SIA Update November 2016
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SIA Update masthead
November 2016
This month our newsletter features an update on our licensing system and details of how to sign up to our upcoming troubleshooting webinars on the new online application system.

Also included is our important public consultation on physical intervention. This consultation continues and you can share your views until Tuesday 20 December. We want to hear from you and would be grateful for your opinion.

We have introduced a new monthly article that explains the licensing process. This month we look at why we ask to see your passport. We also explain how long the licence application takes.

We follow the work of our Partnerships and Intervention teams from the last month and their work on a police prosecution of a counterfeit licence holder and more.
SIA NEWS
Update on Our New Licensing System
Troubleshooting Webinars on the New Licensing System
Tell Us What You Think About Physical Intervention and Door Supervision
Scam: Fake Security Companies Asking for Advanced Fees

ENFORCEMENT UPDATE
Prosecution of a Security Guard with a Counterfeit SIA Licence
Kent Crime Reduction Partnership

LICENSING MATTERS
How Long Does it Take to Process an SIA Licence Application?
Explaining the Licensing Process
Improvements to the Licensing System
Update Your Address Online

EVENTS
Security Twenty 16 Conference
ASIS Winter Seminar and AGM
SIA News
Update On Our New Licensing System
Image shows new licensing site log-in page on the SIA website
This month we reached a milestone and have granted over 30,000 licences since the launch of the new system.

The number of applications in ‘Next Steps’ has also decreased following targeted work to tackle these cases. There are still more cases to be dealt with, so we are repeating advice from previous bulletins:
If you have an application in ‘Next Steps’ please make sure that you have completed all the actions contained in the message “Instructions to complete your SIA Application”. There is a large number of people who have only completed some of the actions in this message. These applications will not progress unless all of the actions are completed. The actions might include visiting the post office or sending documents to us.

Our website has all the information that most applicants will need to register on the new licensing system and apply for a licence. However we are still being contacted by people who could find the answers to their questions online. Before contacting us please visit our help and guidance pages.

We have also added a new page to our website that sets out clearly the stages of a licence application. This page was created for anyone who is wondering what we mean by ‘Next Steps’ or ‘Checks in Progress’, or if you’re wanting more information about our timescales, this page is for you.

To help anyone who is applying for a licence we have also produced guidance on the licensing process. We have now made it easier for you to navigate directly to the information that you need.

We have created a simple welcome page, which appears before you reach our homepage, to help you navigate to the relevant section of the website. It contains links to the most commonly viewed pages and those that contain the answers to the most frequently asked questions. You can also access the home page if you are interested in other information about the SIA.

More information online:

Go to guidance on applications
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Troubleshooting Webinars on the New Licensing System
We are running webinars for businesses to provide advice and guidance on our new licensing system.

We will have experts on hand to provide on-screen solutions to your system issues and offer practical tips to improve your interaction with the new service.

If you are interested in attending the first webinar, then please email us. Please send us your top five system issues at the same time. If you can provide as much detail as possible, this will help us to tailor the sessions effectively.

Register interest and send your top five issues to stakeholder@sia.gsi.gov.uk

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Tell us what you think about physical intervention and door supervision
We want to hear what you think about physical intervention and door supervision and we are running a consultation until Tuesday 20 December.

Physical intervention and disabled door supervisors

Your opinions will help us set the requirements for Door Supervisor licences so that we can promote equality of opportunity for disabled people while ensuring that door supervisors can protect the public and themselves.

Tell us whether we should assess the ability of people to physically intervene who want to be door supervisors. If you think we should, we want to know how you think this assessment would work

Physical intervention training for close protection licence holders

A separate issue is that we want to introduce physical intervention training for Close Protection licence holders who work as door supervisors. The consultation asks what you think of this proposal and our thoughts on how we put this requirement into practice.

The physical intervention training was brought in to ensure that door supervisors have the knowledge and skills to protect members of the public, their colleagues and themselves. We want to know whether you think we should change this.

We also want to hear from you because we want to address the fact that members of the public died following inappropriate physical restraint by door supervisors. We were also aware of cases in which inappropriate physical intervention led to members of the public getting seriously injured.

Send us your views before Tuesday 20 December

We want to hear from you, and those within your business. We are particularly interested in the views of disabled people and holders of Door Supervisor and Close Protection licences. Please also circulate the link to this consultation to people you work with and any other interested parties.

Read more about the consultation and follow the link to the survey response form

Go to Consultation
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Scam: Fake Security Companies Asking for Advanced Fees
There has been a recent increase in adverts for fictitious security companies who advertise security jobs, and then ask for training or licensing fees to be paid in advance.

These fraudsters ask for payment to an anonymous money transfer account and then become uncontactable once the payment is made.

The individuals posing as these fake companies may advertise on job websites or they may email potential candidates directly.

When considering any job advertisement you are not entirely comfortable with you should check that the company is a legitimate security company before any payment is made. Consider the following: -
  • Does the company have a website detailing their business?
  • Is the address provided a genuine address?
  • Are the contact details provided for a company email or a personal email address?
  • Is the company asking for payment by an anonymous money transfer?
  • Is the company registered on the Companies House website?
If you suspect a security company may not be genuine you should not make any payments up front. Reducing criminality in the private security industry is a big part of why we exist. Please report any illegal activity via our website or by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. If you are the victim of fraud you should contact your local police force.

Go to Report Illegal Activity
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Enforcement Update
Prosecution of a Security Guard with a Counterfeit SIA Licence
Image shows statue of justice
In April 2016 as part of an SIA investigation, Mr Kunle Afolorunsho was found working as an unlicensed security guard in Earls Court, west London. He was using a cloned SIA licence to work fraudulently.

We contacted the Metropolitan Police and as a result he was arrested.
At a hearing on 12 October 2016 at Isleworth Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to “Possessing/controlling identity documents with intent” under the Fraud Act. He was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £80.00 and must carry out unpaid work for 100 hours.

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Kent Crime Reduction Partnership
Our Partnerships and Intervention Team met this month with Kent Police and Kent ACS companies to help set up a countywide crime reduction partnership. The aim is to expand on the existing ACS business crime reduction groups, and use this format to address all types of crime; including counter-terrorism and child sexual exploitation. We are seeking the support of several local security companies and partner agencies who will work with Kent Police. This crime reduction group will identify trends across the county, promote best practice, and be a forum to raise standards through training. This will also be a network in which we, alongside other private security stakeholders, disseminate information or request information to assist with the counter-terrorism strategy.

Go to SIA Prosecutions
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Licensing Matters
How Long Does it Take to Process an SIA Licence Application?
We have noticed that there is confusion over how long it should take for us to process a licence application. It is not possible to say exactly how long each individual application will take. The following stages of the application will need to be completed before we can start our checks:
  1. We have received a correctly completed application
  2. Payment of the application fee has been received
  3. We have been able to verify your identity and check any documents we ask you to send us
If we have asked you to send us documents such as a passport or proof of address, step 3 will not be complete until we have received and verified these documents.

Once the above are complete, we aim to reach a decision on a minimum of 80% of applications within 25 working days. This includes renewal applications. Some applications will take longer to complete. Some examples are those that require additional checks for criminality or right to work in the UK.

Please submit your application at the earliest opportunity. If you are renewing your licence, you can apply for the renewal up to four months before your existing licence expires without losing the remaining time on your existing licence.

We are aware that technical issues with our new licensing system has caused delays. However, in October 2016, 71% of applications were processed within 25 working days.

Go to Information for Applicants
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Explaining the Licensing Process
Which Passport Number?

We ask for your passport number in two different places, for two very different purposes:
  1. Account matching. The first time you login to our licensing site we ask you if you’ve previously held or applied for a licence. We then ask for specific information, which in many cases will include your passport number. Your answers are used by us to match up your new user account with your existing records. Because of this, the information you provide here needs to be the same as the information you gave us previously, even if you have been issued with a new passport and a new number.

  2. Licence application. When you apply for a licence we ask if you hold a passport and (if you do) we ask for the number. Your answers are used by us to confirm your identity. Because of this, the information you provide here needs to be about the current, valid passport.
Once we have matched your new account with your old records, you can and should update the passport number for any licence applications you submit. Please do not apply for a licence using your old passport number.

Go to Documents to Provide
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Improvements to the Licensing System
Our new online licensing system was a very large and complicated project, and brought with it a range of challenges. We have put an enormous amount of time and resource since July into diagnosing and fixing issues with the system. Much of this has been done through a programme of system improvements.

We recently put in a series of improvements, that mostly affected businesses:
  • On the ‘Our People’ page, businesses can now filter their employee application records by ‘All’, as well as ‘Accepted’ and ‘Declined’. The search box for finding individual applications remains at top right.
  • Licence Management companies are now able to upload applicant photographs by clicking ‘Browse’, selecting a photograph, and then ‘Save’ followed by ‘Next’.
  • The SIA online view has been changing from business’ view to ‘individual’ view, making responding to Further Information Requests on behalf of individuals difficult. Business users signed into their SIA account will now always see the business view.
  • When a business is renewing a licence on behalf of an employee, the name of the licence-holder, and not just their licence number will be displayed.
  • Businesses should no longer have trouble uploading documents or images to their online accounts as the size limit has increased from 2Mb to 12Mb.
  • The ‘My Licences’ page for businesses acting on behalf of their employees will display 10 licences as opposed to 5.
We have a range of improvements planned to the system, including extra functionality that will make it more informative and easier to use. Please let us know immediately if you come across any problems with the system, and we will keep you up to date with our changes and fixes.

Go to New Licensing System Updates
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Update Your Address Online
SIA licences are issued subject to certain conditions, which you must abide by. One of those conditions is that you must tell us if you change your name or address.

If you need to change your personal details such as your address, you can update it quickly and easily by logging into your personal online account. Simply navigate to the ‘Notify the SIA’ tab and then click on ‘Changes to your address’

You do not need to write to us to update your personal details.

We have made a video to show you how. Watch this video for more guidance.

Go to Guidance Video
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Events
Security Twenty 16 Conference
Last month we attended Professional Security Magazine’s Security Twenty 16 conference. Alan Clamp, our Chief Executive, spoke about our role as regulators of the private security industry. He talked about the barriers to entry for individuals and Approved Contractors and the challenge of setting the barriers at the right height: low enough so as not to present unnecessary obstacles to business, but high enough to provide safeguards for public protection. He also discussed our compliance and enforcement approach and how we work with partners like the police and others on security and counter-terrorism initiatives.

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Upcoming Events
Tuesday 6 December 2016

ASIS Winter Seminar and AGM
Prudential plc
Governors House
5 Laurence Pountney Hill
London
EC4R 0HH

ASIS is an organisation for security professionals. They are hosting a seminar, at which Lord Toby Harris will be speaking about his report on improving London’s terror preparedness. Commander Chris Greany, National Coordinator Economic Crime at City of London Police, will also be speaking at the event.

Find out more
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Follow us on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn or visit our website at www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk
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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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