James Kelly – 2014 a year of ‘progress and change’ for UK security

James Kelly, Chief Executive of the BSIA
James Kelly, Chief Executive of the BSIA

Representing the UK’s private security industry against a continually changing backdrop of legislative and regulatory change, while growing UK security providers’ presence on a global scale, are among the key priorities of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) in 2014. Chief Executive, James Kelly, outlines his priorities for the coming year.

Implementation of the long-awaited regime of business licensing is set to begin in early 2014, and the BSIA remains at the forefront of the Security Regulation Alliance, a single-issue body established in 2010 to ensure that the industry’s needs are fully represented in the development of a new regulatory regime.

Liaison with Government and the SIA will remain crucial as the new regime begins to take shape, says James: “Our industry’s key focus for early 2014 will continue to be the development of a new regulatory regime, with implementation set to begin relatively soon. Ensuring that the new regime shapes up in the way industry expected will be especially important to the BSIA, having represented our members – and the industry at large through the Security Regulation Alliance – since the government’s initial announcement over three years ago. Clarity on the cost of the new regulatory regime is a crucial next step, and we will be strengthening our political engagement to ensure that our industry is adequately prepared for change.”

Since 2010, political engagement has been a key focus of the BSIA, with the Association holding regular roundtables and contact meetings both in Parliament and at party conferences. Through this activity, the trade body has successfully represented the industry in the face of a changing political landscape, not just in terms of regulatory change but also against the changing nature of policing, highlighted by the introduction of elected Police and Crime Commissioners in late 2012.

James Kelly comments: “2014 will be a pivotal year for the BSIA’s political engagement programme, as policy formation will begin in preparation for the 2015 General Election. We have already established positive relationships with key figures from both Conservative and Labour parties, and will continue to build upon these throughout 2014 in order to ensure that the private security industry’s needs are considered in the formation of policy for the two main parties.”

Promoting the private security industry’s ability to provide support to police forces will also remain a priority for the BSIA in 2014, especially against the backdrop of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, for which several BSIA members have been invited to tender as potential security providers. With the industry attracting international attention, there has never been a better time to showcase the wide-ranging products and services offered by UK providers, who already enjoy a positive reputation abroad.

James adds: “Looking outside the UK, exporting will continue to play an important role in supporting our country’s economic recovery during 2014, and the UK’s security manufacturers have much to offer customers around the world. For manufacturers of security technology, the issue of third-party certification continues to act as a significant obstacle to increased overseas business for our industry, so continued representation on European standards committees shall enable the BSIA to play an influential role in breaking down the barriers to international trade.”

Overseas events provide an ideal opportunity to take the BSIA’s message directly into overseas markets, and the Association’s busy events programme kicks off in January with the popular Intersec Dubai exhibition. Closer to home, of course, IFSEC International’s move to London looks set to revitalise the UK security sector’s international reputation, and the BSIA remains a proud supporter of the event and its overseas counterparts.

James Kelly concludes: “While the industry will certainly face several of the same issues as it has in previous years, we expect 2014 to be a year of progress, and of change. Continuing to ensure that our industry is well-represented in all relevant arenas – be it standards development, legislation or political engagement – is especially important to the BSIA and we shall remain vocal on behalf of the industry throughout this period of change.”

For more information about the BSIA and its representation of the UK’s private security sector, visit www.bsia.co.uk