Essential information and updates from the SIA

December 2017

In this month’s newsletter, we want to raise awareness and vigilance at events and crowded places, particularly throughout December and January. We signpost guidance on counter-terrorism protective security - Please read, use and share it.

Also included this month is our clarification over the use of ‘vascular restraints’ or ‘chokeholds’. These are extremely dangerous and we explain that these techniques are not part of our required training for licensed operatives, and should not be used.

In this month’s enforcement update, you can read how our routine checks uncovered a security director working with a revoked licence at Elvis festival. We also let you know how the recent Project Griffin Training in Bedfordshire and the Violence Reduction event in Southampton went.

For our ‘Licensing Matters’ section of the newsletter, we have a new ‘Explaining the Licensing Process’ article. We clarify the difference between renewing a licence and submitting a new application. We explain that you can't renew a licence unless you currently hold an active licence in that sector.

Featured this month: HMRC begins a consultation on tax conditionality and is asking for your view on whether security operatives must be registered for tax.
Finally, season’s greetings from all of us at the SIA and a happy and safe new year in advance. We look forward to working with you in 2018.



Explaining the licensing process


SIA News

Update on the Review of the Approved Contractor Scheme

Since early 2017, we have been working with Pye Tait to undertake a full review of the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS), which will ensure the scheme remains fit for purpose.

During phase 1 of this review, Pye Tait engaged approved contractors, other security contractors, buyers, assessing bodies and other stakeholders.

Engagement was achieved via online surveys, telephone interviews, workshops and focus groups. Participants were asked to give their views on the present scheme, its advantages and disadvantages and how it can be improved.

The response was fantastic; over 650 people have contributed to the review. We’d like to thank all of you who took the time to take part.

A number of themes have emerged such as: the purpose of the scheme; eligibility criteria; differentiation; raising the Standard; future ownership of the scheme. The findings from Phase 1 have also informed a number of recommendations for change, which we are now considering. We will provide a more detailed update on the results and our response in the New Year.

New Standard

The findings from phase 1 were used to identify possible ways forward for improving the ACS, including the Standard.

The next phase – ‘market testing’ – will commence in early 2018, when proposals for a revised ACS will be shared with you, and feedback invited.

You can find out more and register your interest for participating in the market testing by visiting the ACS Review portal.

The revised Standard will be launched during the summer of 2018. We will publish all the latest information on our website and on Pye Tait’s ACS Review Portal.

Sign up for the market testing workshops

Counter-terrorism protective security

Throughout December and January, we want to raise awareness and vigilance at events and crowded places.

By reinforcing existing messaging, reminding people to be alert when visiting venues and crowded places, we intend to encourage the public to be vigilant and report anything suspicious. This is to reinforce the ‘See It, Say It, Sorted’ which has been used as part of Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) initiative.

The National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) has produced a guidance document with advice for security managers of crowded places.

The aim of this document is to provide advice to security managers of crowded places to improve their sites security stance. It can be used as part of an escalation plan during a rise in the threat level. There are a number of operational and tactical options you may wish to consider.
Read the advice from NaCTSO for security managers
Watch the 'Personnel Security Eyes wide open

Clarification on the use of vascular restraint

There have been several recent incidents involving door supervisors that have resulted in serious injury, or worse, to members of the public. In some cases, these injuries have been attributed to the use of so-called ‘vascular restraints’.  These are also known as ‘chokeholds’, and are extremely dangerous.

These techniques are not part of SIA required training for licensed operatives, and should not be used.  There appears to be a belief among some operatives that these are legitimate restraints, mandated for use by law enforcement agencies.  Please be aware that the use of neck restraints by police officers both here and in the United States has been prohibited for almost 30 years.

For best practice we recommend that security operatives should only use the techniques that they have been trained to use as part of their SIA-linked training on physical intervention.

Security operatives must remember that there are always risks associated with using physical intervention.   Applying force or pressure to the neck, spine, vital organs, or vulnerable parts of the body can result in serious injury or even death. Such techniques must be avoided.

Physical intervention must always be used as a last resort, and the least forceful intervention practicable must be used.

Please see below our recent publications:
Safer Physical Intervention for Door Supervisors (PDF, download size: 78kb).
Guide to Safer Physical Restraint (PDF, download size: 1,036 KB)

Download the Guide to Safer Physical Restraint

Enforcement Update

SIA routine checks uncover director with revoked licence at Elvis festival

Billy Jones, director of BJ Securities Ltd, was sentenced on 13 December, at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court for continuing to work as a security director despite having lost his SIA licence.

He was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and 200 hours unpaid work at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court on 13 December. Jones had previously had his SIA licence revoked following a conviction for threatening behaviour.
In June 2016 our investigators visited the Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl, to perform routine licence checks during the Elvis Festival. They found an unlicensed security officer in place, who was working for Billy Jones’ firm, BJ Securities Limited.

David Will, our Financial Investigation Officer, said:
Billy Jones showed a deliberate disregard for the licensing regime.  He worked as an unlicensed director for a prolonged period, and did so while serving a sentence for another offence.
Jones’s criminality was exposed by an SIA investigation team performing unannounced licence checks at an event.  This is one of the ways that we ensure that security operatives are properly trained and vetted, and that they are working within the confines of the law.  SIA regional investigation teams and the police are working together across the UK to find unlicensed operatives and prevent them from being a danger to the public.”

Our investigation revealed that Billy Jones did not himself hold an SIA licence; it had been revoked in December 2015 due to his conviction for threatening behaviour under the Public Order Act 1986.   Billy Jones had continued in his role as the sole director of BJ Securities Ltd, despite being told by our investigators that he could not act as a director of a security company.
Mr Jones was interviewed under caution by our investigators and was charged under Section 3 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. This legislation makes it an offence for a person to engage in any licensable conduct except under and in accordance with a licence.
We are also seeking to recover our costs.  These will be dealt with under Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings in the New Year.

Read the full news story on our website

Project Griffin workshop in Bedford

We facilitated a Project Griffin counter-terrorism workshop in Bedford on Friday 15 December at Vogue bar. The event was well attended by about 70 security operatives from both the day and night time economies, the local counter-terrorism Security Advisor briefed on the current threat, attack types, hostile reconnaissance and what to do in the event of a terrorist incident.

Investigation Officer Mark Tierney said:
“With an increasing awareness of the need to be ready to deal with a terrorist threat we at the SIA planned the Project Griffin training to facilitate the readiness of the private security industry. The Project Griffin training was a success and will no doubt benefit security operatives, their employers and the public while also contributing to their professional development.”

Southampton Violence Reduction event

On 7 December, our South East partnerships and interventions team ran a violence reduction workshop in Southampton. Around 70 people attended the workshop including front line staff, security companies, venue owners and partners.

The workshop was initiated by local police who, following two violent incidents that had taken place in Southampton, had received feedback that there was an apparent lack of confidence between police and security operatives.

Our regional South East team manager, Kevin Young presented on new health and safety reporting forms for incidents of violence at licensed premises. This included reporting violent incidents against security operatives.

Other speakers discussed managing risk, personal safety, the use of force and health and safety legislation and reporting. Security operatives voiced the lack of confidence in the police and the South East team will be working with the industry and local police to address this.

Kevin Young the South West Investigations Manager said:
“The Southampton violence reduction event brought together partners from across the South East. It was a great opportunity for different private security companies, the Police and local organisations to come together to address how improve the reporting or violent incidents and reduce violence in the night-time economy.”

Find out about our upcoming events

Licensing Matters

Explaining the Licensing Process

Licence Renewals

You can't renew a licence unless you currently hold an active licence in that sector. This is because the legal permission granted by the licence ceases to exist when the licence expires. Put simply: once your licence expires there is nothing there for us to renew.

If your licence has expired and you wish to work in a licensable role, you need to apply for a new licence. The process is the same: we use the same application form, require the same documents and charge the same application fee. The only real differences are that you won’t be able to pay online and you will be asked to provide an up to date photograph of yourself. You won’t usually need to take the licence-linked training again; we will still accept the qualification you achieved when you applied for your original licence unless:

  • it has been longer than three years since you last held a licence; or
  • you are applying for a door supervisor licence and your original qualification did not include the physical intervention module that was added in 2010.

We will accept your renewal application up to four months in advance of when your current licence expires. If we have your email address on file we will send you a reminder that your licence is about to expire and explain what you need to do to renew it. However, we would like to remind you that:

  1. Your licence expiry date is quoted in the letter we sent you when we granted the licence; it is also printed on the licence card and is featured in your entry on our public register of licence holders.
  2. You are responsible for ensuring that you apply for your new licence in good time. We cannot be held responsible if you apply late and are unable to work as a result.

We strongly recommend that you renew your licence as soon as you can.
99% of people renewing their licence four months before the expiry of their existing licence receive a decision before their existing licence expires; this figure drops to 72% for people renewing their licence one month before. Remember: there is no standard timescale for licence applications. The time taken to process your application will be affected by many different factors and so each application will be processed according to its own individual timescale.

Read more about renewing your licence

Business Matters

HM Revenue and Customs consultation

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has launched a consultation on tax conditionality. This tax conditionality means that in order to access certain government services, people must be registered for tax. HMRC is considering this because it is a way to combat the “hidden” or “black” economy and ensure that people pay their fair share of tax.

Conditionality is relevant to the security industry because one of the sectors that HMRC is thinking about introducing this into is the regulated private security industry.  This could mean that in order to hold an SIA licence individuals may have to prove that they are registered with HMRC for tax.

This consultation is the chance for people and businesses to tell HMRC what they think about this.  To share your views and contribute to the consultation visit the HMRC consultation page:

The deadline for responses is 2 March 2018.

Tell HMRC Your thoughts on tax conditionality

HMRC support for Self-Employed and Small Businesses

Are you planning to complete your 2016-17 tax return and don’t know where to start? HMRC has a range of digital products to make it easier for you.
You can choose from a selection of live or recorded webinars, online guides and short YouTube videos to support you in completing your tax return.
Self-assessment help and support live sessions
You can listen to live Q&A and get answers to your questions, from business expenses to paying tax and National Insurance.
Book here
Self-employment help and support sessions
This webinar is aimed at sole traders and self-employed partnerships, with help on a range of topics including allowable and simplified expenses, your tax return and budgeting for your tax bill.
Book here
How to complete your online tax return
Get the help you need completing your Self Assessment tax return.
Book here
If you cannot make these dates, HMRC will update the links and publicise new dates throughout January.

The deadline for filing your tax return is 31 January 2018 – file early to avoid the rush.

Find out about HMRC’s e-learning packages
Expenses if You're Self Employed
Expenses if you're self-employed

Portman group safe spaces support the night-time economy

Safe Spaces has published a report that highlights the risks of being vulnerable, or causing anti-social behaviour, through alcohol misuse.
Safe Spaces provide a combination of medical assessment, supervised recovery and discharge. It is an initiative run by the Portman Group, which facilitates the Local Alcohol Partnerships Group (LAPG).
This partnership focuses on reducing alcohol related harm in local communities and diversifying the night-time economy. They facilitate several schemes including Pubwatch, Best Bar None, Drinkaware Crew, Purple Flag and Community Alcohol Partnerships, to maximise their impact.
Safe Spaces produced this report in line with their aim to create an environment that addresses alcohol-related vulnerability, and reduces pressure on local accident and emergency (A&E) departments and police resources.
The report features in-depth case studies of Hereford, Exeter, Chelmsford and Clapham. It provides some valuable insights into how they support vulnerable people, prevent crime and injury, and relieve pressure on A&E services.

The Portman Group has also published an accompanying toolkit, which is available to stakeholders interested in setting up their own scheme.
Download the toolkit from the Portman Group website
Read the Safe Spaces report summary

Upcoming Events

Security Twenty 18 in Nottingham

The Conference will bring together top security industry speakers and will include a large exhibition.

Wednesday 21 February 2018
East Midlands Conference Centre & Orchard Hotel 
Find out more about the conference

National Pubwatch Conference 2018

Tuesday 27 February 2018
Crowne Plaza Hotel,

Download the conference flyer.
Find out more about the conference via their website

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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