Essential information for the private security industry
December 2018
Festive greetings from everyone at the SIA. We begin our newsletter with a letter from the National Police Chiefs' Council following the recent terror incident in Strasbourg.

This month we announce that the SIA board has appointed a new Chief Executive, Ian Todd. He will begin his post on 25 February 2019. We also share guidance with security operatives working over the festive period and remind door supervisors about protecting vulnerable people at Christmas.

In our SIA News section we’ve shared a summary of the results so far from the skills and qualifications review and a blog about this. You'll see some important information about changes to our document checks in the New Year. In this newsletter, we are also inviting you to help us re-design our corporate website by signing up to test our new designs.

Our public protection section details our initiative in Sheffield to ensure a safe night out for the public. We share a positive story about a heroic door supervisor who has been honoured for his bravery. We also highlight the counter-terrorism training available online and the Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) events coming up in the New Year.

In the final enforcement update for the year, you can read about an unlicensed security boss who we prosecuted for fraud and our violence reduction initiatives to keep students safe. We’ve also included a case study on uncovering modern day slavery practices in the private security industry.

This month’s ‘licensing matters’ section gives an update on our most recent open day which took place in Glasgow. In our ‘Explaining the licensing process’ article we clarify the process around Licence Dispensation Notices (LDNs) for security operatives working for approved contractors.

Finally, season’s greetings from all of us at the SIA and a happy and safe New Year. We look forward to working with you in 2019.


SIA News 

Message from the National Police Chiefs' Council following the recent shooting in Strasbourg

The Chief Superintendent from the National Police Chiefs' Council has written a letter to security professionals, encouraging our industry to support the ongoing fight against terrorism.

Download and share this letter from our website. You can read the letter below. He says:

Dear Security Professional

I am writing to you to enlist your ongoing support in keeping the UK safe from terrorism. The shooting attack reported in Strasbourg last night is a timely reminder of the threats that we collectively face, be they shown to be crime or terrorism.

Although I am not aware of any specific intelligence that leads me to believe there is currently an identifiable threat to any specific location, the UK threat level remains at Severe (an attack is highly likely).
So, what can you do?
You are part of one of the best security industries in the world and right now, I need each of you to be at your very best. I need you to be visible and alert and I need you to be engaging with people. If you have search policies in your organisation, make sure they are implemented really well. If you are involved in static guarding, make sure you are working collaboratively with others who are around you. The more people you work with and the more visible you are, the more of a deterrent you become.
If you have any concerns at all, however minor you may think they are, call your local police service on 101 or in an emergency 999. You can also use the Anti-Terrorist Hotline

There are lots of ways you can keep yourself informed about what is going on as well, through any of the following channels:  You are part of a profession that, along with the police and security service, keeps the UK safe. I am grateful to you for that contribution and wish you and your families, friends and colleagues a peaceful and safe Christmas period.

Nick Aldworth
Chief Superintendent
National Counter Terrorism Coordinator (Protect and Prepare)
Visit our website for guidance and resources on counter-terrorism

SIA Chief Executive appointed

Elizabeth France CBE, our Chair, on 11 December announced the appointment of Ian Todd as SIA Chief executive.
Ian succeeds Dave Humphries who has been our interim chief executive since the departure of our former chief executive Alan Clamp at the end of October. Ian will join us on 25 February 2019.
Ian will be joining the SIA from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) where he is currently Deputy Director General. This builds on a number of board level roles in professional regulation, including the health and legal sectors.
He has also spent time in central government, including the Cabinet Office. Ian has extensive experience of dealing with the public in a frontline role as his first career was with the NHS ambulance services. Throughout his near 15 years, he was a qualified paramedic and held a number of roles to director level, including as part of the Gold command team during 7/7.
Elizabeth France said: 
“I am delighted to welcome Ian as the SIA’s future Chief Executive. Ian joins us with an excellent track record in leadership and organisation development, we look forward to working with him.

Ian will build on our work with government, the private security industry, and our other stakeholders to maintain a focus on public protection and ensure the SIA continues to improve the service we provide to licence holders and security businesses.

I am confident Ian will enjoy the challenge of delivering effective regulation in a changing environment. He will carry forward our strategic plan and build on our successes to ensure continuity and progress across all areas of the SIA’s work.”
 Ms France added: 
“I thank Dave Humphries for his steady leadership since Alan Clamp’s departure in October. He has ensured that the SIA has continued to move forward strategically and operationally.”
Dave will continue at the helm until Ian arrives at the end of February.
Ian Todd said: 
“I am excited to be taking up the post of Chief Executive at the SIA and look forward to drawing on my experience to drive the SIA’s strategic direction and strengthen its regulatory role.
The SIA plays an important role in protecting the public and improving standards in the security industry.
I look forward to working with the board and staff at the SIA, as well as external stakeholders and partners. I am committed to building on the good work of the organisation and to ensure that the SIA continues to be seen as an effective and efficient regulator”.

Incident involving eight door supervisors at the Factory Nightclub, Manchester

On 1 December, SIA licensed door supervisors were filmed assaulting two young men outside the Factory Nightclub in Manchester. We share the public’s concern and disgust at the violence shown in the video.

On Monday 3 December, within hours of receiving information about the Manchester incident, we suspended the licences of the door supervisors believed to be associated with the fighting at the Factory Nightclub in Manchester. They cannot legally work in the security industry pending further enquiries.

Thousands of door supervisors are deployed each weekend across UK towns and cities. The vast majority do a good job, often in challenging circumstances. The violent conduct in the Manchester incident was disgraceful and damaging to the good name and reputation of door supervisors and the security industry.

We continue to work closely with Greater Manchester Police, the security provider, and the venue to investigate the incident.

Our investigators were out on the streets with Greater Manchester Police last weekend following the incident to ensure Manchester clubs were safe from unprofessional and criminal conduct.

Our key aims are to raise standards and protect the public. Most weekends, our investigators accompany police officers visiting pubs and clubs. They engage with door staff to ensure that they are correctly licensed and operating professionally. 

We have produced a short guide for safer physical intervention for door supervisors, which is a reminder as to when you should use physical intervention – always as a last resort - and the responsibilities a door supervisor has when physically intervening. Download this guidance from our website:  PDF14 pages 1,013kb

If you any have information relating to violent incidents relating to SIA licence holders we want to know about it. Please report it via our website or anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. 

Protecting vulnerable people - a seasonal reminder of the responsibilities of security operatives

SIA licence holders hold an important position of trust. With Christmas near, we are taking the opportunity to remind Door Supervisors in particular of their responsibility to identify and protect vulnerable members of the public.

The ‘Emergency Procedures’ session of the SIA’s door supervision training provides operatives with guidance as to how to identify vulnerable children or adults. As a reminder, the factors to look out for are:

  • Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Being alone or receiving unwanted attention
  • Being separated from friends
  • Appearing lost or isolated
  • Being followed or threatened
  • Victims of domestic violence
  • Young people under the age of 18
  • Having a physical or learning disability

The door supervision training also suggests actions that operatives should take to support vulnerable members of the public. These are:

  • Seeking help of street pastors, street marshals or any other active schemes
  • Calling a relative to assist in the case of a younger or vulnerable adult
  • Calling for a licensed taxi to take the vulnerable person home
  • Using ‘safe havens’ or other local initiatives run by organisations such as St John’s Ambulance
  • Calling the police

Door supervisors are also trained on the required standards of behaviour, which include behaving with personal integrity and understanding, as well as never abusing their position of authority.

We sometimes receive reports from police or other agencies that licence holders have provided lifts home to drunk or otherwise vulnerable people whilst on duty. The information extends from genuine well-meaning acts of assistance to allegations of rape and sexual assault. To avoid unwanted allegations of misconduct or activity inconsistent with their duty to safeguard, operatives should not escort vulnerable people in relation to their work unless it is to the immediate safety of a responsible adult as listed above.

We will consider taking action against any licence holders that fail to follow their training in safeguarding vulnerable individuals and are deemed to have engaged in inappropriate conduct with a vulnerable person. This behaviour applies to a small number of licence holders but impacts on the reputation of a professional and hardworking industry, whose members frequently fulfil their role with bravery and in the face of significant provocation. If you are aware of colleagues or employees who do not follow this guidance, please report their behaviour to us on our website, or by clicking on the button below.

Report anyone not following this guidance

Important changes to document checks

We are making changes to the way that people need to prove their identity when applying for a licence.
Why are we making these changes?
The SIA is obliged to follow the identity document requirements of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), which are set by the Home Office.
These changes will bring us into line with evolving central government guidelines.
When will these changes come into effect?
These new rules will come into effect in mid-February 2019.
What are the changes?
  • Until now, people renewing their licence or applying for a licence in an additional sector have only been asked to submit identity documents in certain circumstances – for example, if they have changed their address since their previous application. From mid-February our full document requirements will apply to everyone, regardless of whether they are applying for a new licence, renewing their existing licence or applying for a licence in an additional sector.
  • This will mean that people who previously would not have been asked to complete their application at the post office will now be required to do so.
  • Businesses using our Licence Management service will not be able to accept two group A documents as they have in the past. They will need to follow the document requirements outlined below.
What identity documents will we ask for?
We will ask applicants to present one ‘Group A’ document and two ‘Group B’ documents in support of their application. At least one of the documents must show their date of birth and any address shown on these documents must match the address they gave us in their application.
The documents must be originals, not copies, so applicants should plan ahead as they may need to contact banks, utility companies, or local authorities in order to get these.
A full list of ‘Group A’ and ‘Group B’ documents is available on our website here.
These documents are checked by the applicant’s employer (if they use our Licence Management service), the post office or (in some circumstances) directly by SIA staff.
What if I can’t get to a post office to present my documents? 
Applicants who can’t get to a post office can still apply to us for a Post Office Exemption.  This is granted in some cases if there is a genuine need; for example, for applicants who live a significant distance from a participating post office.
You can ask for a Post Office Exemption whilst applying for a licence using our online application system. Please be aware that this may lengthen the time taken to process your application.
How can I find out more?
You can contact us through your SIA online account.  If you don’t yet have an online account, the video here will show you how to create one.


Summary of the results on the review of the specifications on qualifications

Every five years we review the qualifications required for an SIA licence. We do this to make sure that they stay up to date with changes to the law, technology, the way people work and that they continue to help keep people safe.  We ran an online consultation for four weeks in September to October 2018 to ask for views on the draft specifications for learning and qualifications.

The new specifications included suggestions made by our expert working groups (advisory panels composed of industry representatives and subject matter experts) and findings from extensive research.  More information is available on our website.

We received 846 responses to the consultation, 92% of respondents had an SIA licence, 64% of respondents stated they were a security operative/employee and 66% of respondents have been in the industry for over 6 years.

Generally there was a very high degree of satisfaction and agreement with the topics and training provision.

Additional comments
In addition to comments on the content of the training, there were suggestions of measures to reduce training malpractice.  Suggestions included off site marking, independent invigilators, raised pass mark and not just multiple choice questions.

Next steps
We have held further discussions with our expert working group to consider the findings from this consultation. As well as key learnings from the research we conducted to understand the current and future skill needs of the private security industry in the UK.

All of this invaluable feedback and opinion will feed into the second draft of our specifications for learning and qualifications. The expert working groups will again provide valuable insight on this.

We will be consulting for a final time on the new specifications in January 2019. Please keep an eye out for this as it will be your last opportunity to help shape the qualifications and to ensure they stay relevant for your industry in the years ahead. 
Download the results (PDF, download size: 387kb)

Quality assuring private security training

This month’s corporate blog is from our Quality and Risk Manager, Tracey Lilley, who is working on a comprehensive quality improvement plan designed to support both the awarding organisations and their training centres. Awarding bodies are organisations that design, develop, deliver and award the recognition of learning outcomes of an individual following an assessment and quality assurance process that is valued by employers, learners and stakeholders.

In her blog, she talks about our skills and qualifications review and discusses the importance of this opportunity for the industry to share its views to ensure robust assessment processes within the private security industry. Read this month’s blog, make a comment and share your opinions.
Read our latest blog online

Help us improve our website

In the spring of 2018, we ran an online survey and a series of workshops in which we asked for feedback on our website. We have reviewed the findings of that research and we are now ready to start designing our new site. We need your help to ensure that we get it right.

If you would like to help us, then please click on this link and fill out the form, we will then add you to our list of testers. The tests will be done online and should take no longer than three minutes at a time.

Note: We will need to share the details you provide in the form above with the company we have commissioned to design our new website. By entering your details and submitting the form you are agreeing that we can do this. If you change your mind, you can contact us at and ask for your details to be deleted from our list of testers.

Help us improve our corporate website

Sheffield city centre initiative for a safer night out

South Yorkshire Police has been dealing with a number of cases in Sheffield city centre involving violence in the night-time economy. Sheffield boasts a vibrant night-time economy with around 200 door supervisors regularly employed in the city. The SIA, South Yorkshire Police, and Sheffield City Council are all keen to make the city centre as safe as possible for those visiting and particularly those working in the night-time economy.

On Friday 2 November Matt Murchington, our Regional Investigator for Sheffield, accompanied South Yorkshire Police and licensing officers from Sheffield City Council to check the status of licences at a number of venues in the city. In total we checked 12 door supervisors, and they were all found to have valid SIA licences.

The inspection identified breaches of the Licensing Act 2003, which South Yorkshire Police and the local authority are dealing with. South Yorkshire Police (with Matt’s support) are now further investigating a suspected unlicensed employer of in-house door supervisors at a venue. During the checks, several door supervisors supplied by SIA approved contractors stated that they were ‘self-employed’. As this may indicate the likelihood of non-conformance to the conditions of our ACS, we are looking into this further.

Nigel Davies, our Regional Investigations Manager for the East Region says:

“It is really encouraging that there is compliance of the Private Security Industry Act by Sheffield’s door supervisors. We are, however, continuing to maintain our vigilance in Sheffield to ensure that any poor behaviour by the private security industry is challenged and removed. We are also helping to support the police and council with measures to reduce violence towards door supervisors by the public.”

The Sheffield city centre night-time economy inspector who accompanied the team has written to all participating officers stating that the evening checks were "an excellent example of working in partnership within the night-time economy.”
Visit the ‘protecting society’ part of our website

Heroic door supervisor gets ‘Queen’s Commendation for Bravery’ award

A story was published in Derby Telegraph about a door supervisor who rescued a man who was being stabbed.
Sean Moore, 50, was working in the Wardwick, Derby, when he jumped in to defend a man who was being attacked with a bottle in the back yard of the venue he worked at. This took place in 2014 when an argument had broken out between two men.

The assailant was holding a bottle of beer and lunged towards the victim, wounding him in the back of the neck. Sean bravely stepped in and was injured in the process. After a night in hospital, he returned home to his wife badly injured and covered in blood.

Since then, Sean has had six operations and he is due to have a seventh. He still cannot use his left hand as a result of his courageous action that night.

Sean, who is from Ilkeston received the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery at the Derbyshire Constabulary awards at Pride Park on Tuesday, 27 November. The award is one of the highest civilian bravery awards.
Read the full news story online

#ActionCountersTerrorism campaign over the festive period

Counter-terrorism policing is asking security operatives and businesses to put security at the top of their ‘must have’ lists this Christmas.

With the festive rush about to get underway, counter-terrorism policing launched its biggest-ever winter advertising campaign to the public, as part of ACT: Action Counters Terrorism.

This campaign aims to encourage the public to remain vigilant, look out for suspicious behaviour and inform people how to report their concerns, providing a ‘whole society’ approach where police,  security staff, retail workers and the public come together to minimise the chance of attacks and mitigate the impact they can have.

This is part of the UK’s counter-terrorism policing’s ‘Step Change’ initiative – which aims to bring the public and private sectors together to collaborate on security matters. This initiative is all about retailers and other businesses that operate in crowded places playing their part in countering the terrorist threat.

Security operatives and businesses can do this in two ways, the first being to sign up to ACT
Awareness eLearning, the innovative online training scheme designed to help those within the private security industry better understand, and mitigate against, current terrorist methodology. Developed in a ground-breaking partnership between Counter-Terrorism Policing and retail giant Marks & Spencer, it covers how to spot the signs of suspicious behaviour and what to do if an attack should take place. The course, which is free to use, can be divided into short sections to suit business needs. However, it takes just 45 minutes in total to complete; 45 minutes that could save lives.

Secondly, security businesses can draw up a 60-second security plan as a contingency this Christmas, which has the power to improve reaction to emergency situations. Designed to be a quick checklist that can improve staff reactions in the event of an emergency, it requires businesses to ensure all their staff know the answers to simple questions such as:

• Who is appointed to make decisions, and do they know what they’re doing?
• How do you enter and exit the building in emergency?
• How do you lock down quickly?
• Where can you hide?
• How do you communicate? How do you stay updated if you find yourself in a run, hide, tell scenario?
• Have you briefed your staff?

Launching the campaign, the national co-ordinator for Protect and Prepare, Chief Superintendent Nick Aldworth, said:

“I would like to ask retailers and other businesses to consider our ‘Sixty Second Security’ plan, which is a quick checklist of questions every member of staff should be able to answer in order to drastically improve reaction times in the event of an emergency.

Last year on Oxford Street, we saw a fight at a Tube station cause panic when people believed that a terrorist attack had occurred. In the rush to keep themselves safe, some people suffered serious injuries and businesses were severely disrupted.

By working alongside those businesses, we have learnt from that experience and I believe that our ‘Sixty Second Security’ plan will better prepare us to deal with something similar in the future.”

Specialist advice for companies operating in crowded places, such as major events, sport stadia, visitor attractions, bars, theatres and shopping centres, is available on the National Counter Terrorism Security Office website.
Read specialist advice about operating in crowded places

Attend the Police Scotland ACT counter-terrorism events

The counter-terrorism events continue in the coming year and we invite you to participate in our upcoming January ‘You Can ACT’ sessions in Glasgow and Ayr. All the sessions are specifically aimed at front-line security staff.

Please save the dates for the upcoming events that will take place as follows:

Thursday 17 January 2019
Refreshments at 17:30 for a prompt 18:00 start.
This event is set to end at 21:00.

Wednesday 23 January 2019
Refreshments at 17:30 for a prompt 18:00 start.
This event is set to end at 21:00.

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.

If you or your colleagues would like to attend either event, 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.
Register for the upcoming events in Glasgow and Ayr
Enforcement Update
Unlicensed security boss given prison sentence for "blatant" and "premeditated" fraud across Northern Ireland

On 12 December, at Antrim Crown Court, Steven Ian Nixon (47) of Portadown and owner of Eventsafe Security, was sentenced to nine months imprisonment for fraud, and three months for supplying unlicensed security operatives. Both jail sentences were suspended for three years. Nixon was also given 100 hours community service.

In January 2017, we received intelligence that Nixon was still operating as a sole trader via his company Eventsafe, despite having his licence revoked in May 2016 due to his criminality.

As a sole trader under the law, Nixon and his company Eventsafe Security are seen as one and the same. He is the person responsible for the supply and management and direction of all security operatives working for Eventsafe.

When we questioned him at the time, Nixon claimed to no longer run Eventsafe. However, our investigators found evidence to the contrary. The case was referred to our Criminal Investigation Team for investigation.

During the investigation, Nixon sought to mislead us. He falsified statements using the name of an individual (without this person's knowledge) suggesting that this person was now running Eventsafe.

Our investigators found that Nixon provided businesses in Magherafelt and Portadown with bogus public liability insurance documents to gain their custom. Nixon later presented another individual, Nathan Wallace a door supervisor, who he claimed had then taken over Eventsafe.

We made several requests for information and documentation to Nathan Wallace to confirm his status at Eventsafe; all were met with silence.

We also questioned a number of door supervisors who worked at Eventsafe, they all stated that Eventsafe was run by Nixon who they regarded as their manager.

In March 2018, Nathan Wallace was convicted of failing to respond to the request for information from the SIA regarding his role in Eventsafe. He was sentenced in June 2018 at Armagh Magistrates where he received a two year conditional discharge and was ordered to pay costs of £172.

Throughout our investigation, Nixon declined repeated approaches by us for an interview to explain his position. He was prosecuted for a number of offences across several locations across Northern Ireland, these were:

  • Managing and directing a licensed operative engaged in licensable conduct at Ballymena despite not having an SIA licence himself;
  • Supplying an unlicensed operative to engage in licensable activity in Magherafelt;
  • Two counts of fraud for using forged insurance documents to obtain contracts at Magherafelt and a contract at Portadown.

Nixon failed to appear at all the court hearings. In July, he was convicted despite his absence, on the evidence we presented in both Ballymena and Magherafelt. Following this, warrants were issued for his arrest.

In October, Nixon was sentenced to a £400 fine for working without a licence, in addition he was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £15 and fixed costs of £165. The remainder of the offences were sent to Antrim Crown Court for sentencing.

We are pursuing the confiscation of Nixon's assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act (2002). A hearing for this will take place in the coming months.

At the Antrim Crown Court (12 December) Judge McReynolds commented that the fraud was "blatant and premeditated". He stated that Nixon displayed a "lack of candour and transparency" and has an "inability to tell the truth."

The court also heard that Nixon had 39 previous convictions. Judge McReynolds reminded Nixon that should he commit any further offences over the next three years he will almost certainly be sent to prison.  

Pete Easterbrook, our Criminal Investigations Manager said:
"The conviction of Steven Nixon for a range of offences demonstrates his complete indifference to the fact that there is regulation of the private security industry and the safeguards it affords.  In addition, Mr. Nixon has shown that he was more than prepared to lie to both the SIA, his customers and those he employed.  Those lies very quickly unravelled, and I am pleased that the court has recognised the seriousness of his offending in the sentence passed today.

Determined to run his business by any means necessary he put the public at risk not only by supplying unlicensed security operatives but cheating his clients with forged insurance documents so he could secure their custom".

Pete Easterbrook added:
"The vast majority of those who work in the security industry are appropriately trained and licensed. They carry out their role professionally and to a high standard.  There is, however, a small minority who believe that they can operate with impunity and engage in criminality.  My message to them is straightforward - there is no place for you in the security industry.   This case serves as a stark warning that if you commit criminal offences you will be prosecuted".

Find out about our completed prosecutions

Violence reduction campaign to promote student safety

Starting in late November our South East Partnerships and Interventions team worked with local police forces targeting five university towns calling at their top pubs and clubs where students go to socialise.

The South East team shared best-practice guidance on safer physical intervention for door supervisors as a reminder of how to keep their clients and themselves safe.
Our team shared a poster and leaflets which featured guidance and illustrations of best practice for safer restraint. The collateral was intended to be a quick reminder for door supervision licence holders and relates to the training they received in physical intervention.

The aims of the event were to promote the importance of safer restraint and reduce any possible violence during the run up to Christmas. The initiative was trialled in Brighton, Reading, Hatfield, Canterbury and Oxford and was designed to improve students’ safety during the Christmas partying season.

Kevin Young, our Investigations Manager, South Region, says that the initiative is a positive way to promote safer working practices at venues that are likely to encounter violence.

“We wanted students and young people to have a great night out and go home this Christmas unharmed. It also ensured the safety of the licensed door supervisors who work at these venues, the majority of whom do a very good job in challenging circumstances.”

In addition, the campaign sought to persuade businesses and door supervisors in the local night time economy to report incidents to the police so that we can get an accurate picture of the level of violence that takes place against students and door supervisors. Incidents can be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via our website.
The National Crime Statistics reveal that victims of assault are usually male (2.1% compared with 1.3% of women) and they account for a larger proportion of victims of violence with injury sustained (53% compared with women at 47%) and they are aged between 16 and 24. Incidents of violence increases when alcohol is involved.

Download a copy of our poster here

Modern slavery practices uncovered in Suffolk

Last month, we carried out inspections of construction sites across the UK in conjunction with partner agencies including Home Office Immigration Enforcement, HM Revenue and Customs and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.

The construction sites were sizeable, and some contractors held major contracts with utilities including Scottish Power and infrastructure businesses including Network Rail. As a result of the inspection, two security operatives who were not displaying their SIA licences were issued warnings.

The intelligence gathered proved valuable to the Home Office Immigration Enforcement team. Most of the people they engaged with had originally entered the UK illegally, although they now have the right to remain. All of the security operatives were from Sudan, Somalia or Poland and had been employed through two particular operations companies. Neither company was an approved contractor.  We have approached these buyers of the security services to encourage them to engage and procure security from approved contractors.

Exploitation of security operatives
On all of the sites where security was provided, there was no safety equipment and the security guards were instructed that they must be self-employed. One person interviewed said he was either sleeping in parks or in his car when his shift finished. The security officer was found temporary accommodation in the wake of the investigation.

Another person explained that he had worked 427 hours in September. There was evidence of alleged bullying by a company with supervisors hiding in bushes and sneaking on site to catch individuals sleeping; unsurprisingly perhaps, considering they were working 107-hour weeks. Although used to seeing poor employment conditions, the team from Home Office Immigration Enforcement were shocked at the poor employment conditions – these are subject to further investigation. We are working jointly with Home Office Immigration Enforcement to do this.

Nigel Davies, our Regional Investigation Manager for the East of England, says our targeted licence check of essential construction sites across Suffolk has highlighted significant concerns of exploitation of SIA licensed security staff, including licence infringements.

“Our findings are indicative of the abuse of people and our licensing regime by unscrupulous operators. It is imperative that contractors choose reputable security suppliers, such as an approved contractor to provide their security provision.”

He added that the SIA and partner agencies will continue to target construction sites and unscrupulous operators using our powers under the Private Security Industry Act (2001) or those of other enforcement partners. The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority states:

“If someone doesn’t have a contract, can’t choose where they work or how they travel to work, or has their wages paid into an account which is used by others, they may be a victim of labour exploitation. Spot the signs? Tell us – Call 0800 432 0804 or email"

Get further information from the GLAA
Licensing Matters

Review of Glasgow open day

On Wednesday 5 December, we held an open day in Glasgow. At the event, both individuals and businesses came along to get one-to-one help and support from our experts on our licensing system.

We had about 30 people register to attend and those who came met representatives from our Scotland Partnerships and Interventions team. Our team works with local security companies and law enforcement partners to ensure compliance.Those who came along also spoke to our Approved Contractor Scheme specialists and advisors on licence-linked training.

Our Stakeholder Manager Peter Selwyn Smith was there on the day and said:
“The SIA open days give an opportunity for people to meet the SIA face-to-face and discuss their needs.  It is always great to see individual licence applications moved forward and for business representatives to discover how to better use the online system.

“Glasgow was one of a series of events that we have run and the feedback from people who have attended has been overwhelmingly positive.”

The range of queries that we dealt with were:
• Applications which needed a criminality disclosure from Disclosure Scotland
• Applications which needed a sworn oath
• Queries from a company on the use of the functions in the business account.

Our staff members were able to assist with these queries, and a total of four licences were granted on the day, with two more being granted in the week as a direct result of us meeting the applicants.

Feedback from those who attended included:
“Excellent all the way, very helpful staff.”

We asked if there is anything else that we should include in future events and the response was:
“No everything is brilliant the way it is.”
Find out what future events we have planned

Explaining the licensing process - Licence Dispensation Notices (LDNs)

If your job requires you to hold an SIA licence, you are not legally permitted to work until we have granted you a licence. The only exception to this is if you work for one of our approved contractors and they have issued you with a licence dispensation notice (often known as an ‘LDN’).

If you are issued an LDN by your employer, you can work whilst we are processing your application for a licence. This is because approved contractors are regularly assessed to make sure they are operating to a high standard that demonstrates their commitment to quality.

For an LDN to be valid all of the following conditions must be met:

1. We have authorised the company to issue licence dispensation notices;
2. Your application is for a sector in which the company is approved (SIA approved contractors may be approved for some sectors but not for others);
3. Your application is for a sector that covers the activity you are going to be carrying out;
4. Your application for an SIA licence is at the ‘Checks in Progress’ stage;

Also, an LDN cannot be issued if we refused your previous application for a licence or revoked or suspended your most recent previous licence.

If any of these conditions are not met then the company is committing a criminal offence by deploying you and you are committing a criminal offence by undertaking licensable activity.

A few other points to note:
• Licence dispensation cannot be used on assignments working with children or vulnerable adults.
• Licence dispensation notices are only valid while we are processing your application. The LDN ceases to be valid once we make our licensing decision, whether that decision is to grant your licence or refuse your application.
• A licence dispensation notice is not a ‘temporary licence’. There is no such thing as a temporary licence: all SIA licences are valid for three years except for front line vehicle immobiliser licences which are valid for one year.
• You do not need an LDN if you are renewing your licence and your previous licence has not expired. You are still licensed while your previous licence is active.
Read more about Licence Dispensation Notices
Upcoming events

SIA stakeholder conference next year

On Thursday 14 March 2019, we will be holding our annual stakeholder conference. Please save the date as the conference will be an opportunity for private security businesses, operatives, the regulator, and members of law enforcement agencies to come together to discuss the big questions affecting the industry.

Date: Thursday 14 March 2019
Location: London, Oval cricket ground

More details to come soon

National Pubwatch conference 2019

For the second year running we are sponsoring the National Pubwatch conference and will share guidance and information with stakeholders around reducing violence in the night-time economy.

Our chair, Liz France will be speaking and our current chief executive, David Humphries will be hosting a workshop on violence and public protection.

Date: 26 February 2019
Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Chester
Register to attend the national Pubwatch conference 2019

OSPAs Thought Leadership summit

The UK Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs) will be again running a thought leadership summit in London on the afternoon of the awards ceremony.  This is an opportunity for the security sector to listen to security experts, while hearing perspectives from outside the security sector.

Date: Thursday, 28 February 2019
Location: Royal Lancaster London Hotel, London
Find out more about the OSPA Summit

Security Twenty 19

We will have a stand at the Security Twenty 19 conference taking place in February 2019.

Date: 21 February 2019
Location: Birmingham

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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