Essential information for the private security industry
October 2018
In this month’s newsletter we announce that we have a new board member. Trevor Reaney will become a member of the SIA Board from 7 November, with specific responsibilities for Northern Ireland.

This month, we remind security operatives of their responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010). We share some useful resources on how to ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

Also in this newsletter is a reminder to tell us what you think of our ‘Get Approved’ eligibility and ‘fit and proper’ criteria requirements for private security businesses seeking approval as part of the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS).

In our public protection section, we signpost the Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) campaign and the upcoming counter-terrorism events we are hosting with Police Scotland. We have shared guidance from the Home Office on how to identify and safeguard victims against criminal exploitation also known as ‘county lines’.

Read our enforcement update on a case where two brothers based in the Wirral were prosecuted for working while their SIA licences were suspended.

In our licensing matters section, our ‘Explaining the licensing process’ article is about licensing checks and our licensing criteria.

Finally, we are holding an open day in Glasgow in December and there are a few other events coming up. Keep an eye out to see what is taking place in the private security industry.



SIA News 

Trevor Reaney appointed to the SIA Board

From 7 November 2018 Trevor Reaney will become a Member of our SIA Board, with specific responsibilities for Northern Ireland. He will join the Board, taking over from outgoing member Professor Sir Desmond Rea.
Trevor brings to us a breadth of skills and experience. He was formerly the Clerk and Chief Executive to the Northern Ireland Assembly between 2008 and 2016.
Trevor is currently a member of the National Assembly for Wales Remuneration Board and an independent member of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee of the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
He began his career in the hospitality industry and has held a number of management positions in both the private and public sectors. Before joining the Northern Ireland Assembly, Trevor served as Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Policing Board from January 2004, and prior to that, he held the post of Chief Executive at Craigavon Borough Council from 1996 to 2003. 
Trevor is a graduate of the Open University, obtaining a master’s degree in business administration. He has also undertaken studies at the Federal Executive Institute, Charlottesville, USA, JFK School of Government at Harvard University, and with the Institute of Directors.
Elizabeth France, our Chair, welcomed Mr Reaney’s appointment: 
"We are delighted that Trevor is to become a Member of the SIA. He joins a strong non-executive team and will provide the essential and strategic link to our partners in Northern Ireland, building on the excellent relationships fostered by Professor Sir Desmond Rea.

"We have benefited over the years from Professor Sir Desmond’s insight and contribution; we are grateful to him for the commitment he has given and wish him well for the future."

Interim Chief Executive appointed

Our Director Partnerships & Interventions, Dave Humphries has been appointed acting Chief Executive, on an interim basis effective from 1 November 2018.  Dave will take over the role when Alan Clamp leaves the post  on 31 October.

Dave will be speaking at the Security Twenty 18 event in Heathrow

Reminder of responsibilities under Equality Act 2010

The Stop Hate UK week (awareness raising of hate crime) reminded us all to treat everyone with dignity and respect as set out in the Equality Act (2010). This advice follows reports in the media of people being denied entry or ejected from venues operating in the night time economy based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender reassignment or disability.

 Our Chief Executive Alan Clamp, said:
We want to remind the industry that there is a legal responsibility on providers of private security services to ensure that they comply with the Equality Act (2010).This is true for their own recruitment purposes and for when they are interacting with members of the public.
The Equality Act (2010) places a duty on all individuals and businesses not to unlawfully discriminate against people on the basis of:
  • Age
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability
  • Gender Re-assignment
As the regulator of the UK’s private security industry, we will do what we can to help the industry meet these obligations. We will be issuing guidance (as and when it is ready) to address particular aspects of equality.
The first piece of guidance is for people with disabilities about working within the private security industry. Disabled people are under-represented in the industry, and this guide provides more information on the opportunities available to them.
Read our guide for disabled people: Working in the Private Security Industry
We have also created guidance for door supervisors to ensure that trans customers have a safe and enjoyable time out. This is intended to help security staff provide a fair and safe environment, free from discrimination and prejudice.

If you require further information Stop Hate UK has a wide range of best practice resources and guidance.
Read our guide for door supervisors: Trans Customers

Barriers to effective buyer-supplier relationships in the security sector

Earlier this month the Security Research Initiative published its report: ‘The Barriers to Effective Buyer-Supplier Relationships in the Security Sector’. The Security Research Initiative is sponsored by the security sector (buyers and suppliers), and involves an annual study.

The aim of the research was to identify and discuss the factors in the buyer-supplier relationship that can impact negatively on the relationship, and ultimately on the success of the contract. The research is based on examination of existing literature, survey responses from 502 security professionals, and 40 interviews (20 buyers and 20 suppliers).

Desired characteristics
Acknowledging that there is no ‘best’ type of relationship (context is key) respondents on both sides (buyers of security and security suppliers) were committed to the principle of working closely and collaboratively. Key components (in an ideal world) are: Trust, good communication, aligned aims, objectives and ethos, and affording appropriate priority to security.

There were many examples of how the relationship worked well but it was evident that difficulties are not unusual.

Buyers and suppliers were candid in interviews and often reflective on the shortcomings of their own peers. Buyers for example admitted that they sometimes lack insight on their own needs, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the complexity of security (there are many available solutions). The lack of status experienced by some meant that they can lack control over security spend, and have limited input into the procurement process.

Meanwhile suppliers face real pressures in a competitive market which can lead to cutting costs, to the point it can compromise quality and lead to under-delivery. There is a lack of understanding about these ‘realities’ often driven by those bidding for contracts who are sometimes managed separately from those who deliver them.

Difficulties arise when there is a lack of communication and a failure to invest time. There is a need for business to recognise and commit to overcoming these issues.

Professor Martin Gill who led the research noted:
"The buyer-supplier relationship is absolutely crucial to the way that security operates and yet in the security sector this area has been largely unexamined, and understandably so given the somewhat sensitive nature of the issues. Hopefully the findings will provide readers with an insight to the issues to be overcome in order to reach a win-win situation – something that our research suggests the sector are striving for.
Download a copy of the report here

Our guide for buyers of security

We recognise that buyers of security can benefit from a more in depth understanding  of what to look for when buying security. Our publication ’Do you buy security?’ explains the advantages of using an SIA approved contractor.

The guidance outlines that if buyers want to create the best possible environment for their staff, the quality of the security they buy will be a part of this. When you are selling security to a client, consider whether selling the Approved Contractor Scheme is a part of your pitch – it can save your client from a lot of administration in the procurement process and provides an important benchmark of the quality of service that they are buying.

Download the leaflet 'Do you buy security? - Buyer’s guide ' from our website
(PDF, download size 470 kb)
Download our guidance: Do you buy security? Buyers Guide

Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority charge rate guidance

We want to ensure that security provision is bought on the basis of quality and that security providers are meeting all of their legal obligations, including to their employees and HMRC. To that end we believe it is important that buyers of security  are aware of the costs faced by security suppliers operating legally.

We felt it would be appropriate to share this link to a briefing document provided by the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority. The figures have been compiled for the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority by the Association of Labour Providers. The Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority charge rate guidance (April 2018), provides an illustration of the minimum unavoidable costs that flow from observing the law on basic employment matters such as the National Minimum Wage, national insurance, statutory holiday entitlement, Apprenticeship Levy and pension auto enrolment.

This guide is something that security suppliers might find useful to share with buyers of private security  and which they may want to read when considering bids for contracts.

While the guidance is aimed at wider industry e.g. agricultural workers, the narrative, costings and rationale are transferable to security provision with the proviso that the rates should be read in conjunction with the definitions and explanations set out in the guidance.
Download the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority Guidance

 Findings from our SIA Update survey – We are listening!

Earlier this year, we asked you what you thought of SIA Update. Thank you to everyone who shared your opinions with us, we had over 300 responses.

The profile of respondents were from all sectors and included individual licence holders, security businesses and training providers.

Here’s a summary of the feedback you gave us:

  • We asked how much of the newsletter you actually read. We were pleased that 81% said they read the entire publication or most of it.
  • 84% or 287 people thought the SIA News section in SIA Update was interesting or quite interesting.
  • For the enforcement section of SIA Update 85% or 292 people also thought it was interesting or quite interesting.
  • Our ‘Explaining the licensing process’ section was described as interesting or quite interesting by 73% of respondents.
  • The licensing matters section was said to be interesting or quite interesting by 79% of respondents.
  • 80% of respondents said they felt that the quality of the content in SIA Update was very good or good.

Most respondents when asked what they don't like about the newsletter, some of the comments were “it is all ok, but would always like to see more on enforcement”, “All articles are relevant, I like all” and “I like it, it’s informative.”

Following your feedback, we will ensure we share good news stories, more on counter-terrorism initiatives and more articles about training. Your replies also asked us to include more regional stories, we will take this into consideration and share news and updates from across the UK.

We asked you what new information or sections you would like us to include and you asked us to share examples of best practice, whistleblowing and more general information for individual licence holders.

Your comments on how we could make the newsletter more useful to you were very positive and included, “It is already useful”, “just keep it coming” and “It is already useful enough. Thank you.”

We received other comments suggesting improvements and we will be looking at these and considering those that we can incorporate into SIA Update in the future.

Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts and opinions. We will continue to refine and target effectively to share news, information and guidance and enable even more participation in events and new initiatives.

ACS News 

Consultation on eligibility criteria requirements

On the 4 October, we launched a consultation on the revised eligibility and ‘fit and proper’ criteria requirements for private security businesses seeking to become approved under the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS). We have updated the criteria as part of the fundamental review of the scheme. 
A new publication ‘Get Approved’ has been produced which contains all of the eligibility criteria requirements for the ACS. We are seeking views on the new document before Friday 16 November.
Click on the link to read ‘Get Approved’​ and click here to take part in the consultation. The changes to the ACS will take effect on 1 April 2019.
Evidence from the extensive review of the ACS suggested that we did not need to make fundamental changes to the scheme. However, it was clear from the responses there were opportunities to make improvements.
We have revised the eligibility and ‘fit and proper’ criteria to ensure only sound, sustainable and credible companies are able to join the scheme.
Some of the changes relating to the outcome of the ACS review include enhanced scrutiny. This has been introduced to give clients and local enforcement partners the assurance that they are working with some of the best run businesses in the industry.

We are also taking a firmer approach on Pay As You Earn. You must give justification and evidence as to why your staff might not be within a Pay As You Earn scheme. This will help to ensure that businesses are employing staff on the right basis, enabling compliance with tax and employment law and making sure that employees enjoy proper employment rights.
Tell us what you think of our eligibilty criteria

Skills and Qualifications Review 2018

We have begun a wide-ranging review of the licence-linked qualifications needed for the private security industry. The current qualification specifications will expire in December 2019 and the new qualifications will be available from January 2020. The review will examine the licence-linked qualifications ensuring that they are fit-for-purpose. We are future proofing them so that they are in line with private security industry working practice; to withstand new risks that might emerge and technological changes like the increased use of drones for example.

The review occurs every five years, in this review we have widened its scope. It will consider both the mandatory qualifications that are required as part of the licence application process as well as developing a strategic approach in collaboration with the private security industry. This will drive a broader skills agenda considering career paths, the development of a new apprenticeship framework and continuing professional development. This includes consideration of any refresher training that we may require operatives to undergo.

Thank you to everyone who shared their views with us. The approach that we have taken will give us a broad and deep insight into the skills needs of the industry. Our aim is to improve the professionalism of security operatives, drive standards in the industry, and help to protect the public in the UK. Visit our website for the table of existing specifications.
Following this primary consultation, the specifications will be re-drafted. The feedback from the research will also be included in the refreshed qualification specifications. The expert working groups will review these and their feedback will be captured. We will work with them to design the new qualifications and develop quality measures to improve the delivery of training. The new version of the specifications will be made available to the industry again for comment from December until the end of January. 
Find out about our existing specifications

Employers urged to audit pay practices

Employers have been called on to audit their existing pay practices after a recent government report highlighted the attention being given to businesses' compliance with national minimum wage legislation in the UK.

The report, published by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, detailed the increased resources being given to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to monitor compliance and enforce national minimum wage laws. It provided insight into the work being done by HMRC to raise employees' awareness of their pay rights. The report also identified the various activities undertaken by the government and HMRC to raise employees' awareness of their minimum wage entitlements.

The report confirmed record figures previously disclosed by HMRC that identified £15.6 million in pay that employers owed to more than 200,000 workers last year. Employers can be 'named and shamed' if they are found to have underpaid the national minimum wage, and fined up to 200% of the arrears. In some cases, employers can also face criminal prosecution.

The report said that HMRC is "reviewing the effectiveness" of its naming scheme and its "general approach to enforcement". It said it wants to be able to "calculate the value of the current enforcement approach and to be able to accurately determine the relative value of one enforcement approach over another."

The Business Energy & Industrial Strategy report highlighted the fact that the government increased the budget given to HMRC to enforce the minimum wage by more than £5 million last year, with the budget increasing from £20m in 2016/17 to £25.3m in 2017/18. A further increase in the budget to £26.3m for 2018/19 has been provided.

Emma Malczewski, an employment law expert at Pinsent Masons, said the activities had contributed to HMRC's record figures for enforcement for 2017/18. She said:
The government’s strategy of ‘Promote, Prevent and Respond’ is using webinars, emails, text messages and the option of voluntary declarations to engage with employers and workers in relation to potential minimum wage breaches. This combined with the ACAS helpline and HMRC’s complaints form has helped HMRC to identify this record level of underpayment."
She also said:
"The strike rate – the number of investigations which result in a 'notice of underpayment' being issued – where an investigation is initiated based on a sector-focus varies. The average strike rate is 39% and a notably high, strike rate has been recorded in the retail sector of 46%.

 HMRC has a 100% response rate to employee complaints and so, in light of the above, employers can be sure that questions will be asked and a 'notice of underpayment' could well be issued depending on their response."


Download the Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy report here

 Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) Campaign

The National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) launched an initiative last year called Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) – Make Nothing Happen. This campaign urges the public to act on their instincts and report suspicious activity.
The campaign has four intentions:
  1. More actionable intelligence and leads from the public;
  2. More referrals for safeguarding vulnerable people;
  3. More online extremist content removed;
  4. More awareness of how communities defeat terrorism.
This campaign is very relevant to the security industry, which deploys tens of thousands of eyes and ears each day. Visit the Action Counters Terrorism website to find out how you can support the initiative.
The security industry has a significant role to play in making people and places safer from terrorism. We urge you to engage with the Action Counters Terrorism campaign.
Many of you will already have attended Project Griffin or Argus training in previous years. If you haven’t, or want to find out about counter-terrorism initiatives please visit the ACT campaign website.
Go to the ‘Action Counters Terrorism’ website

 Attend the Police Scotland ACT counter-terrorism events

The counter-terrorism events we have been hosting with Police Scotland are on-going and we invite you to participate in our upcoming ‘You Can ACT’ sessions in Aberdeen and Livingston. All the sessions have been specifically aimed at front-line security staff. Events will take place in Aberdeen and Livingston in November and across Scotland in the New Year. UK wide events will also soon take place in the New Year.
Each awareness raising session is based on the nationally agreed corporate counter-terrorism guidance to help individuals understand, and guard against, current terrorist methods. An initial one-hour presentation is designed to provide you with: 

  • Greater awareness of counter-terrorism issues, including the current threat.
  • An understanding of the important role you play in preventing terrorist attacks.
  • Increased confidence in your own abilities.
  • Shared knowledge of best practices and procedures.

The presentation is followed by an immersion exercise. This practical session will develop your knowledge, skills and decision-making in a safe learning environment. We will take you through a simulated attack, and provide you with a unique opportunity both to contribute and to learn from the experiences of others in order to protect yourself, your business and your community.
The upcoming events will take place as follows:

Wednesday 14 November 2018
Refreshments at 17:30 for a prompt 18:00 start
This event is set to end at 21:00

Tuesday 20 November 2018
Refreshments at 17:30 for a prompt 18:00 start
This event is set to end at 21:00

If you or your colleagues would like to participate in either of the events, please follow the link below and complete the registration form. You will need to complete a separate registration for each individual.

Further details for all our upcoming events will be available on our website.

Book your place for the upcoming sessions here

Identify and safeguard victims of ‘county lines’

The Home Office has launched a campaign to help security operatives identify and safeguard victims of criminal exploitation also known as ‘county lines’.
Children, some 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 among security guards and the private security industry of the signs to spot a potential victim. 
Some of the signs to spot include:

  • Children as young as 12 alone in public spaces, potentially in shopping centres or outside shops during school hours or unusual hours (e.g. late in the evening).
  • Children a long way from home and unfamiliar with the local area. They may look lost and may 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 security guards recognise the signs to spot potential victims and the action they should take to safeguard the young people.
This is just one part of the wider work the Home Office is undertaking to tackle ‘county lines’, which is set out in the new Serious Violence Strategy. The strategy also includes:
  • providing funding to establish the new National County Lines Co-ordination Centre to co-ordinate 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 posters for private security industry staff
Enforcement Update

Wirral brothers are prosecuted for working while their licences were suspended

On Thursday 18 October 2018, Wirral brothers’ Kyle James Owen (27) and Ryan Arthur Owen (24) were sentenced at Wirral Magistrates’ Court for committing offences under the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

Ryan Owen had been the Director of Owens Security Solutions Ltd. When we suspended his licence in June 2017, he appointed his brother Kyle as director in order for the company to continue trading, but he did not remove himself as a director and despite his suspension continued to work in licensable roles.

At the trial on 18 October, Kyle Owen was found guilty for supplying his brother Ryan Owen to a venue as an unlicensed security guard. Ryan Owen was found guilty of supplying himself as an unlicensed security guard while he was the director of the company.

Ryan Owen, was fined £800 and required to pay a victim surcharge of £40 and court costs of £2,500 as he supplied non-licensed personnel to venues on the Wirral. He also continued to work in a licensable role, despite his licence being suspended.

His brother, Kyle Owen, was fined £400 and is required to pay a victim surcharge of £40 plus court costs of £1,000. He took over as director of the company in June 2017 following the suspension of Ryan Owen’s licence. Kyle Owen then also supplied non-licensed security operatives, including his brother Ryan, to venues in the Wirral.

Earlier in July 2018 both men plead guilty at Wirral Magistrates’ Court for failing to supply information to us when requested (a contravention of section 19 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001) and for not informing us of their change of addresses (an offence relating to the conditions of their licence).

Commenting on the case our Criminal Investigations Manager, Pete Easterbrook, said that suspension means suspension.
"An SIA licence suspension is designed to remove individuals from licensable positions until there is certainty about whether that person is fit to continue as a licence holder, or not. The suspension is there to protect the public, it cannot be circumnavigated."
He said:
"In this case, the Owen brothers embarked on a course of action which placed the public at risk. To compound matters, they then failed to co-operate with us as the regulator and respond to requests for information in all likelihood to mask their activity.

"I am pleased that the court recognises the significance of the suspension of their licence and the severity of the Owen brothers’ actions by ignoring the suspension."
Find out about our completed prosecutions
Licensing Matters

Explaining the licensing process

How long does our criminal record check take?

When you apply for or renew an SIA licence, we check to see if you have a criminal record. We do this by submitting something called a ‘disclosure request’ to one of the UK‘s three disclosure bodies: Access NI (Northern Ireland), Disclosure Scotland and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
There are some things that you can do to speed up the criminality check:
  • We may send you a disclosure request form for you to complete and return to us. If we do, please make sure that you follow the instructions we enclose with the form. If you don’t and you complete the form incorrectly it will delay your application.
  • We may ask you to submit a disclosure request through the Access NI website. If we do, please make sure you ask for a standard disclosure. If you ask for a basic disclosure or an enhanced disclosure we will not be able to accept it. Also, if you ask for the wrong type of disclosure you will be charged the fee that Access NI would normally charge us.
  • If you live overseas or you have spent six continuous months or more outside the UK within the last five years, visit the ‘Overseas Criminal Record Checks’ page of our website before you apply. You will need to provide evidence of a criminal record check from the relevant country or countries and this can take time, so it is better to get this started before you apply.
Receiving your criminality disclosure is not the end of the process.
Many of the other checks we do result in yes/no answers - for example:
  • Identity – you either are who you say you are, or you are not.
  • Qualification – we either have a record of your qualification or we do not.
Our criminality checks are different, because the fact that you have a criminal record does not answer the question of whether we should grant you a licence. We need to look at what that record contains and assess it for patterns of behaviour and/or a potential risk to the public.
Assessing criminality is not something that can be done by a machine, so your application will be queued for review by one of our decisions officers. This will not happen straight away as we deal with around 12,000 applications every month and we assess disclosures in the order in which we receive them.
This is why the criminality check can take longer than other parts of the licensing process.
Read more about criminal record checks

Update on Birmingham open day

On 25 September we held a successful open day designed to support individuals and businesses with their licensing queries at the Edgbaston Cricket ground. We welcomed over 50 people who met our Customer Support, Decisions and Compliance, Partnerships and Interventions, Communications and Stakeholder Engagement and Quality and Standards teams.
Our Deputy Director of Operations, Mark Burtonwood, was in attendance to support the day. He said:
"It is important that we work in collaboration with the industry we are responsible for regulating and continually look for opportunities to do so. This can sometimes mean simply creating opportunities for us just to have a meaningful chat and catch up. Our recent event in Birmingham achieved this and more. It provided an opportunity for us to offer advice about individual licensing requirements and the Approved Contractor Scheme to those thinking of applying for it or expanding in the industry. It also allowed us to provide technical help for those who needed it. Equally as important, we provided an opportunity for a couple of visitors to challenge us on things they felt we hadn’t got right. It is important we listen and communicate with the industry, which is why events such as this one are important.
The range of queries that we dealt with were:
  • sworn oaths;
  • character references;
  • individual licence holders’ next steps;
  • creating an account;
  • application for approval for the ACS;
  • ACS processes regarding our online licensing system.
Our staff members were able to assist with these queries, and a total of nine licences were granted on the day.
Upcoming events

Glasgow open day – Save the date

We have hosted open days in London, Manchester and Birmingham, next we are heading to Glasgow. At the event, we will provide one-to-one support from our experts on our licensing system, for both individuals and businesses.
Date:                        Tuesday 4 December 2018
Location:                  Glasgow city centre
Time:                        14:00 – 20:00
Details of how to register coming soon

Security Twenty 18/19

Venue:  Park Inn Hotel (Heathrow)
Date:  7 November 2018

Venue:  Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel 
Date:   21 February 2019
Find out more and book your place here

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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