The first checks on security guards and CCTV operatives working in Northern Ireland took place yesterday [10 December] – ten days after SIA licensing came into effect. Five teams of SIA investigators visited 35 sites across Belfast, Londonderry, Lisburn, Newry, Craigavon, Antrim and Ballymena. This included government sites, shopping centres, construction sites, retail stores, commercial and industrial sites, car parks and warehouses.
On 1 December 2009 it became an offence in Northern Ireland to work in designated security roles without a valid Security Industry Authority licence. During the operation, 119 security guards and CCTV operatives were inspected with 116 individuals found to be working legally by holding and displaying valid SIA licences. Three individuals were found to be unlicensed and further enquires are now being conducted.
Jacquie Parker, an SIA Head of Investigation, said: “This was the first compliance operation in Northern Ireland since SIA licensing came into effect on 1 December. The results were very encouraging; with the vast a majority of security operatives checked holding and displaying their SIA licence. We will be conducting more operations in Northern Ireland to ensure that operatives are working legally, so that the public can be sure that individuals working in these roles are trained and qualified professionals. We will also be working with security suppliers to ensure that they understand and comply with the legal requirements.”