May SIA Update
SIA Update
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Spring is here, the sun is shining in many parts of the UK, and we have had a busy May. In this month’s newsletter we’re letting you know that we have started our customer insight survey to find out what you think of our licensing process. IFF Research may be in touch with you shortly to ask for your opinion, and we’d be grateful for your participation.
 
Our SIA news section signposts new research on mental health and wellbeing in the private security industry, and we’ve also shared a link to our new chief executive’s Twitter account.
 
In our public protection section, we share some important themes mentioned in the Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s speech. We also have a couple of stories about security operatives who have been commended due to their outstanding efforts to protect the public.
 
This month’s enforcement update explains a little about our enforcement activity and highlights recent prosecutions. These include a Birmingham door supervisor who was prosecuted in his absence, and a door supervisor from Bedfordshire who was jailed for working with a forged licence.
 
The ‘Licensing Matters’ section this month is about how long your qualifications are valid for. Finally, you can find out about the latest industry events.
SIA News
Public Protection
Enforcement Update
Licensing Matters Upcoming Events About this Newsletter
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SIA NEWS
Listening to the industry customer satisfaction research
We have commissioned research to understand the needs of our customers better.  The research is our annual customer insight survey. IFF Research will be conducting it on our behalf, in order to find out about your experience of our licence application process.
 
We want your views on our services, what you like about our delivery, and how we can make things better.  We will then analyse your feedback and take action to ensure that, where possible, we continue to meet customer needs and provide a modern and up-to-date service.
 
The research is now underway and ends in mid-June. Please be aware that you may receive a call from IFF Research asking you to take part in the survey. This will be a legitimate approach so please do take part, we value your opinion.
 
IFF Research works to the guidelines set out in the Market Research Society’s Code of Conduct. Please note that interviews will be in complete confidence, and no individual person, organisation or answers will be identifiable.
Find out more about our research on our website
Mental health and wellbeing in the private security industry 
Mental Health Awareness Week took place this month, from 13-19 May. Professional Security Magazine published the research of academics from the University of Portsmouth and Solent University published their findings from research into mental health and wellbeing among security operatives in the UK.
 
They consider that the exposure to stressful and violent incidents can have a significant negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of security operatives. As a result, there are many security operatives who are suffering as a result of the daily physical and verbal abuse they face.
 
The research also suggests that although numerous security operatives report suffering from mental health and wellbeing issues, there is little or no support provided by their employers. In part, their observation was that the majority of security businesses believe that there is an almost inexhaustible supply of security operatives looking for work and that therefore little needs to be done for those who suffer.
 
A disturbing finding is that Jobcentre staff are reported to be actively encouraging the long-term unemployed to train as security operatives as limited qualifications are required. The researchers observed that it is not certain that the long term unemployed themselves possess the mental strength to be able to cope with such a demanding and potentially damaging work environment.
Find out more about this research online
Our chief executive is on Twitter 
Follow our Chief Executive, Ian Todd, is on Twitter as he tweets about what he is up to while he meets partners and people in the industry, participates in events, and meets policy makers.
 
Ian, joined the SIA in February 2019. Since then he has been meeting security business owners and key enforcement partners. He has taken part in our approved contractor summer events and has accompanied our investigators as they check SIA licences.
 
Ian joined the SIA from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) where he was Deputy Director General. He has extensive experience of dealing with the public in a frontline role as his first career was with the NHS ambulance services. He is a qualified paramedic and was part of the Gold Command Team during the 7/7 crisis.
Follow our chief executive on Twitter
PUBLIC PROTECTION
Home Office speech on counter-terrorism
Home Secretary Sajid Javid gave a speech on security on Monday 20 May at New Scotland Yard, the headquarters of Counter-Terrorism Policing in the UK. It covered topics relevant to the private security industry including the threat from terrorism, the UK’s international role in counter-terrorism and keeping people safe from emerging threats.
 
In his speech, Mr Javid discussed the new powers in the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 as well as international security partnerships. This is of particular interest in the context of Brexit and the question of how international security initiatives can be sustained despite the UK’s split from the European Union.
 
The Home Secretary also talked through the current terrorist threat the UK faces, and made special mention of the work of frontline responders.
 
During his speech, Mr Javid commented: 
The United Kingdom has a combination of strength and unity that sets us apart from our friends and enemies alike. Those enemies range from entire states to lone individuals. They seek to humiliate us, to destroy our democracy and undermine our values and to sow the seeds of division, but they all have one thing in common. They know, deep down, that they cannot beat us because from every challenge we have emerged stronger, more determined, unafraid and, most importantly of all, united.

Mr Javid spoke in detail about the importance of security. As private security operatives are often on the front lines of public safety, much of what he said applies particularly to the private security industry.

Read his speech in full online
Sunderland door supervisors honoured 
The Chronicle Live published a story recently on the bravery of Sunderland door supervisors Anthony Hopper, Andrew Charlton and Jason Logan. The three men were presented with ‘commanders’ compliments’ in recognition of their outstanding contributions to Sunderland’s night-time economy.
 
They were all given this award due to their individual actions: Charlton helped to stop an intoxicated woman from going home with a suspicious patron; Logan intervened to prevent a potential domestic-related assault; and Hopper helped detain a man found to be in possession of a weapon.
 
This is a good example of the way that security operatives can work well with the police, as police attended all three of these incidents. The quick-thinking actions of the door supervisors protected the public, safeguarded those enjoying a night out, and tackled crime and anti-social behaviour.

Sergeant Maria Ord of Northumbria Police said:
Our work in the city centre is not just about reacting to incidents, it’s also about preventing them from happening in the first place – and that’s why it was important for these three individuals to be recognised. Every month, we deliver vulnerability training for door staff, licensees and other city centre partners to educate them on how best to identify and safeguard people who may be vulnerable for a number of reasons, and who could therefore become more likely to be a victim of crime.
Read the full news story online

Security guards given ‘outstanding act’ award 

The Coventry Telegraph wrote recently about three Nuneaton security guards who stopped a drunk driver from driving through the town centre. Gavin Jones, Matthew Lamb and John Wallbank received 'outstanding act' accolades at the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) awards for their efforts.
          
The incident took place in February last year, while they were working at Ropewalk Shopping Centre. Jones, Lamb and Wallbank spotted a drunk couple on CCTV heading for car park pay machines at the shopping centre.
 
Wallbank let the town centre CCTV team know, while Lamb followed the couple into the car park. A Police Community Support Officer met them in the car park and radioed a traffic unit nearby.
 
Lamb and Wallbank spotted the vehicle and Jones, who was in the control room, called the police. Once the car left the car park, police pulled the car over, and the man driving was arrested.

Read the full news story on the Coventry Live Website
New initiative with Leicestershire Police to improve private security skills 
On Wednesday 24 April, we co-hosted an event with Leicestershire Police’s safety training team at its headquarters to share conflict management and resolution skills. More than 50 licensed security operatives from Leicester and Loughborough attended this one-off awareness raising session.
 
It forms part of an initiative to assist Leicester’s private security industry following a rise of violent incidents in the city over the past year.
 
Nigel Davies, our regional investigation manager for the East region, said:
The aim of this event is for Leicester security professionals to build on their existing knowledge and experience. The learning will further equip them for the challenges that the security industry is facing in Leicester’s night-time economy. The SIA’s East Region team has been working on this initiative for some time, and we are very grateful to Leicestershire Police for providing support. This event has special relevance following the gas attack in a Leicestershire nightclub last year.
The security staff were given a presentation on effective techniques when managing emergencies such as a gas or acid attack in a crowded area.  They were also given pointers on safer restraint, and warned about the risks of positional asphyxia, which can result in serious injury or worse to people who are under restraint.
 
Leicestershire Police provided security professionals with advice on basic security skills, such as conflict management and safe search techniques. There was also a refresher on the common law powers that govern allowable behaviour for security staff.
 
Inspector Manjit Atwal of Leicestershire Police said:
We wanted to provide private security staff with advice on safety and important trade skills, whilst also increasing their confidence in their own ability to deal with emergency situations.   It was great to see Leicestershire security operatives coming together and taking responsibility for their own further training.  The feedback has been very positive, and I hope that we were able to add to the mandatory SIA licence training in a coherent and useful way.
Find out about future events from our events page
ENFORCEMENT UPDATE
Our enforcement activity 
You will have seen regular news and updates about our prosecutions on our website, via social media, in our newsletters, or in local or regional newspapers. We want the industry to know that we can, and do, prosecute individuals and organisations who do not comply the Private Security Industry Act 2001.
 
On occasion we also prosecute anyone within the private security industry who commits a criminal offence that could negatively affect the industry. This often applies to fraud cases where a licence or document has been forged.
 
Before we prosecute someone, we conduct a criminal investigation to consider whether there is enough evidence, who is liable for an offence, and whether a prosecution is in the public interest.
 
Encouraging compliance does not always involve criminal prosecutions. There are other effective ways that are quick and avoid costly court cases. For instance, we may issue a written warning, an improvement notice, or revoke or suspend licences for non-compliance.
Find out about our recent enforcement statistics and activity
No-show Birmingham door supervisor fined £600 and charged court costs of £7,815 in his absence 
On Monday 29 April, Birmingham resident John Mendy was found guilty in his absence at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court. He was fined £600 and was required to pay costs of £7,815. John Mendy incurred this significant fine and court costs for ignoring the formal requests we sent three times. He also failed to attend Birmingham Magistrates’ Court for the hearing of his case last December, in March, and again on Monday 29 April.
 
The investigation began after our investigators tried to speak to Mr Mendy about why his licence number was being used by someone else at the Witcombe Cider Festival in 2017. One of our investigators, who was carrying out routine licence checks at the Gloucestershire festival, found an individual displaying a fraudulent SIA door supervisor licence featuring a licence number assigned to John Mendy. The person wearing the badge was known as Gabriel Prom. This individual does not hold an SIA licence.
 
Following this discovery, we made several attempts to contact Mendy between 24 January 2018 and 26 May 2018 to find out whether he was aware that his licence was being used fraudulently by someone else. As he repeatedly failed to respond to our enquiries, we prosecuted Mendy.
 
Gabriel Prom also failed to attend a hearing at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
 
Pete Easterbrook, one of our Criminal Investigations Managers, said:
John Mendy has shown a complete lack of regard and respect for both the regulator and the judicial system. He chose not to attend court to explain his actions. It is my view that Mendy believed that by ignoring our requests he could undermine our investigation. As this result has shown, this course of action was ill advised, and John Mendy now has a criminal record and must pay a substantial fine and significant court costs.
He added:
This case is a reminder that our investigators have the power to require a regulated person to provide them with documents or other information. This is not a power we exercise lightly, but when we do so, we expect individuals to engage with us. Those who choose to treat such a request as optional and fail to respond can expect to be prosecuted.
John Mendy was licensed until 21 August 2018. His licence has now expired.
Bedfordshire door supervisor jailed for working with a forged licence
Norris Dennis, 60, was sentenced at Luton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 24 April to 20 weeks immediate imprisonment.  He had pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud and one of working without a valid SIA licence.
 
Nathan Salmon, one of our Criminal Investigations Managers, said:
The SIA regulates the private security industry, and licenses individuals, in order to protect the public. Trying to get around the licensing regime by creating a fake licence is a particularly serious offence. The judge in this case shared this view, which is why Mr Dennis was immediately sent to prison.  The SIA’s regional teams conduct regular random licence checks right across the UK.  We will prosecute in cases of this nature, and courts are able to utilise the full penalties available under the law.
Dennis was caught by our investigators in September 2018 in a joint operation with Bedfordshire Police in Dunstable. Dennis was found wearing a photocopy of a genuine licence, which had been altered to include his name and photograph.
 
Our investigators had just checked one of Dennis’s co-workers, who was correctly licensed.  Dennis himself appeared wearing what seemed to be an SIA licence on an armband. We checked the licence number against the SIA’s register of licence holders, and discovered that the number belonged to a different person. Dennis was cautioned, and the counterfeit licence was seized.
 
Our criminal investigation team spoke to the genuine licence holder, who was able to confirm that he still had the real licence in his possession, and that he had not given permission to anyone to copy it in any way.
 
We invited Dennis for interview to continue our investigations.  Dennis did not reply to the invitation, or respond in any way despite repeated attempts to contact him.
 
Nathan Salmon also said:
Ignoring requests for information from the SIA is an offence in itself.  Our investigation teams will inevitably pursue non-respondents, and they could well end up with additional charges being brought against them.  It’s always best in the long run to engage with the SIA from the beginning and help with our enquiries.
Alongside this imprisonment, Dennis was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115.
Find out about our completed prosecutions
LICENSING MATTERS
Explaining the licensing process 
Validity of Qualifications
We need to be sure that people applying for a licence have not forgotten the skills and knowledge that they learned during their training. In order to apply for a licence you must have:
  • Achieved your licence-linked qualification within the last three years, or;
  • Held an active licence for that sector within the last three years (our assumption being that you will therefore have kept your skills fresh while doing the job)
If you do not meet these requirements then you will need to re-take the training and achieve the necessary qualification. 

Door Supervision
If you are applying for a door supervisor licence and you are satisfying our training requirement with a combination of an older licence-linked qualification and the upskilling award, both qualifications must meet our requirements. We will not accept your application if you have recently achieved the upskilling award but it has been longer than three years since you held a door supervisor licence or achieved your original qualification.
Read more about the validity of qualifications on our website
UPCOMING EVENTS
IFSEC International 
The European IFSEC International will take place on 18-20 June at the ExCeL in London.
 
It is expected that over 27,000 security professionals will attend the event and several security products, security businesses and partners will be there.
Find out more about the IFSEC International event
Security Twenty 19  
Manchester
Security Twenty 19 is taking place in Manchester. It is a conference aimed at end users, purchasers and those who specify security products and will update attendees on the latest developments in the security sector.
 
The SIA will have a stand at this conference and a member of staff attending. Please come and see us if you have any questions.
      Location: Principal Hotel Manchester
      Date: 2 July 2019  
Register to attend Security Twenty 19 in Manchester
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.
 
www.allsecurityevents.com
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