Bill Butler’s Blog March 31st 2011

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; “When Ruth Henig and I met with the SIA’s Minister, Lynne Featherstone, in October last year, she asked us to work with the industry to develop plans for how a phased transition to a new regulatory regime could work.

“Since then, we have been working with the private security industry and others who buy and rely on private security, to develop our plans for the future of regulation – our ‘Blueprint for Change’. I’m pleased to say that, with the significant support we have received from the industry, we were able to deliver on the Minister’s request and, on 16 February, Ruth and I met with her to outline proposals for the future of regulation.

“It was a very constructive meeting and the Minister made clear that she believed our Blueprint was clearly aligned with the position of many in the private security industry. Lynne Featherstone has asked that we now develop detailed plans for delivery of the Blueprint for Change, which will be subject to approval by the Home Office. Ruth and I had a further meeting with Home Secretary, Theresa May on 14 March and in a positive meeting, she confirmed the Government’s intent.

“Reflecting this commitment, on 23 March, the SIA was removed from Schedule 1 of the Public Bodies Bill. The Government’s intention is now to introduce specific legislation to replace the current arrangements with a new regulatory regime that focuses on businesses and with the power to impose robust sanctions on those that fail to comply. The government’s aim is that this should be in place by the end of 2013. These changes demonstrate a clear commitment that the UK’s private security industry will continue to be regulated effectively and the opportunity to take forward the investments that individuals and businesses have already made.

“Until the new regime is in place, regulation will continue under the current law, along with measures to enforce compliance. We will continue to work with Government in establishing a new regulatory regime and we will involve the industry – both businesses and individuals – as fully as possible in this process.

“Working on these plans has meant that I’ve spent most of the last few months discussing our proposals with individuals and groups from our stakeholders– including those in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The prevailing view has been that we need to develop the current regime, but that the need for robust regulation of the industry remains and that this should include some form of business registration as well as the registration of individuals. All this was reflected in the details given by the Government when the SIA was debated in the House of Lords on 28 February.

“To provide a strategic oversight of our plans, Ruth Henig has created a Strategic Consultation Group that 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.

“But the view from the grass roots is also important to me and this week I had the opportunity to meet with some front line security operatives. I attended and spoke at the Doorwatch meeting in Derby on 21 March. It was a very well organised event and gave door supervisors in the Derby area the opportunity to ask me questions. I enjoy these events which are a chance for me to get out of the office and meet security operatives in their own areas. I plan to meet more operatives of all sectors within the year, through road shows and events across different parts of the UK.”

SIA Website