August's essential information and updates from the SIA

SIA Update, August 2017

Following the recent Barcelona attack, we want to share the latest National Counter Terrorism Office’s (NaCTSO) guidance. We also want to remind security operatives and businesses to stay vigilant and sign-up for Project Griffin and Project Argus, the NaCTSO counter-terrorism training.

Read our latest blog post from our Deputy Director of Partnerships and Interventions, Ed Bateman. He talks about the work we are doing to contribute to the counter-terrorism initiatives underway by the Home Office and Metropolitan Police.

This month’s enforcement update is about the prosecution of Michael Quinton and Limited Risk Ltd, a Portsmouth-based security company. Read about how he was prosecuted for ‘phoenixing’ a security company and how he worked as a director despite having been disqualified as a director at Companies House.

We would like to remind approved contractors and security operatives that since December 2016 Licence Dispensation Notices (LDNs) have been issued at the ‘Checks in Progress’ stage ONLY.
Finally, find out what qualifications are required for a door supervisor licence in this month’s ‘Explaining the Licensing Process’ feature. This includes a look at what constitutes a valid qualification.

Terrorism Threat: Stay Vigilant
SIA Corporate Blog: Counter-Terrorism

Disqualified Director of Security Firm Sentenced to 18 Months
Licensing Checks in Northern Ireland

Reminder to Authorise LDNs at ‘Checks in Progress’ ONLY

Qualifications Required for a Door Supervisor Licence

We Host Workshop with HMRC
Healthy Work-Place Charter
Drinkaware Initiatives

Security TWENTY17 – Glasgow
Security Events Website

SIA News

Terrorism Threat: Stay Vigilant

In response to recent events, we want to emphasise again the importance of vigilance and of reporting any concerns to the anti-terrorist hotline. The current UK threat level for international terrorism is: SEVERE. This means that a terrorist attack is highly likely.

If you see or hear anything that could be terrorist-related trust your instincts and call the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321.

Please refresh the knowledge of staff that have received either Project Griffin or Project Argus training and deploy staff who have received training in behavioural detection (where you have them).

Be proactive in challenging visitors, vehicles and anything out of place and consider the following options particularly around crowded places, night-time economy and iconic sites:
  • Review patrol strategy (be unpredictable).
  • Adopt high visibility clothing
  • Brigade resources with neighbouring contracts/buildings
  • Report any suspicious activity in a timely manner. Early reporting of suspected hostile reconnaissance is vital in combating terrorism
  • Implement communication links with surrounding premises to pass on information about suspicious activity/behaviour
  • Consider closing non-essential access and exit points
  • Focus CCTV on all communal areas and vulnerable points
  • Ensure CCTV is fit for purpose
We recommend that security operatives refresh themselves with how to be vigilant by watching the video ‘Personnel security - Eyes Wide Open’ by the Centre for the Protection for National Infrastructure (CPNI).  The following resources are available:

Watch the video: Personnel Security - Eyes Wide Open

Find out more about:
Project Griffin (counter terrorism training for security operatives)
Project Argus (counter terrorism training to protect a business or an organisation).

The National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) have launched guidance on ‘the National Stakeholder Menu of Tactical Options’. This includes a guidance document with advice for security managers of crowded places. Visit their website to find out about a number of operational and tactical options you may wish to consider.
Download NaCTSO's national stakeholder menu of tactical options

SIA Corporate Blog: The SIA and Counter-Terrorism

Our corporate blog aims to discuss developments in the private security industry, and to provide further insight and opinion on our work.

In this blog our Deputy Director of Partnerships and Interventions, Ed Bateman, talks about the work we are doing to contribute to the counter-terrorism initiatives underway by the Home Office and Metropolitan Police.

Following the recent attacks in Manchester and London counter-terrorism is an increasingly topical issue. We hope you will engage in an on-going discussion with us, provide comments and share your opinions.
Read our blog on counter-terrorism

Enforcement Update

Disqualified Security Director Sentenced to 18 Months

On 27 July at Kingston Crown Court, Michael Quinton pleaded guilty to acting as a director of Limited Risk Ltd contrary to the Company Director Disqualification Act.

We began investigating Quinton and Limited Risk Ltd, an existing Portsmouth-based security company to which he was linked, in May 2014. Quinton, who appeared to be acting as a director of the company, was listed as a disqualified director at Companies House and did not hold an SIA licence.

When the investigation began, Quinton and Limited Risk had a number of contracts to undertake security at venues across London and the South East. After further enquiries it became clear that Quinton also had connections to several security companies that were listed as dissolved at Companies House. These companies were Defensa Security Limited, Guardit (UK) Limited, Guardit Clubs Limited, Guardit Events Limited and Guardit Security Services.

After scrutinising Quinton further, our SIA investigators uncovered a number of potential offences from the Commonwealth Games in Scotland in 2014. These offences related to the supply of security staff to the Commonwealth Games where accommodation for the volunteers never materialised and they ended up paying for it themselves.

Our SIA investigators were able to show that Quinton had been acting as a director for Limited Risk, despite having been disqualified. As a result, we referred him to the Insolvency Service and supplied information relating to the investigation. Hampshire Police also investigated Quinton. The Criminal Enforcement team at the Insolvency Service then prosecuted Quinton.

The court gave Quinton an 18 month sentence, suspended for 2 years. He was ordered to pay all the prosecution’s costs of £13,818.47 within 6 months, and was disqualified from being a director of a company and/or an insolvency practitioner for 10 years.

Kevin Young, SIA Partnerships and Investigations Manager, said:
            Our investigation of Quinton’s business practices relating to the supply of security staff to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland, and other major sporting events, revealed a pattern of behaviour.

Our investigators at the SIA actively seek to work with partners and the conviction of Michael Quinton shows the value of joint working and sharing of information between the Insolvency Service and Hampshire Police.

The case lawyer, Ian Hatcher, from the Insolvency Service said:

            This case shows that the Criminal Enforcement Team of Insolvency Service will take action against those individuals who act as directors or are involved in the management of companies when they are not permitted to do so.

Here, a disqualified director attempted to circumvent his ban by incorporating a company abroad and by using the names of others as directors of his British company.

The Criminal Enforcement Team of Insolvency Service was alive to this, and took firm action.

Licensing Checks (Operation Noomin) in Northern Ireland

We worked with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and Crimestoppers to conduct inspections of licensed premises on 17 and 24 August 2017. This operation was called Operation Noomin and coincided with the publication of exam results in Northern Ireland (A-level results on Thursday 17 August and GCSE results Thursday 24 August).

These inspections took place across Northern Ireland and our involvement focused on checking door staff to ensure only SIA licensed staff are deployed. We aimed to carry out this operation around the time exam results were published due to the risk of underage drinking. Our checks provided assurance to students and the general public that the security operatives on duty are licensed and fully trained to protect them.

SIA Deputy Director Ed Bateman said:

           "The SIA works closely with the PSNI on a range of initiatives aimed at making people and places safer by assuring that security staff are correctly licensed.

SIA licensed door staff are important contributors to making the night time economy safer and, conversely, unlicensed, unlawful security provision can put people in danger. We are really pleased to be supporting and deploying with local PSNI officers throughout Operation Noomin."

Find out more about our prosecutions

Approved Contractors

Reminder to authorise LDNs at ‘Checks in Progress’ ONLY

Last year we had special temporary rules in place around the issue of Licence Dispensation Notices (LDN). We put these rules in place, which were a relaxation from the normal regime, in recognition of the delays that our new online licensing system was causing for some applicants.

We have worked hard to overcome the difficulties with the new system and improve the level of service we are able to offer. Processing times for the vast majority of people are now back to the level they were before the difficulties experienced through the introduction of the new system back in July 2016. 

In December 2016 we returned to the usual arrangements around the authorisation of LDNs. As a result LDNs are now to be issued at ‘Checks in Progress’ ONLY.

This means that an LDN may only be given to an operative where his or her application is at ‘Checks in Progress’.  Similarly, we will only authorise the issue of a second and subsequent LDNs when an application is at Checks in Progress.

In addition, last year we allowed approved contractors to have a maximum of 20% of their workforce deployed and working on an LDN. This arrangement was temporary. On 20 December we contacted all approved contractors to give notice that businesses needed to return to deploying a maximum of 15% of staff on LDNs as of 15 January 2017. This is a reminder of these requirements.
Visit our website for an outline of the LDN conditions

Explaining the Licensing Process

Qualifications Required for a Door Supervisor Licence

In order to apply for a door supervisor licence you must hold:
  • One of the current licence-linked qualifications, or;
  • One of the older licence-linked qualifications and the 'Level 2 Upskilling a Door Supervisor Working within the Private Security Industry' award. Both qualifications must be valid for our purposes (see below).
You cannot apply for a Door Supervisor licence if you only hold the upskilling award. The upskilling award is intended to supplement training that you have already had and does not itself cover everything you need to know in order to gain an SIA licence.

Valid Qualifications

We need to be sure that people applying for a licence have not forgotten the skills and knowledge that they learned during their training. In order to apply for a licence you must have:
  • Achieved your licence-linked qualification within the last three years, or;
  • Held an active licence for that sector within the last three years (our assumption being that you will therefore have kept your skills fresh while doing the job).
If you are applying for a door supervisor licence and you are satisfying our training requirement with a combination of an older licence-linked qualifications and the upskilling award, *both* qualifications must meet our requirements. As an example, we will not accept your application if you have recently achieved the upskilling award but it has been longer than three years since you held a door supervisor licence or achieved your original qualification.
Find out about the required qualifications for door supervisors
Watch our video on registering up for an online account

Business Matters

We Hosted a Workshop with HMRC on Appropriate Employment Models

We are finding a growing number of approved contractors or applicants with employment models which may not satisfy the ACS standard. HMRC have been providing us with helpful support in some cases.

On 19 July, we held a joint workshop with HMRC in central London for approved contractors to discuss the employment standards and models we expect them to uphold. The event was an opportunity to consider how HMRC can help security businesses to get this right and the possible consequences of persisting with a flawed model.

We have established effective partnership arrangements with HMRC. These can focus on off-record employment, bogus employment models through to cases of serious and organised crime. Prosecutions for these offences are carried out by either by us or HMRC.

The workshop explored a number of anonymised case studies that highlighted abusive practices involving large sums of money. At another end of the scale, scenarios involving inaccurate recording of employment status, VAT fraud, supply chains where the employer has removed themselves from the responsibility of the payroll were also examined.

Our partnership with HMRC has been key for our work and this close collaboration was highlighted at the event.

Our work contributes to raising standards in the private security industry to protect society and HMRC contributes to making sure the exchequer gets what is due. Both organisations share the same goal to create a level playing field that ensures that security operatives are legitimately employed and treated fairly and that this standard becomes the norm.

We share a lot of our information with HMRC, we have shared relevant information with them so they have a complete picture of the information held by both organisations of the individuals and businesses in the private security industry.

Businesses at the event expressed frustration at the way the guidance is presented, the employment status indictors on the HMRC website were cited as being too general – the descriptors are not reflective of the realities of the industry.

We will work with HMRC to provide guidance to supply some consistency. We will also ensure that the HMRC indicators are also hosted on the SIA website.

Speaking about the day, Dave Humphries SIA Director of Partnerships and Interventions said:

          “We are keen to support and encourage businesses in the ACS community to get this right. We will be discussing employment models with businesses, jointly with HMRC colleagues.

 “Ultimately if we are to secure this level playing field we urge people to tell us when businesses are not getting it right”.

Find out more about employment status and models

Healthy Work-Place Charter

The Healthy Workplace Charter is the London Mayor’s scheme to support employers to create healthy, productive working environments and a healthier, happier workforce.

While this charter focuses on London it is applicable for businesses across the UK as it sets out the standards that businesses and organisations can aim to meet in order to improve the environment in which security staff work and their wellbeing.

Meeting this standard means that a business or organisation can receive an official accreditation (and award). It aims to help companies do the following:
  • Address crucial issues like: recruitment and staff retention, sickness absence and employee productivity
  • Get buy-in from senior management to improve health and wellbeing
  • Make positive changes in workplace environments and attitudes
  • Gain a reputation as a leading London employer, devoted to their staff

With support from a London borough, businesses can show how they are really focused on the health and wellbeing of their staff. So far over 600 employers have signed up, of whom 166 have been accredited.
Find out more about the Healthy Work-Place Charter

Drinkaware Crew and Alcohol Vulnerability E-Learning

Drinkaware has launched two new programmes to support staff in the night time economy; the Drinkaware Crew and Alcohol Vulnerability Awareness E-Learning. The Drinkaware Crew are specially trained staff who work in bars and clubs to reduce drunken anti-social behaviour amongst 18 to 24 year olds and keep them safe.

Working in pairs, the club hosts have a presence in the venue throughout the night, talking to customers at the start of the evening when a queue is forming, supporting customers who are vulnerable, maybe because of alcohol, and ensuring guests leave safely after the venue has closed.

The Alcohol Vulnerability Awareness e-learning has been designed for staff working inside the venue, including bar staff, glass collectors, first aiders and any other staff whose role involves direct contact with customers. By equipping staff with the ability to identify alcohol-related vulnerability and take steps to help prevent customers from coming to harm, it is of benefit to any bar, club or venue where alcohol is sold.

An outline of the e-Learning can be downloaded here.
Find out more about Drinkaware’s campaigns

Upcoming Events

Security TWENTY17 - Glasgow

Professional Security Magazine runs the Security Twenty17 regional conferences and exhibitions across the UK.

On Tuesday 5 September, Elizabeth France, our Chair will be giving a presentation at the Professional Security Magazine’s Security Twenty-17 conference in Glasgow. We will also have a stall where you can talk directly with an SIA staff member during the day.

This is the first time that PSM have held such an event in Scotland.  It is a good opportunity to meet with staff from the SIA and also to network with colleagues in the private security industry.  Admission is free but registration is required.
Find out more about this event

Security Events Website

Find out key information about events that may be of interest to the security industry by visiting the All Security Events website.
Visit the Security Events website

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