With election fever in full swing, Infologue.com asked representatives from the two security industry trade bodies, BSIA and IPSA as well as The Security Institute for their shopping lists on what they would like to see a new Government do to assist the Security Industry in achieving its objectives. It is fundamental to the growth of a professional and vibrant security industry to have government buy in and empathy with our issues.
THE SECURITY INSTITUTE – MORE GOVERNMENT ENGAGEMENT WITH
THE SECURITY INSTITUTE
The Chairman of The Security Institute, Mike Bluestone said that he would like a new Government to expand its engagement with the security industry. “We would especially like new Government to engage more thoroughly with The Security Institute in our efforts to enhance professionalism in the industry. There are more private security industry personnel than police officers in the UK and this focus would provide the police with a formidable resource in combating crime and fighting terrorism. Finally, we would like a new Government to put pressure on the Regulator (Security Industry Authority) to revisit the question of licensing in house security personnel.”
THE BRITISH SECURITY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION – REVIEWING ELEMENTS
OF THE PSIA
Tim Thomas, The Director of Legal Services of the British Security Industry Association told Infologue.com that there were three regulatory issues that the new government should review in the Private Security Industry Act of 2001;
“As part of the new Crime and Security Act 2010, the SIA will be granted new powers. These will enable the SIA to introduce a licensing regime for private security businesses and will be additional to the licensing of individuals. The new business licensing system will commence with the vehicle immobilisation sector but can later be extended to other industry sectors without any further primary legislation. Whilst there is no date for these changes to come into force, the BSIA will seek clarification upon the new scheme on issues such as which companies will be required to be licensed and the baseline requirements for such businesses.”
Approved Contractor Scheme
“With the introduction of company licensing, there is potential for confusion between companies that are SIA licensed under company registration and those that are SIA approved under the ACS. There are existing questions within the industry around whether or not the ACS is fit for purpose as a quality differentiator, and the BSIA would seek clarification on the future role of this scheme alongside business licensing.”
“The Crime and Security Act 2010 when in force will reshape the Approved Contractor Scheme, renaming it the ‘Approval Scheme’. It will open the scheme to “approved persons undertaking security activities” and is intended to allow in-house security services to apply for approved status. This raises a number of issues, which the BSIA has identified – would such security businesses operate to the same standards and rules as the contract sector, and would they be required to undergo an independent inspection? How will such businesses be permitted to advertise themselves?
With all these changes the BSIA will seek to maximise its leading role in the regulated security industry on behalf of its members, seeking to influence the SIA and Government as these ground breaking changes take effect and ensuring that its members are best placed to deal with the new regulatory regime.”
IPSA – REVERSE THE INCREASE IN NATIONAL INSURANCE
Justin P Bentley, The Chief Executive Officer of the International Professional Security Association told Infologue.com; “The Conservatives have already stated that they plan to reverse the decision on an increase in National Insurance. I heartily endorse this decision as it unfairly penalises service businesses including the guarding industry where the majority of costs are the employment of staff. Where 80% of expenditure is wages, a 1% increase in employers’ NI contributions is a cost of 0.8% on the business. With profit margins already in the low single figures, this can be removing the last element of profit from a business or convert a business from making a (small) profit to a loss. There has also been talk of a reduction in the number and sizes of Quangos. I urge any incoming government to make decisions quickly as to which bodies are to be cut or have their remit reduced. If there are to be changes which affect the security industry, I would not want to see companies investing heavily on procedures to comply with requirements, only to find out that some of that investment has been wasted on withdrawn accreditations.”