Calls for clarity from the Home Office on the timing of regulatory change for the private security industry have been issued by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), following last week’s announcement that the regulation of private investigators is to be introduced as early as 2014.
James Kelly, Chief Executive of the BSIA – the trade body representing the majority of the UK’s private security sector – comments: “We welcome the regulation of private investigators, however, it is ironic that the wider security industry still awaits clarity from Government after three years of discussions on the future of the licensing of security businesses.”
Talks on the future of the security sector’s regulatory regime began in 2010 with an announcement from the Government that the current regulator – the Security Industry Authority – was to be abolished. Lobbying from the industry soon softened this message to one of ‘a phased transition to a new regulatory regime’ involving business registration as well as individual licensing, but despite continued contact between Government and industry, the planned timing of the primary legislation needed to effect this change is still unclear.
James Kelly continues: “It surely makes sense to include the private investigation industry into the new business licensing regime that is close to implementation for the wider security industry. However, despite unprecedented consensus across industry stakeholders, we remain deeply concerned that the proposals forged jointly between the industry, its regulator and the Government will not be capitalised upon.”
“As an industry, we are in a state of limbo, where companies are attempting to make business forecasts with no idea of the cost or administrative implications of a new regulatory regime. We need confirmation from the Home Secretary as to the Government’s intentions in terms of introducing the primary legislation necessary to effect this change, and I will be writing to her directly to seek clarity on this matter.”
The BSIA will be engaging with politicians on a wider scale regarding this issue later this year as it attends both Conservative and Labour party conferences in the autumn.
For more information about the BSIA and its lobbying work, visit www.bsia.co.uk