Bill Butler’s Blog March 31st 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 March in his latest on-line blog. Bill writes; “Apart from the unseasonal but very welcome sunshine, March proved to be an interesting month. As well as my usual meetings with people involved in the industry and government, we have rolled out improvements to our licensing arrangements, have spent time on our preparations for the Olympic Games, and are considering how we take forward new requirements for physical intervention training for those with the Door Supervisor licence.

“We are currently working on a number of developments which will simplify and modernise the service we provide to licence holders. This is a significant piece of work and it was particularly pleasing this month to see the launch of our telephone renewals service, which allows those renewing or applying for a licence in an additional sector the opportunity to do so over the telephone. The new service is faster and removes the need to complete another application form; it also reflects our commitment to support those of our customers who are continuing to operate in the private security industry. An interesting part of this has been the chance to test the new system with those who follow us on Facebook.

“Along with many others we have been preparing for the Olympic Games for some considerable time – and they are nearly upon us. During March we published guidance for buyers and suppliers of private security with the Games in mind. This guidance (Olympic Security: Be Aware and Prepare) summarises some of the issues that face the private security industry over the coming summer and is available from the new Olympic section of our website. It addresses the broader needs for private security beyond London and the Olympic Park itself, including the things that private security companies need to plan for. We also make it clear that we will not be relaxing our requirements for licensing!

“The question of physical intervention training for door supervisors continues to be an important part of my agenda. I do not believe that the many professional people in this sector go to work with the intention of causing anybody harm; this is evidenced by the fact that in the majority of cases, those enjoying a night out are kept safe by the work of door supervisors. But it is an unfortunate fact that members of the public have been seriously injured and even killed as a result of physical intervention that has gone wrong. In the period before Christmas, members of my staff had to attend two inquests where a member of the public had died whilst being restrained by door supervisors.

“It has been our view for some time that all door supervisors should have received training in physical intervention. This has been a training requirement for new badge holders since June 2010 and Ministers have now agreed that all other door supervisor licence holders should be required to carry out this training as well. I appreciate that this places an additional requirement on those carrying out the role, but I am firmly of the view that it is in the public interest that this additional training takes place. I am also aware that the training requirement cannot cover every eventuality that door supervisors will face, but I am satisfied that the required level of skill can reduce the risk for the public and for those working in the sector. We still have work to do to finalise arrangements for bringing in this new requirement and we will publish details of the arrangements as soon as possible. It is my intention that the new arrangements will give credit to those individuals and companies who have anticipated the need and taken this training early.”

SIA Website