Essential information and updates from the SIA

November 2017

In this month’s newsletter, we remind you of our new leaflet-style guide for buyers of private security. It highlights the importance of buying security based on quality, not just on price. Please read, use and share it.

We also want to encourage licence holders and applicants to register for an online account. If you’re a business, we want to encourage you to make the most of your SIA business account.

In this month’s enforcement update, you can read about the door supervisor who refused to wear his SIA licence, received a criminal conviction and lost his licence. We also give an update on the Super Pub Watch Event that our Partnerships and Interventions team attended.

For our ‘Licensing Matters’ section of the newsletter we explain the licensing conditions around wearing your licence while on duty. Our ‘Explaining the Licensing Process’ article this month gives details of why it is important to declare everything on your criminal record when applying for a licence.

Featured this month: HMRC will be hosting a Small Business Saturday, to offer help and advice to self-employed workers and small businesses. They have put together a whole host of free webinars, which will cover topics from starting out, to record keeping and business expenses.
Finally, our annual SIA Stakeholder conference will take place on Tuesday 13 March 2018 - please save the date. It will take place in central London. More details will follow soon.



Explaining the licensing process
Wearing your licence


SIA News

Seasonal safeguarding reminder for Door Supervisors

Christmas is coming, and pubs and clubs will soon be full of Christmas get-togethers, office parties, and people celebrating the arrival of the holidays.  It is also a time when some people can find themselves in a dangerous situation, either inside a venue or out on the streets, and in need of extra protection.

Door supervisors can make a big difference to the outcome of a night out by intervening to assist a vulnerable person in trouble and helping them to make it home safe.

We want to reinforce some of the key messages from our SIA-mandated door supervisor training and emphasise the importance of safeguarding vulnerable people in the night-time economy.

How can a door supervisor help to keep vulnerable people safe?
Recognise the risks to vulnerable people being ejected from, or refused entry to a venue, the risks include:
  • Being under the influence of drink or drugs
  • Being assaulted
  • Being alone
  • Receiving unwanted attention
  • Domestic violence
  • Being too young to look after themselves
  • Becoming the target of a sexual predator

What actions can be taken by a door supervisor to protect vulnerable people?
  • Call a friend or relative to assist them
  • Call a licensed taxi to take them home
  • Use a ‘safe haven’
  • Ask street pastors or street marshals to assist
  • Call the police
Can you recognise behaviours that could indicate potential sexual predators? These often include:
  • A lone male seen pestering a customer or member of staff
  • A heavily intoxicated female leaving with a male
  • A regular attendee frequently leaving with different intoxicated females
  • Finding a date-rape type drug on a person during a search
Read out more about safeguarding the private security industry

Do You Buy Security? - The Regulator’s Guide to Buying Private Security

Have you seen our new guide to buying private security? This leaflet highlights the importance of buying security based on quality, not just on price. It also warns potential buyers that cut-price security can put a company’s reputation at risk.

The guide looks at the benefits of buying quality security.  It also reminds buyers that they can have confidence in the fact that Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) businesses have been quality assured to ensure that the services they provide are compliant.

Approved contractors can use this guide when tendering for work. It is designed to raise awareness among buyers, so they can make informed security purchases based on quality.
Download the regulator’s guide to buying private security

Stay up to date – register for an SIA online account

Please register for a personal SIA account, even if you already have an SIA licence.  Please also make sure that you keep your contact details up to date.

This is very important for all SIA licence holders – not just for those who are looking to apply for or renew a licence.  If we have your current contact details, we can send you text and e-mail reminders when your licence is coming up for renewal.  We can also send you other important information relating to your licence.

This means that you can be sure that you will get reminders in good time as soon as you are coming up for licence renewal.  This will prevent you from suddenly finding that you’re due to renew your licence and don’t have enough time to do so. This could lead to no longer being licensed and therefore not available for work.

We can’t communicate with you if we don’t have the right details for you – so please register.
Register for an online account here
Watch this video on registering for an online account

Making the most of your SIA Business Account

In the past few months, we have been encouraging all security businesses to open an SIA online business account. As a result, there has been a rise in the number of registered businesses who are now enjoying the features and benefits of this convenient channel of communication into the SIA.

Business enquiries made through an SIA online account using the ‘I want to make a business enquiry’ function are being answered within 48 hours.

If you have not yet created a business account, please do so through our online licensing site by selecting ‘Register for a Business Account’.  You will need to set this up as ‘Licence Pay Only’.

If you are an approved contractor, you are eligible to upgrade to a ‘Licence Assist’ account, which will:
  • Allow you to fill in and pay for applications on behalf of your staff.
  • Keep you informed when we grant a licence to one of your staff.
  • Allow you to create ‘watchlists’ to check the status of multiple licences at any one time.
To upgrade your ‘Licence Pay Only’ account to ‘Licence Assist’, simply contact us from your business account, providing the details of your approved contractor status.

The next step, in the New Year, will be to make our phone line business-only. This will enable us to provide a better service to businesses. At the moment, our business enquiry line is frequently busy with calls from individuals.

For individuals who have experienced this, we will be asking them to contact us either via their  employer, or through their SIA online accounts. Individuals will still be able to request a call-back from our customer support staff by raising a service request in their SIA online accounts.
Register for an online business account
Watch this video on registering for a business account

Enforcement Update

Door supervisor who refused to wear his SIA licence receives a criminal conviction and loses his licence

Door supervisor Warren Steele has had his licence revoked following a conviction for failing to display his licence whist on duty. Steele was sentenced on 15 September 2017 at Chester Magistrates Court.

Steele, a head door supervisor, was caught on two occasions failing to display his licence when he was working at a bar near Chester. When our investigators confronted Steele, he was less than co-operative.

This is an important condition, as it demonstrates to the public that the door supervisors they see at bars and clubs are properly licensed and regulated. We revoked Steele’s licence as a result of his non-compliance.

Pete Easterbrook, our Criminal Investigations Manager, said:
"Warren Steele thought that the conditions attached to his SIA licence didn’t apply to him. He didn’t want to listen to our investigators’ advice when we spoke to him, and instead displayed an attitude that was both disappointing and concerning. The vast majority of operatives working within the security industry engage positively with the SIA and our partners. However, the circumstances of this case meant that we considered prosecution to be entirely appropriate."

Wrexham County Chief Inspector, David Jolly said:
"The prosecution of Steele demonstrates the effective partnership between the North Wales Police licensing team, the Local Authority and the SIA. The irresponsible behaviour by Steele undermines all the fantastic work that workers in the night time economy undertake to ensure that the public can enjoy themselves."

This case began in February 2017 when our investigators, in conjunction with North Wales Police Licensing Team, were conducting checks in the Connah’s Quay area. When our investigators challenged Steele over not displaying his licence, he answered that he didn’t think he should have to. Our Partnerships and Interventions team and the police warned him that failing to display his SIA licence constituted a breach of his licence conditions.

On 23 June 2017, our criminal investigations team were carrying out licence checks again in the Connah’s Quay area. They came across Steele, who was still not displaying his licence, despite having been told in February to do so. Consequently, we decided to prosecute Steele for ignoring the licensing conditions.

The court heard that Steele, a head door supervisor, had held SIA licences for a number of years, and should therefore have been aware of the SIA licensing conditions.

As a result, Steele has had his licence revoked and was issued with a conditional discharge for 6 months. He was also ordered to pay costs of £250 and a victim surcharge of £20.

Pete Easterbrook, our Criminal Investigations Manager also said:
“SIA licence holders have both a responsibility and a legal obligation to adhere to the conditions of that licence.  These are not optional. In this case, failure to comply has resulted in a criminal conviction and a revocation of the individual’s SIA licence. Where appropriate we will try to encourage compliance in the first instance. However, we will not hesitate to prosecute those who display a blatant contempt for regulation, and in doing so undermine the safeguards and assurances that regulation provides.”

Find out about our completed prosecutions

Super Pub Watch event organised in Leicester Square

On 15 November, we took part in the Super Pub Watch event organised by the Heart of London Business Alliance at Café du Paris, Leicester Square, London.

The event aimed to bring together venues in the West End area to discuss themes around the evening and night-time economy, and how to protect the public during the festive season.

During the event, we gave an update and provided advice and guidance on buying security. This included ways in which both buyers and providers of security can ensure quality security services.

Other attendees included the London Police Licensing and Safer Neighbourhood teams, Westminster City Council Licensing, Safer West End, Heart of London, B-cam and Counter Terrorism Police. Their presentations looked at the following:
  • A London Police update on their strategy and planning for the festive season.
  • A Westminster Licensing update from the city council.
  • A Counter Terrorism update on the procedures for dynamic lockdown in a premises in the event of a marauding knife attack
  • The use of the Safer West End Radio Link Scheme to share fast and real-time intelligence
  • Responding to victims of an acid attack
Find out more about the Heart of London Business Alliance

Licensing Matters

Explaining the Licensing Process

Declaring Recent Criminality

The ‘Criminality Information’ page of our licence application form asks the question “Have you had a conviction, caution or warning within the last 12 months?”. You can see this in the screenshot here. We ask this question because recent offences may not always appear in the information we receive from the criminality disclosure bodies.

If you have a conviction, caution or warning within the last 12 months then you must tell us about it. If you don’t and we subsequently find out about it, we may suspend and/or revoke any licences you have been granted. We may also prosecute you: when you submit an application for an SIA licence you make a formal, legal declaration that the information you have provided is, to the best of your knowledge, “true and complete in every respect”. Section 22 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001 makes it a criminal offence to knowingly or recklessly make a false statement to the SIA.

Please make sure that the information you provide is accurate and includes all of the details we ask for. If you submit information that is wrong or incomplete then your application could be delayed and it may even be cancelled.

Read more about our licensing and criminality checks

Wearing Your Licence

It is a condition of the licence that a front line licence holder must wear their licence where it can be seen at all times when engaging in designated licensable activity, unless they have reported it lost or stolen, or it is in our possession.

Your licence can be revoked or suspended if you do not do so. You can also be prosecuted, as contravening licence conditions is a criminal offence under Section 9 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

Some people wear a photocopy of the licence because they are worried that the real thing will be lost or broken while at work and they believe they will have to pay for a replacement. This is incorrect: we don't normally charge for replacing a licence (although we may if we receive repeated requests from the same individual).

Some people believe that they will be unable to work while they wait for the replacement - again, this is incorrect. If you are waiting on a replacement licence from us you can still work lawfully, though you should print out your entry on our register of licence holders and carry it with you along with some form of photographic ID. This will enable you to prove that you are licensed if you are asked to do so by an SIA investigator or one of our enforcement partners (for example, a police officer or a local authority licensing officer).
Find out about reporting lost, stolen or damaged licences
Watch this video on how to request a replacement licence

Business Matters

HMRC support for Self-Employed and Small Businesses

On Saturday 2 December, HMRC is offering help and advice to self-employed workers and small businesses through a series of free webinars. These webinars will cover many of the key tax issues new and experienced businesses often ask HMRC about, from starting out, to record keeping and business expenses. Sign-up to one of the following webinars:

10:00 – 11:00: Record keeping for the self-employed
How to keep records, set up a records system and how long to keep records:
Sign-up here.

12:00 – 13:00 Self-employment Help & Support
This webinar is aimed at sole traders and self-employed partnerships, covering topics affecting small businesses, including business expenses, Cash Basis and Self Assessment tax returns:
Sign-up here.

14:00 – 15:00 Business expenses for the self-employed
Take this opportunity to find out what expenses businesses can and can’t claim:
Sign-up here.

16:00 – 17:00   How to complete your online tax return
Get the help you need completing your Self Assessment tax return. They will cover signing in and filling in the self-employment section, viewing your calculation and budgeting for your payments:
Sign-up here.

Sign up for the webinar on how to complete your online tax return
Your first Self Assessment Tax Return

Upcoming Events

SIA Annual Stakeholder Conference

Save the Date
Tuesday 13 March 2018,
Central London

More information to follow soon

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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