Scottish businesses urged to select reputable security companies at BSIA conference

BSIA Chief Executive, James Kelly, with Scottish Government's Solicitor-General, Lesley Thomson QC
BSIA Chief Executive, James Kelly, with Scottish Government's Solicitor-General, Lesley Thomson QC

Business leaders from across Scotland were given an exclusive insight this week into the security challenges they face at a brand new event organised by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), the trade body representing over 70% of the UK’s private security industry.

Entitled Scotland: Secure for Business, the comprehensive seminar programme included presentations on the impact of forthcoming reforms to Scotland’s emergency services and the opportunities presented by the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, as well as the threats presented by cyber crime and metal theft.

Officially opening the event, Scotland’s Solicitor General, Lesley Thomson QC, reinforced the importance of choosing a reputable security supplier: “Unfortunately, the private security industry is one sector which organised crime groups have chosen to exploit.   Collectively, we must do all that we can to protect legitimate businesses in this sector and stop organised crime groups from being able to prosper and live off the lifeblood of the private security industry.

“It is up to all of us across Scotland, including those in this room, to do what we can to combat this issue, to protect our communities, and allow legitimate companies to flourish.

“The Scottish Government’s aim is to make Scotland safer and stronger, a good place to do business, and a hostile environment for illegitimate companies and organised crime. Adopting a robust approach to the appointment of both contractors and, crucially, sub contractors, will ensure that illegitimate companies do not gain a veneer of respectability or access to funding streams which they can divert to other parts of their operation, such as drugs and prostitution.”

Attended by in excess of 180 delegates from a diverse range of organisations including local authorities, retailers, the NHS and banking, the event also included an exhibition, giving delegates an opportunity to meet security suppliers currently active in the Scottish market.

Willie Clark, Scottish Regional Manager for the BSIA, hailed the event as a success, commenting: “I would like to thank all participating exhibitors, delegates and speakers for making our ‘Scotland – Secure for Business’ event a success. With the support of Scottish Enterprise, the BSIA has helped to raise the profile of its members and showcase the Scottish Security Industry. We now intend to make this an annual event and are already planning for next year.”

For more information on the BSIA or to locate a reputable security company near you, visit