Security Industry Authority investigators checked 156 security operatives including door supervisors, CCTV operatives, security guards and close protection operatives to ensure they held and displayed a valid SIA licence as is required by law.
In total, 42 venues were checked across nine cities. These venues included retail parks, shopping centres, a power station and a racecourse. The checks were carried out to ensure compliance remained robust in other areas while the Olympic Games were held.
151 operatives held a valid SIA licence. Five people were found to be working illegally; four without a licence and one whose licence had been revoked. There were a further four warnings issued for failing to notify the SIA of a change of address, two for failing to display their licence whilst on duty and making a copy of the licence, all of which breaches SIA licence conditions. SIA investigators will be carrying out further enquiries regarding the offences found and prosecutions may follow.
In Chepstow, Rugeley and Exeter seven venues were visited and 38 operatives were inspected. Thirty-four operatives held a valid SIA licence, however three individuals were found to be working illegally without an SIA licence and one individual was working with a revoked licence.
In Sheffield and Nottingham 17 venues were visited and 38 operatives were inspected, all of whom were properly licensed. However, three individuals were issued with warnings for breaching licence conditions for failing to notify the SIA of a change of address, for failing to display their licence whilst on duty and making a copy of their licence.
In Newcastle three venues were visited and 21 operatives were inspected; all but one individual was properly licensed. The unlicensed operative was interviewed under caution and will now be subject to further enquiries, along with the security company that supplied him.
In London eight venues across The City, Hyde Park, Oxford Street, London Bridge and Stratford were visited. Of the 28 operatives inspected all were found to be in possession of a valid SIA licence. However, one individual was issued a warning for failing to display their SIA licence.
In Portsmouth one operative was inspected and was properly licensed. Investigators had visited other venues however due to closures or lack of security personnel onsite only one individual was checked.
In Edinburgh investigators visited seven venues inspecting 30 operatives, all of whom were found to be working legally with the required SIA licence.
SIA Director of Compliance, Intelligence and Communication Dave Humphries said: “We regularly carry out random checks to ensure we have high levels of compliance and to deter those considering working illegally. During this busy summer we want to ensure that those working in positions of trust are doing so legally.
“Trained, qualified and SIA-licensed security operatives help to maintain public safety. It is pleasing to find that the vast majority of security operatives working across the UK are compliant with their legal obligations. This is particularly good to find at a time when the demands on security are high, due to the 2012 Games and the many other events taking place this summer. Nonetheless, some offending has been discovered during the nationwide inspection and we will not tolerate this.
“Anyone found to be working without an SIA licence or breaking licence conditions is at risk of prosecution. There will be follow-up work carried out regarding the few unlicensed individuals whom this operation identified and the people who deployed them.”