May's SIA Update with key information
May 2018
In May’s newsletter we signpost our corporate blog. We have relaunched it as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has come into force, our Chair, Elizabeth France, talks about the opportunity this legislation brings.

We also feature guidance from the Home Office to help security operatives identify and safeguard victims of “County Lines”.

We want to know what you think of our e-mail newsletters. In this edition of SIA update, this is your opportunity to tell us what you like and don’t like – please share your thoughts with us.

We have made some changes to our call handling system. Please read our update on these changes.

In this month’s enforcement update read our most recent prosecution stories.

In a new ‘Public Protection’ section of this we share a Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Toolkit for Night Time Economy Professionals designed to help identify the signs of CSE.

Our ‘Licensing Matters’ section includes our ‘Explaining the Licensing Process’ article where we explain the importance of applying for the right SIA licence.
Finally, we are inviting you to participate in vulnerability awareness training taking place in June, and encourage you to nominate someone you work with for the Women in Security awards.

SIA Chair blog on GDPR
Tell us what you think of SIA Update
Identify victims of “County Lines”
Our Call Handling System
Customer insight - listening to customers
Changes to our SIA Homepage

CSE Toolkit for Night Time Economy Professionals

Belfast door supervisor prosecuted for working without an SIA licence
Door Supervisor prosecuted for ignoring requests for information from the SIA

Explaining the licensing process

Vulnerability Awareness Training
Security Twenty 18
Women in Security Awards
Security Events Website

Previous Editions

SIA Chair blog on GDPR

We’ve relaunched our corporate blog. It aims to discuss developments in the private security industry, and to provide further insight and opinion on our work.

In this post our Chair, Elizabeth France, is talking about the changes to data protection law and the opportunity this gives the private security industry.

We hope you will engage in an on-going discussion with us; provide comments and share your opinions.
Read our blog on data protection

Tell us what you think of SIA update

We want to know what you think of SIA Update, and how we can make it more interesting, relevant and engaging. It is one of our main communication channels and we want it to remain useful and informative.

To share your thoughts, please answer our short questionnaire, which should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Any information you provide will only be used for the purposes of this research. All responses are confidential.

This is also your opportunity to tell us how we can improve the design and format and what information and new topics you would like included in future editions.
Complete our SIA Update to the survey

Identify and safeguard victims of “County Lines”

The Home Office has launched a campaign to help you identify and safeguard victims of “county lines” criminal enterprises.

Some children, as young as 12, are being exploited by gangs. They are coerced into carrying drugs from urban areas to coastal and market towns in a criminal activity known as ‘county lines’. Those affected are often vulnerable children groomed by gangs, usually outside shops or in shopping centres.

To help safeguard these vulnerable children and protect them from gangs, we are working with the Home Office and CrimeStoppers to increase awareness of the signs to spot a potential victim.

Some of the signs to spot include:
  • Children as young as 12 alone in public spaces - possibly in shopping centres or outside shops - either during school hours or at unusual times (e.g. late in the evening).
  • Children who are a long way from home and unfamiliar with the local area. They may look lost and will not have a local accent.
  • Children may have an obvious relationship with controlling, older individuals
  • Suspicion of self-harm, physical assault or unexplained injuries

The Home Office has produced posters to help you spot potential victims by recognising the signs, and the action you should take to safeguard the young people.

This is just one part of the wider work the Home Office is doing to tackle ‘county lines’, which is set out in the new Serious Violence Strategy. It also includes:
  • providing funding to establish the new National County Lines Co-ordination Centre to support the police and wider law enforcement response to tackle ‘county lines’
  • Continuing to work with the Crown Prosecution Service and national police lead on the prosecution of county lines cases
  • Undertaking awareness-raising activity to help young and vulnerable people understand how to avoid becoming involved and exploited by ‘county lines’ gangs.
Download the ‘county lines’ poster for private security operatives (PDF, document size 2.5 MB)

Changes to our call handling system

We have made some changes to our call handling system by prioritising calls from businesses.

Our telephone number has always been intended as a business support line, but a lot of calls we receive are from individual licence applicants. We know that this has made it difficult for businesses to get through to us.

Our advice is that an individual’s employer should be their first point of contact regarding a licensing query. Only if the employer is unable to assist should an individual contact us directly.  This new regime will ensure that businesses are getting the same priority service via telephone as they get by submitting Service Requests.  Currently, Service Requests submitted by a business are being answered within 48 hours.

To ensure their calls are prioritised, businesses need to ensure that they have given us a landline number relating to their SIA online account.  They will then be able to enter this number as a password to navigate our automated telephone system.

If individual applicants are not able to resolve their queries through an employer, and need to contact us, they should send us a message via their SIA online account. If they can’t resolve their problems through their account and need to speak to us, they can send us a message using the phrase “call me” and provide their telephone number. Our outbound call handlers will call them back, usually within one working day.

If an individual can’t access their online account to contact us, they can use the Contact Us form on our website.
Contact us via our website

Customer insight - listening to customers

We have commissioned IFF Research, an independent market research agency, to carry out a study on the SIA customer experience.  As part of this study, IFF is talking to individual licence applicants and employers to understand what we do well, and where we could improve. We will then analyse the feedback and take action to ensure that we continue to meet customer needs and provide a modern and up-to-date service.

These surveys are taking place now.  If you receive a call from IFF, you can be confident that this is research commissioned by us.  We want to find out how satisfied you are, what you like about our service and how we can make things better. This ensures the customer voice is an integral part of what we do.

This is the second year of a three-year contract with IFF, during which they will conduct an annual round of customer insight research on our behalf.  Last year’s survey found that three quarters of customers were satisfied with our licence application process.  The same survey found that 80 percent of all respondents, and 90 percent of individuals, are favourable to the SIA as an organisation.

Last year’s survey began with a quantitative phase, during which IFF interviewed 1,000 individuals and businesses who had applied for an SIA licence during the two months to 04 April 2017.  A qualitative phase then conducted in-depth follow-up interviews with a representative sample of the original cohort.

Our commitment to this multi-year research honours guidelines laid down in the Regulators Code which state that we should ‘regularly invite, receive and take on board customer feedback’.

Changes to our SIA homepage

You will be aware that we have been consulting stakeholders on our website. The work to redesign the site is ongoing, but in the meantime we have changed the look and feel of our homepage to help improve the navigation.
Visit the refreshed SIA home page
Public Protection

CSE toolkit for night time economy professionals

Over the last few years, there has been an increase in the profile and awareness of child sexual exploitation and other forms of child sexual abuse. The true scale of child sexual abuse is still unknown, however, we do know that in 2016 around 54,000 sexual offences against children were reported to the police. 1 in 20 children and young people have experienced child sexual abuse. It is thought that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that the true figure may be much higher.
Sexual exploitation and other forms of abuse are an issue for the police and children’s services to deal with but the reality is that many security operatives come into contact with a child or young person at some point.

We are supporting this initiative because security operatives can play an active role in spotting the signs of sexual abuse and exploitation. As a result, we have been working with the Children’s Society who have been running CSE and Abuse awareness events aimed at frontline security operatives. These events have been run across the country since last November.

Following the CSE awareness events, The Children’s Society have produced a toolkit for professionals working in the night-time economy. It aims to offer some advice and information on CSE and abuse. As well as looking at what the vulnerabilities and indicators are, what you can do, the effectiveness of CSE Awareness and what you can do for your business and more.

(Download PDF, size: 526 KB)
Download the toolkit from our website
Enforcement Update

Belfast door supervisor prosecuted for working without an SIA licence

On May 15, at Laganside Magistrates' Court in Belfast, we prosecuted Gareth Henry and he was found guilty of working without a licence.

We were alerted to Henry’s behaviour in October 2017 by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). They had received reports of Henry using excessive force at a bar on Dublin Road, in Belfast. Our investigators visited the venue where Henry worked and discovered that he was working without a licence.

Our investigators discovered that Henry had previously held a licence, but that it had expired in 2013. He was cautioned for working without a licence in 2016 by the PSNI and in response submitted an application to the SIA, which was refused. At this point Henry changed employers.

In December, our investigators interviewed the general manager at the bar where Henry was working. Further enquiries revealed that Henry had been working at the bar for over a year. When SIA investigators interviewed Henry, he admitted to working without a licence. The SIA consequently prosecuted him.

The court found Henry guilty. He was ordered to pay a fine of £250, fixed costs of £92 and an offender’s levy of £15.

Our Criminal Investigations Manager, Pete Easterbrook, said:
“The SIA exists to protect the public, and our licensing regime is designed to ensure that those individuals who may represent a risk to the public are not able to work lawfully in the security industry. The fact that this case was brought to our attention through an allegation of excessive force only serves to highlight the risk to the public through the use of unlicensed security operatives.”

"Despite having been previously cautioned for working without an SIA licence, Gareth Henry continued to work as a door supervisor and took steps to avoid being detected.  This prosecution serves as a reminder that undermining the safeguards provided by regulation is entirely unacceptable, and those doing so can expect to be brought before a court."

Door supervisor prosecuted for ignoring requests for information from the SIA

On 1 May, at Nuneaton Magistrates’ Court, we prosecuted Tallen Smith, a door supervisor from Nuneaton.

He was found guilty of failing to provide us with information, a section 19 offence under the Private Security Industry Act (PSIA) 2001. Smith was fined £500, ordered to pay a £50 victim surcharge and £1,749.70 in costs.

During the investigation into Tallen Smith, our investigators discovered that he had failed to disclose a criminal conviction that affected his eligibility for a licence. As a result, his SIA licence was subsequently revoked.

Pete Easterbrook, our Criminal Investigations Manager said:
"Tallen Smith was of the opinion that our requests for information were optional and disregarded all our attempts to contact him.  In doing so, he committed a criminal offence, and has quite rightly faced the consequences.  His actions only served to incriminate him further, and once it was identified that he had failed to notify the SIA of a criminal conviction, we took immediate action to revoke his licence and remove him from the industry.

This prosecution should serve as a reminder that statutory requests for information from the SIA are not issued lightly, and are one of a range of powers we are able to exercise if the circumstances dictate. Individuals who ignore such requests are very likely to be prosecuted"

This investigation began following the conviction of Karl Morrison (also known as Karl O’Brien) in October 2017. A part of this investigation focused on Morrison working as an unlicensed door supervisor in December 2016 at a pub in Sutton-in-Ashfield.

During enquiries, officers from Nottinghamshire Police initially spoke to the venue supervisor and obtained evidence that indicated that Tallen Smith had worked alongside Morrison as a door supervisor at the pub in December 2016. Nottinghamshire Police then passed this information to us and we conducted further enquiries.

To determine who had supplied Karl Morrison as a door supervisor, our investigators formally requested information from Smith. At the time, Smith held a front line door supervisor licence. Our investigators gave Smith the opportunity to reply to the letter sent to him however he failed to respond. Consequently, we prosecuted Smith for failing to comply with our request for information.
Find out about our completed prosecutions
Licensing Matters

Explaining the Licensing Process

Applying for the right licence

Before you submit your application for a licence, we display a screen that shows you everything you have entered into the application form. We do this so that you have the opportunity to check what you’ve told us and to change it if you have made a mistake. Please take the time to do this as doing so may save you time and money.

We can’t change your licence if you apply for the wrong one. As an example, if you intended to apply for a front line door supervision licence but actually applied for a non-front line licence which we then granted, we will not be able to ‘swap’ the non-front line licence for a door supervision licence. If you apply for the wrong licence and you still wish to hold the correct one, you will need to submit a new application for the licence you actually want. The licence fee for the new application will be reduced by 50% in recognition of the licence you now hold.

We will not refund the application fee from your original application, as we will have done the work you paid us to do when we processed the application.

Read about the types of SIA licence
Watch this video on completing an application
Upcoming Events

Welfare and Vulnerability Engagement (WAVE) Training

This is a ‘train-the-trainer’ package aimed at those in security companies and venues who manage, supervise and train security operatives so please pass on this invitation to whomever you feel would benefit from the day. At the event you will learn to use the base product which has been developed to enable businesses to self-deliver the training to their staff, and may be incorporated to supplement existing internal training programs.
Register to attend the WAVE Training

Security Twenty 18

Our chair, Elizabeth France, will be speaking at this Security Twenty 18 conference and we will have a stand. It is an event that brings together top security industry speakers and will include an exhibition.
Date:              Tuesday 5 July
Location:       Majestic Hotel, Harrogate
Find out more about the conference

Women in Security Awards

You are invited to submit applications for the 2018 Women in Security Awards. We support the Women in Security Awards; as a regulator we are committed to equality and diversity within the private security industry.
Date:              Closing date for entries Friday 10 August
Event:            Thursday 13 September 2018
                        Dixie Queen riverboat sailing from the Tower of London Pier
More information about the 2018 Women in Security Awards

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.
About This Newsletter


All reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the information contained in this communication is accurate at time of release.

Previous Editions

Previous editions of this newsletter can be viewed on our website.
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