Today, compulsory licensing and regulation of the private security industry in Northern Ireland comes into force. It is now illegal to operate in the designated security sectors (such as door supervision, vehicle immobilisation and security guarding) without holding a Security Industry Authority licence. The SIA’s extension into Northern Ireland creates a single consistent licensing scheme for the private security industry throughout the United Kingdom. Alongside this, the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme has also been introduced for private security suppliers. The ACS raises standards in the private security industry in support of our wider aim of protecting the public.
Launching licensing in Northern Ireland, SIA Chief Executive Bill Butler welcomed the first security suppliers in Northern Ireland to achieve Approved Contractor status. Speaking at a briefing held today at Stormont, Belfast, Bill said: “Today heralds a new era for the private security industry in Northern Ireland. We have worked closely with the Northern Ireland Office, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, those working in the private security industry and other stakeholders to ensure that all those requiring an SIA licence are aware of the new legislation and ready for today’s deadline. I believe that a professional, regulated private security industry has a valuable and worthy role to play in helping to reduce crime, disorder and the fear of crime. We will be working closely with our partners at the Police Service of Northern Ireland to ensure that those working in the industry do so legally. I am also delighted to congratulate Risk Management Solutions, Mercury Security Management, Resource Northern Ireland, Property Support Services and Sword Security as ACS companies. They have shown a commitment to raising standards within the private security industry. Buyers of security services can have peace of mind and confidence knowing that approved companies have reached stringent and wide ranging standards.”
Northern Ireland Security Minister Paul Goggins said: “Northern Ireland will now benefit from the tough regulation offered by the Security Industry Authority. People working in the private security industry should be properly trained and checked, an SIA licence will show that they are. We all rely on this industry to keep us safe and to protect our property and possessions, it is only right that we expect set standards of competence and honesty. I am determined to tackle infiltration of this industry by crooked operators who exploit it for their own personal gain or for the gain of criminal gangs. SIA regulation is the right tool for the job.”