The results of the Home Office consultation on the future regulatory regime for the private security industry were published today with the majority of respondents in favour of the introduction of Business Licensing, In House Security personnel requiring licenses as well as transferring the Approved Contractors Scheme (ACS) to an industry led Hallmark Scheme. Sadly, the Government has remained silent on the date on which primary legislation would be put before Parliament to enable the enforcement of business licensing, writes Infologue.com Publisher, Bobby Logue.
The survey took place between November 2013 and January 2014. In addition to the findings the Home Office has responded to each question in the consultation as well as additional observations made by 776 respondents of which 524 were security service providers. The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) provided a separate response to the Home Office based on a survey completed by 149 of its members. One of the most popular observations was the replacement of the title security guard with security officer.
In his written statement to Parliament the Under Secretary of State for Security, James Brokenshire announced: “I am today publishing a summary of responses to the Home Office consultation on the government’s preferred option for reforming how the private security industry is regulated – a transition to a business regulation regime.
“The current arrangements for the regulation of the private security industry in the United Kingdom are set out in the Private Security Industry Act 2001. Responsibility for delivering regulation lies with the Security Industry Authority (SIA), a non-departmental public body accountable to the Home Secretary. Following the Public Bodies Review in 2010, the government concluded that the SIA’s functions should be reformed. The consultation provided a detailed proposal for a new regulatory regime for the private security industry.
“Overall, there was strong support for the government’s proposed reforms and the majority of respondents supported the introduction of business regulation, together with a new individual licensing process, as soon as possible.”
Key findings of the Consultation included:
Yes to Business Licensing
On the key issue of business licensing the consultation concluded: “Half of all respondents agreed with the Government’s proposals for a phased transition to a business regulation regime. 36% were against the proposals, while 14% didn’t know.
The BSIA survey showed that 64% of its members were in favour of the Government’s proposal, 23% were against, and 13% didn’t know.”
The Home Office responded that the survey indicated there is support for the Government’s preferred option of a phased transition to a business regulation regime.
Yes to In House Security Officers being Licensed
In response to the question “Do you believe that companies providing in-house security should be regulated under the new regime?
Over 80% of respondents felt that ‘in-house’ security providers should be included within regulatory requirements for a business regulation regime. Unsurprisingly the Home Office responded: “As outlined in the consultation document the HO has given consideration to whether ‘in-house’ security providers should be included within business regulation requirements, but believes that it would be better to review this issue after the new regime has been established. The responses to this question will be taken into account as part of that review along with the evidence relating to whether ‘in-house’ security operatives are in contact with or pose a threat to the public.” Sir Humphrey Appleby of Yes Minister fame would have been proud of their response!!!
Yes to the Hallmark Scheme replacing the ACS
In respect of the question asked “It is proposed that the current Approved Contractors Scheme (ACS ) hallmark standard be passed to an industry body to administer in order to give the industry greater responsibility for setting standards. Do you agree or disagree?. The response to this questions was “55% agreed that the Approved Contractors Scheme (ACS) should be passed on to an industry body to administer. 37% disagreed and 8% were unsure.
The BSIA survey showed that 64% of its members agreed with this question, 24% disagreed, and 11% were unsure. The BSIA also stated that “the proposal for transition a future hallmark standard to the industry was welcomed but in the current economic climate, pressure remains to reduce the cost burden further than increase it, and this – together with the overall cost of any future regulatory regime – must be considered carefully by the HO and SIA as part of the consultation”.