Bill Butler’s Blog February 29th 2012

Bill Butler - Chief Executive of the SIA
Bill Butler - Chief Executive of the SIA

The Chief  Executive of the Security Industry Authority updates the industry on S.I.A. activities during February in his latest on-line blog. Bill writes; February included an appearance before the Leveson inquiry, visits from overseas regulators, the motivation of security guards, a debate and the retirement of one of our Directors.

The month started with my appearance as a witness at the Leveson Inquiry. The Inquiry was considering private investigations and I was asked to give evidence on its regulation. Witnesses from the three industry bodies appeared as witnesses as well. I was asked about why the sector was not yet regulated and what changes to the regulatory regime were likely. Lord Justice Leveson asked me to work with the Home Secretary and let him know if there is anything he needed to do to help bring this sector into regulation sooner rather than later. He said that he did not believe that self regulation would be appropriate. We are now working with the Home Office to consider how this might best be taken forward. The final decision is, of course, a matter for the Government. (View Bill Butler’s evidence and statement to the Leveson inquiry.)

It is always helpful to discuss with other regulators how regimes work in different countries. I was pleased that, during February, I was able to meet with colleagues from Saudi Arabia and Singapore to discuss different approaches – and the large amount of common ground – in the way that we work. I attended and spoke at a workshop hosted by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), the Government authority that provides protective security advice to businesses and organisations across the national infrastructure. The workshop was considering the work that CPNI is supporting on the motivation of staff within the security industry. (Editor’s comment: Please download the document – Motivation in the Security Industry, this is an important read for anyone involved in the security sector.)

During the month I attended the ACS Strategy and Standards Group, where we discussed the current work on a new regime and how that might affect the ACS; met with the colleagues at the Gambling Commission, Criminal Records Bureau and Home Office and took part in a workshop looking at how to ensure effective relationships between Government Departments and arms length bodies, such as the SIA. I also spoke at a debate, organised by the Security Institute on security and privacy. The debate was lively and well attended.

The Strategic Consultation Group (which includes representatives from the industry (including the Security Alliance), professional groups, buyers and independent advisers, as well as observers from the Home Office and devolved governments in Scotland and Northern Ireland) met at the end of January. We discussed the current position on the new regulatory regime, including an initial view of the likely areas of costs and benefits. This was also our Transition Director Hazel Russell’s last meeting before her retirement (Read Hazel Russell’s last interview on During her five years with the SIA, Hazel has made a major contribution to our work and she will be missed. I wish her well in her retirement.

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