Investigators from the Security Industry Authority conducted a wide-scale operation in Swindon, Bath and Reading on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th March to ensure that security guards, door supervisors and CCTV operatives carrying out licensable duties were working legally.
The majority of security staff inspected were found to be working legally by holding and displaying a valid SIA licence, but some offences were identified.
On Thursday evening investigators visited licensed premises. On Friday, daytime checks were carried out at businesses and buildings.
The inspections carried out at 85 sites consisted of site visits, checking logbooks and inspecting security staff – some operatives held licences for more than one sector.
In Swindon, 76 checks were made. One unlicensed security guard was found working with a Licence Dispensation Notice (an approved contractor’s authorisation to deploy security staff while their licence application is being processed) the day after completing his training but he did not have a licence application in the SIA’s system, a requirement of using an LDN.
The SIA is conducting enquiries with the company to confirm whether any other employees who have completed their training but have not yet applied for their licence are being deployed.
In Bath, 62 inspections were made and investigators are following up with two bars where bar managers of two in-house door staff teams did not hold SIA licences and where one company may have an unlicensed director.
In Reading, 77 checks were carried out. One operative ran away during a conversation with an investigator after providing incorrect personal details. The company who deployed this operative also appear to have unlicensed directors.
Investigators will be sharing intelligence with partners regarding a security company whose operatives appeared to be working longer hours than the terms of their student visas.
Eleven SIA warnings were issued to security staff in all three towns for failing to display their licence and failing to notify the SIA of a change of address.
Director Compliance and Enforcement Dave Humphries said: “The results of this random compliance testing operation have provided us with much information and there is a lot of follow up work required.
“It is important to remind approved contractors that they must adhere to the terms and conditions of the Approved Contractor Scheme. Misuse of Licence Dispensation Notice can result in having this restricted or withdrawn.
“I must also remind those working in the designated security roles that neither working without an SIA licence nor breaching the licence conditions will be tolerated.
“Security staff can improve the feeling of safety in our towns and so we need operatives and those deploying them to be professional and to be operating legally.”