Thank you to Steve McCormick for providing the September blog whilst I was away on leave. I trust you found it useful to hear about the work Steve and his team have been doing in Licensing, Customer Services and the ACS.
I have attended a number of meetings this month, mainly to talk about the proposed changes to the regime and how we can take account of the wide range of views from the industry and the many individuals that we license.
I travelled to Rugby to talk with a group from the cash and valuables in transit group, organised by Skills for Security. The main topic was the proposed arrangements for the new regulatory regime. As with most such meetings, there was robust debate on what the future approach to regulation should be.
At the beginning of October the Chairman, Ruth Henig, and I travelled to Edinburgh to meet with Mr MacAskill, the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Justice. We were able to discuss progress on the proposals for transition and how this would be handled in Scotland and to update Mr MacAskill on our work in Scotland.
The Strategic Consultation Group met at the beginning of the month; as I have mentioned before, this is collaborative group of people working in and with the private security industry helping to provide an oversight of developing plans for and progress towards delivery of the transition to a new regulatory regime. Membership of this group includes those who supply buy and rely on private security, including representatives of the Security Regulation Alliance, security buyers, police and independent members covering all licensed sectors.
On 12 October we held a major conference in Sheffield. The event was well received with a high attendance and we were able to discuss some of the details of how we are changing the way we work and to hear presentations on future CCTV regulation, Olympic security and organised crime. I would like to thank those of you who participated in the event and for the engaging discussions throughout the day.
The first of the Autumn ACS forums and future of regulation roadshows were held last week in Bristol and I am attending the next event in Scotland. The aim of the roadshows is to try and allow more individuals and companies to come and talk to us about changes to regulation and I hope that many of you have signed up to attend these events as they continue over the next month or so across the country. The roadshows will be attended by one of our Directors or myself.
I appreciate, however, that it is not always possible for individuals to get to our events. You can still see our proposals and what we are saying by looking on our web site, www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/future and by following us on Twitter and Facebook. Our second live Facebook forum took place on 25 October and it was good to see so many of you taking part. I also try to keep track of what is being said on industry message boards – and value these debates even if it is not always possible to respond to every comment.
The Olympics are fast approaching and we are working with many interested parties to ensure the effective delivery of security during the Games. This month I attended an Olympic Security Industry Advisory Group meeting, a group aimed at providing a bridge between Home Office Olympic team and the industry.
And we continue to work to ensure that current regulation is properly maintained – including a joint exercise with police and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). The operation enabled us to bring some operators in Bristol back into compliance with the Private Security Industry Act, but also gave a clear signal to those in Bristol associated with serious crime in pubs, clubs or the guarding industry that the SIA is part of a team of law enforcement bodies active in disrupting major crime in the region.