony Holyland
Head of Quality and Standards, SIA

Tony gave a presentation on the drive within the SIA to continuously improve standards within the security industry, including the appropriate use of training. He talked about the considerable achievements made by the industry to date:
  • That there have been 1.5 million licence-linked qualifications awarded since regulation was introduced
  • How security professionals are now equipped with physical intervention skills, vulnerability safeguarding training, and counter-terrorism awareness.
In addition there are qualifications for non-frontline roles including management and supervisory training as well as technical qualifications that improve expertise in specific aspects of operatives’ competence above the minimum standard.

Tony also explained that there are significant challenges and two in particular stand out:
  • The rate of renewals confirms a 60% churn in personnel in the private security industry
  • Only 18% of private security management have a management qualification, it is closer to 50% for the service industry as a whole. This is a missed opportunity to enhance managers’ expertise and best practice knowledge.
Tony talked about the opportunities that could be taken to continue to build on the progress already made.

Download Tony’s presentation (PDF, download size: 174kb)
Back to list of presenters
Ed Bateman
Deputy Director of Partnerships & Interventions, SIA

Nathan Salmon
Head of Formal Investigations, SIA

Ed and Nathan gave an overview of compliance and enforcement.

Ed explained that it is a largely compliant industry with 98% compliance amongst frontline operatives. This high level of compliance is also supplemented by our partners who use Private Security Industry Act 2001 offences alongside other legislation in their own enforcement activity.

We receive 500 items of intelligence per month most of it through Crimestoppers and 70% via members of the public with a considerable proportion of the rest coming from the industry itself and partners. Sharing intelligence is particularly effective and significantly increases the impact of enforcement activity. It also tangibly benefits the compliant industry: in one year alone as a result of enforcement activity successfully undertaken by the SIA and our partners, £7.5m of contracts were lost to criminals in favour of approved contractors.

Nathan explained that the SIA operates on the basis of risk. The main harms arising from non-compliance are best addressed at the level of security businesses and their directors and so 92% of investigations are directed at these.

Download Ed & Nathan’s presentation (PDF, download size: 360kb)
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Security Research Institute Cyber Crime Survey
Image shows data breach screen alert
The growing threat of cyber crime has significant consequences for businesses and there is a need for experts in this field as police resources are limited.

Perpetuity Research are conducting a survey as part of the Security Research Initiative.
The survey seeks to understand:
  • How is cyber/information security viewed within businesses?
  • What approach is (and should be) taken to manage the threats?
  • What input is needed to address cyber crime?
If you work in the security sector (whether a supplier, a corporate security manager / stakeholder, an operative or other expert) they are interested in hearing from you. The survey is anonymous, takes approx 10 minutes to complete and the findings will be made available to participants. The deadline for responses is 2 February 2016.

Go to the survey
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Enforcement News
Image shows statue of justice
New powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

The Government has amended the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) changing powers available to regulatory bodies, including the SIA.

The new powers became effective from the end of November 2015.
We now have wider powers to financially investigate companies and individuals who are benefiting from criminal activity. The aim is to remove assets from offenders and halt further criminal activity.

We have been working with partners on POCA enquiries for some years, experiencing successes in confiscating assets. Following convictions for the supply of unlicensed security operatives and falsely claiming SIA Approved Contractor status, Confiscation Orders have removed assets. Such orders benefit the wider private security industry as illegally gained monies cannot be used to fund ongoing business interests in the industry.

SIA Director of Partnerships and Interventions, Dave Humphries welcomes the changes:

“Historically, we have been able to engage partners on a small number of our investigations. However with these changes to POCA, the SIA will independently be able to consider the potential for restraint and confiscation on a wider number of investigations. We are recruiting new specialist financial investigators that will strengthen our ability to investigate any criminal activity which could impact on the regulatory effectiveness of the private security industry.

The risks associated with breaching private security regulation are now more severe. Alongside potential convictions and licence removals, the likelihood of losing property as a result of offending is greater.”

Funds recovered under POCA are returned to the public purse, with a percentage returned to investigating bodies to fund further investigations.

Go to SIA Prosecutions
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Approved Contractor Scheme
Consultation on British Standard for Keyholding and Response Services
Keyholding and response services - Part 1: General recommendations for keyholding and response services. BS7984-1

This British Standard gives recommendations for key holding and response services. It details the manner in which an organisation manages the service provision of key holding and how it should respond to an event. In addition to key holding management, it further details what is expected of a response centre and what can be used for the storage of keys.

Your comments on this draft are invited and will assist in the preparation of the resulting British Standard. If no comments are received to the contrary, this draft may be implemented unchanged as a British Standard.

We encourage all interested parties to use the below link to review and comment on the draft. Once you have registered (which is free), you will be able to log in and:
  • Use the search bar or browse by category to find the standard(s) relevant to your business or industry
  • Read and review the current standard and think about how it would affect you and your business
  • Comment on the draft standard and help shape its future
The closing date for comments is 20 January 2016.

Go to the BSI website
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Licensing Matters
Licence Processing Times
We aim to process a minimum of 80% of all correctly completed applications within 25 working days.

In November 2015, 83% of all applications were processed within 25 working days.

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Christmas Opening Hours
General and Licensing Enquiries
  • Open: 23, 24, 29, 30, 31 December from 09.00 to 17.00
  • Closed: 25, 26, 28 December and 1 January.
ACS Enquiries and Business Support
  • Open: 29 and 30 December from 09.00 to 17.00; 31 December from 09.00 to 14.00
  • Closed: 24, 25, 28 December and 1 January
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