Enforcement Activity

We can and do prosecute individuals and organisations who do not comply with the legal requirements of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. We may also prosecute anyone within the private security industry who commits a criminal offence that could have a detrimental impact on the industry - for example, fraud or offences under the Identity Documents Act 2010.

Before we do so, we conduct a criminal investigation to determine:

  • whether there is sufficient evidence that an offence was committed;
  • whether there is any statutory defence;
  • who is liable for the offence;
  • whether a prosecution is in the public interest.

As of 28 February 2019 we were conducting 56 criminal investigations involving 65 businesses and 176 individuals. In February we closed 1 case and opened 5 new ones.

We have a range of sanctions available to us that fall short of criminal proceedings but can be highly effective in securing compliance quickly whilst avoiding costly formal proceedings. These include the issuing of written warnings and improvement notices for non-compliance, and the revocation or suspension of licences.

This Financial Year (2018-2019)

Written Warnings Issued 133
Improvement Notices Issued 5


  • Written Warnings - Issued to an individual where an offence under the Private Security Industry Act 2001 has been detected. A written warning may be taken into account in future enforcement decisions or as non-conviction information in a licence decision.
  • Improvement Notices - An informal procedure applied to a company that is found in breach of offences under the Private Security Industry Act. It sets out the improvements required and is discharged when we are satisfied the improvements have been made.

ACS Quality Assurance

The credibility of the Approved Contractor Scheme and its associated accreditation mark is assured by our active programme of approved contractor monitoring. Any improvement needs, complaints or allegations are assessed and action is taken where appropriate.

More information on quality assurance of the ACS

Using The Information We Receive

Our approach to enforcement is intelligence-led: any information we receive is analysed so that we can spot trends and do a better job of prioritising and targeting our enforcement activity. We provide a monthly update on the actions we have taken as a result of the intelligence we have received.

View last month's details