The Security Alliance and its constituent members have welcomed the Government decision to remove the Security Industry Authority (SIA) from the Public Bodies Bill, writes Bobby Logue on behalf of SMT Online and Infologue.com.The effect of this decision is that the SIA will continue in its current form until the form and structure of a new regulatory regime has been finalised. At this stage new legislation will be introduced.
James Kelly, Chairman of the Security Alliance, commented: “This announcement signifies the success of six months of liaison and lobbying activity on behalf of the private security industry, and is heartily welcomed by the Security Alliance. We are delighted that the government has listened so intently to the needs of the industry, and in doing so has recognised the vital role played by the regulatory regime in ensuring the professionalisation of our industry.”
Cognisant of the fact that the SIA will not continue to exist in its current form, James continues: “The Security Alliance will now seek to maintain its influence in determining the way forward for industry regulation and looks forward to working alongside the SIA to develop a new, ‘lighter touch’, smarter regulatory framework pursuant to a timetable that facilitates the development of an optimal solution for industry, the public and Government.”
The future of security industry regulation will now be included in a separate piece of primary legislation, which will underpin the essential powers of enforcement, intelligence and compliance, which will play a fundamental role in the future regulatory format.
The constituent members of the Security Alliance also issued individual statements welcoming the decision;
The Security Institute
The Security Institute welcomes Her Majesty’s Government’s decision to remove the SIA from the Public Bodies Bill, thereby ensuring the continuation of the present regulatory regime until the introduction of new legislation.
This decision reflects in no small part the efforts of the Security Alliance, of which the Security Institute is a member, to influence government thinking and policy on the issue of regulation. The Security Institute will continue to work with the Security Alliance, the SIA, Her Majesty’s Government, and all other relevant parties to ensure that the UK private security industry retains a fair and robust regulatory process which serves the best interests of UK PLC and the British public.
The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has responded positively to announcements that the SIA has been removed from the Public Bodies Bill, claiming that the move will bring a more considered approach to the future of security industry regulation.
James Kelly, Chief Executive of the BSIA, comments: “We are pleased that this amendment to the Public Bodies Bill has been agreed, not least because this allows the industry to work to a more appropriate timetable to determine – in conjunction with the regulator – the best form of future regulation.”
“A considered approach is essential to the future of regulation in our industry, and the removal of the SIA from the list of quangos to be abolished now means that the industry and the regulator can work together more effectively to get the right solution and achieve the best possible result for BSIA members.”
The BSIA was instrumental in the establishment of the Security Alliance, a single-issue body formed in response to the Government’s earlier announcement that the SIA would be abolished, which has also welcomed this latest development.
The future of the SIA and security industry regulation as a whole will now be dealt with in a separate piece of primary legislation.
Mike Hurst, Vice Chairman (strategy) of ASIS UK says “We welcome the fact that the government is removing the SIA from Schedule 1 of the Public Bodies Bill. ASIS is a Governance Board member of the Security Alliance and is represented on the SIA Strategic Consultation Group and as such we look forward to working with the SIA and industry colleagues to ensure a smooth and safe transition from the current regulatory system.
This does not change the overall situation whereby the SIA will be replaced with a “new regulatory regime”, however it does mean that the path will be clearer with a single piece of legislation both abolishing the current authority and detailing what will replace it.
The emphasis on business regulation is welcome, however it is important that the Government continues to recognise the benefits of licensing of individuals. Business regulation should make it easier to enforce the legislation, and allow the use of various sanctions to encourage compliance, however it is the visible individual licence on the security company employee that gives the public confidence.
We are also glad to acknowledge Baroness Neville-Jones’ comments about the consultation with ACPO. It is vital that the industry continues to have the support of the police, both in the enforcement of the legislation and the recognition of the professionalism of the security companies and individuals who have met the agreed standards.
IPSA remains committed to the review of regulation and will continue to drive this process forward through its active and ongoing participation with The Security Alliance to ensure a smarter, more meaningful regulatory regime.