February's SIA Update with key information
February 2018
This month’s newsletter focuses on our upcoming annual SIA Stakeholder conference, which will take place on Tuesday 13 March 2018. It will be a chance to share your views, network with colleagues, and discuss public safety and labour supply.

We are working to improve our website and we would like your input. We will be running customer workshops on Thursday 8 March in Birmingham.

In this month’s enforcement update, you can read about the £10,000 confiscated from the director of Sightguard Security Ltd under the Proceeds of Crime Act. You can also read about the Coventry security director found guilty of providing unlicensed security services.

In our ‘Explaining the Licensing Process’ article we set out why it’s important to provide us with the right documents.

Book your place at our SIA Stakeholder Conference

One of our industry’s most influential forums is taking place in London next month.

We are now open for bookings for our annual Stakeholder Conference, which takes place at the Oval cricket ground on Tuesday 13 March 2018.

The conference will bring together private security businesses, the regulator, and members of law enforcement agencies to discuss the big questions affecting the industry.  This year’s themes will be Protecting the Public and Labour Supply in the Private Security Industry.   

Our Chair, Elizabeth France, said:
“We’re really looking forward to meeting you, listening to your concerns, and discussing the hot topics around security at the moment. For example, how does the private security industry attract and keep people?  What more can businesses do to encourage staff to remain in the industry?”

“We’re particularly interested in discussing aspects of public protection, including violence reduction, safeguarding, child protection, and counter-terrorism.  What can we do, as the regulator, to help businesses to reduce the levels of violence faced by the public and SIA licence holders? How can the private security industry work effectively with other bodies to tackle threats?”

Confirmed speakers at this year’s event include Cecilia French (Director of Public Protection at the Home Office), Darryl Dixon (Director of Strategy at the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority) and Rick Mounfield (Chief Executive of the Security Institute).

Our SIA speakers will be reporting back about their recent work against criminals within the private security industry, and the use of Proceeds of Crime legislation to prevent them from profiting from their actions.

The conference will include interactive workshop sessions based on the themes of the conference, Protecting the Public and Labour Supply. During these workshops, delegates will be able to share their experiences and opinions on how the need for increased security at venues and events, and impact of the national terror threat, is putting ever-greater emphasis on the role of the private security industry.

Delegates will also be able to express their views on the labour market changes. In particular, the recruitment challenge, potential skills shortage in the industry and ongoing need to attract and retain good staff within the industry.

Peter Selwyn-Smith, SIA Stakeholder Manager, said:

“Following the success of last year’s event, we’ve deliberately planned the conference as a chance to meet and network informally, as well as participate in planned discussions and workshops. It’s rare to have such a wide range of industry opinion-formers in one room, so we want delegates to take advantage of the opportunity.”

We have held prices down to £50 (including VAT) per ticket in order to encourage as many people as possible from the industry to take part.  The ticket price includes refreshments and a buffet lunch.
Book your place at the SIA Stakeholder Conference
Watch the conference speaker highlight videos from last year

Help us to improve our website

Would you like to help us with a user-research project on our website?

We're inviting you to take part in these sessions, which will last for 2 hours. The first hour will be a focus group to hear what you think about our current website. During the second hour we want to observe users performing tasks on the SIA website.

We have commissioned GOSS Interactive Ltd to assist us with this project. If you'd like to take part and help us with this research, please register your interest to let us know when you're available and which location is more suitable.

Refreshments will be provided on the day. If you are a licence holder we'll cover reasonable, receipted standard class travel expenses up to a maximum of £50. Spaces are limited so please apply early.

Online Survey
If you are unable to take part in the workshops but would still like to tell us what you think then you can do so by completing our online survey. Take the survey here.
Register your interest

Do You Buy Security? – The Regulator’s Guide for 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

Get Involved in ACS Review - Phase Three

As part of our ACS Review, we need your views on the draft ACS Standard and the proposed changes to the Self-Assessment Workbook.

Complete the survey and tell us what you think. You have until Friday 16 March 2018.

Thank you for taking part in the survey your views really matter.

For more information, please visit the ACS Review portal. hosted by our delivery partner Pye Tait.

Take part in the survey on the draft ACS Standard and Self-Assessment Workbook
Enforcement Update

£10,000 confiscated from director of Sightguard Security Ltd under the Proceeds of Crime Act

On 19 February, at Portsmouth Crown Court, Victor Lewis, director of Sightguard Security Ltd, was ordered to pay over £10,000 following an order under the Proceeds of Crime Act (PoCA).
The order is the result of the first independent confiscation order we pursued
under the PoCA. It follows our prosecution on 7 December at Newport Magistrates Court, Isle of Wight.

Victor Lewis was also fined a total of £750 and ordered to pay costs of £2,500 for supplying unlicensed security operatives, and for providing us with false information.

Anthony Lewis, who acted as a director to avoid Sightguard Security Ltd being listed as wound up at Companies House, was fined £75 with costs of £225.  Sightguard Security Ltd was handed a nominal fine of £1.

This case started in April 2016, when we received anonymous intelligence that unlicensed security guards were working on the Isle of Wight. Our investigators inspected several sites in June 2016 and found an unlicensed security guard in a Sightguard Security Ltd uniform, at the Medina boat yard.

Following the June 2016 inspection, our investigators requested more information from Sightguard Security Ltd and scrutinised their signing in sheets. They found another unlicensed security guard who was also working at the same boat yard.

Further enquiries also revealed that another unlicensed security guard was carrying out mobile patrols and static security duties elsewhere on the Isle of Wight.

Our investigators asked Victor Lewis to provide information under Section 19 of the Private Security Industry Act (PSIA) 2001.

However, we discovered that Victor Lewis had falsely claimed that it could not be disclosed as it related to Ministry of Defence business. This was not the case, and during our investigation it became clear that this information related to deploying unlicensed guards. As a result, we decided to prosecute the company, Victor Lewis,  and Anthony Lewis as the director of Sightguard Security Ltd.

This is not the first time we’ve investigated Sightguard Security Ltd. In 2013, the company was found supplying unlicensed security operatives and was given an improvement notice to encourage compliance.

Nathan Salmon, our Criminal Investigations Manager said:

“Where appropriate we will encourage compliance in the first instance. However despite our efforts to work with Sightguard Security Ltd, they ignored the need to comply.

The penalties awarded by the court reflect the culpability by the three offenders. Victor Lewis could not act as a director of this company due to a previous Director Disqualification.  His son enabled the company to continue trading; however, Victor continued to use unlicensed operatives.

We will not hesitate to prosecute those who display a blatant contempt for regulation and undermine the confidence and reassurance that regulation provides. In appropriate cases we will also pursue PoCA confiscation orders.”

Anthony Lewis, Victor Lewis and Sightguard Security Ltd all pleaded guilty to employing unlicensed guards. Victor Lewis also pleaded guilty to employing unlicensed guards and to providing false information to us.

Coventry security director found guilty for providing unlicensed security services

On 14 February Michael Ryan, Director of Coventry-based IG Security Services Limited, was found guilty at Coventry Magistrates’ Court of providing unlicensed security operatives. This is an offence under the Private Security Industry Act (PSIA) 2001. He was fined £850 and his company, IG Security Services Ltd, was given a penalty of £1,000; in addition Ryan has to pay full court costs of £5,265.

We began investigating the company in April 2017, when we discovered Karl Morrison, an unlicensed security guard, working for IG Security Ltd, the director of which was Michael Ryan. Enquiries established that IG Security supplied Karl Morrison in response to an illegal traveller encampment in Coventry.

Our investigators, together with West Midlands Police officers, questioned Karl Morrison as he patrolled the premises. Our investigation team attempted to interview him but found him to be aggressive and non-cooperative. Our investigation team also tried to interview Mr Ryan but he walked away as he was being cautioned.

On 26 October 2017, at Leamington Spa Magistrates’ Court, Karl Alexander Morrison (now known as Karl O’Brien), was found guilty of working without an SIA licence at the illegal traveller’s encampment. He was sentenced to eight weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work and pay court costs.

In court, Mr Ryan described that he considered Karl Morrison to be a ‘steward’ and did not, therefore, require an SIA licence. Evidence from witnesses, however, contradicted this, and indicated that Morrison’s activities made him licensable. In making their decision, the court agreed with us that that designated activity is clearly defined within the Private Security Industry Act 2001, and irrespective of what someone’s job title may be, it is the activities they carry out which determine whether or not an SIA licence is required.

Pete Easterbrook, the SIA’s Criminal Investigations Manager, said:

"Buyers of security have a right, and an expectation, that the staff they are supplied with hold a valid SIA licence.

In this case, IG Security Services supplied Karl Morrison, a man with no SIA licence and a significant criminal history, into a position of trust and responsibility. In doing so, I have no doubt that the public was placed at risk, and I am pleased that the seriousness of this matter has been recognised by the court this week.

Both Karl Morrison and Michael Ryan displayed a deliberate disregard for the UK’s stringent licensing regime and have rightly been called to face the consequences of their actions in court."

He added:
"The message is clear that those who supply unlicensed security operatives are not welcome in this industry.  Those choosing to do so can expect to be dealt with robustly, and will likely end up with a criminal conviction and the revocation of any SIA licence they hold."

Find out about our completed prosecutions
Licensing Matters

Explaining the Licensing Process

Sending us the right document
When you apply for an SIA licence, we ask to see certain documents in order to progress your application. We require these documents to confirm that you are who you say you are. Instructions vary according to each individual’s circumstances and you may be asked to:

  • Show your documents at the post office and/or
  • Send the documents to us.

If we ask you for a particular document, you must send us what we asked for. For example, if we ask you to send us your passport, please don’t send us your driving licence instead. This will delay your application.

The details on your documents should match the information that you provided in your application. If you are submitting documents that have conflicting information we have the right to reject them and request new ones.

Please do not send any documents that you will need in the immediate future.

Find out what documents we accept
Watch our video on registering for an online account
Business Matters

Security industry buyer-supplier relationship study

Perpetuity Research has launched a survey as part of their research to better understand the impact that the relationship between buyers and suppliers can have on the overall success of a contract. This has remained largely unexamined in the security sector.

The survey looks at which factors are important to achieving a successful relationship and which can be detrimental. It also seeks clarification on whether current trends in security bear any impact on the buyer-supplier relationship.

This survey is anonymous, takes just 10 minutes to complete and the deadline for responses is 30 March 2018. It is best suited to those with direct experience of the buyer-supplier relationship, such as security suppliers, managers (including intermediaries) who purchase security and other security experts. All participants are given the opportunity to automatically receive a free copy of the findings once the report is published (Autumn 2018).

The research is being undertaken under the umbrella of the Security Research Initiative. Find out more about their work by visiting their website.


Take part in this survey by clicking here
Upcoming Events

SIA Annual Stakeholder Conference

We have announced the location of our annual stakeholder conference:

Date: Tuesday 13 March 2018
Time: 09:15 – 16:15
Location: Oval Cricket Ground in London
Book your place at the SIA Stakeholder Conference

Security and Counter Terrorism Expo

Our Chief Executive Alan Clamp will be speaking at the second day of the Security and Counter Terrorism Expo on Wednesday 7 March 2018 at the Olympia Exhibition Centre.  We will have a stand at the event on the 6 and 7 March, and you are invited to join us.  The organisers have offered a 30% discount to approved contractors who wish to exhibit.

Find out more about the Counter Terror Expo

Welfare and Vulnerability Engagement (WAVE) Training

Run by the Met Police, the WAVE programmes build on the success of existing awareness projects with a view to revamp and rejuvenate the importance of vulnerability awareness. In particular how we can work at a national level collectively in partnership to ensure people are kept safe.

As part of the programme, two short video productions have been created, which are complemented by a training presentation.

Date:  Thursday 1 March 2018
Time:   09:30 to 12:30
Location: Citadines Hotel, High Holborn, London

A base product has been developed that will enable businesses to self-deliver the training to their staff, and may be incorporated to supplement existing internal training programmes.
Register to attend the WAVE training event

Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Workshop

We are running child sexual exploitation awareness events to promote the basic awareness and prevalence of child abuse and exploitation. We are working with the Children’s Society who will be delivering an awareness programme aimed at frontline security operatives working within the private security industry.

Date:      Monday 19 March 2018
Time:    14:00 to 15:30
Location:  Metropolitan Police Service Empress State Building, Fulham, London
Register to attend the CSE awareness workshop

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.
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