Effective from the end of November 2015, the SIA now has wider powers to financially investigate companies and individuals who are benefitting from criminal activity. The aim is to remove assets from offenders and halt further criminal activity.
The SIA has been working with partners on POCA enquiries for some years, experiencing successes in confiscating assets. Following convictions for the supply of unlicensed security operatives and falsely claiming SIA Approved Contractor status, Confiscation Orders have removed assets. Such orders benefit the wider private security industry as illegally monies cannot be utilised to fund ongoing business interests in the industry.
SIA Director of Partnerships and Interventions, Dave Humphries welcomes the changes:” Historically, we have been able to engage partners on a small number of our investigations. However with these changes to POCA, the SIA will independently be able to consider the potential for restraint and confiscation on a wider number of investigations. We are recruiting new specialist financial investigators that will strengthen our ability to investigate any criminal activity which could impact on the regulatory effectiveness of the private security industry.
The risks associated with breaching private security regulation are now more severe. Alongside potential convictions and licence removals, the likelihood of losing property as a result of offending is greater.”
Funds recovered under POCA are returned to the public purse, with a percentage returned to investigating bodies to fund further investigations and good causes.