SIA: Home Office issues consultation on new private security regime

By Adam Pescod

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Private security industry, Regulation, Security industry authority

Doorstaff: new regulatory regime planned for private security industry
Doorstaff: new regulatory regime planned for private security industry
The Home Office has published proposals for a new regulatory regime for the UK’s private security industry which will shift the focus away from individuals and onto doorstaff suppliers.

A consultation has been launched on the new proposals under which security firms are responsible for ensuring that required checks on individuals are carried out.

It means that licensees will have to show more due diligence in checking that their doorstaff suppliers are properly registered.

Individual criminality checks will still be carried out by a new independent regulator which will take on the functions of the Security Industry Authority (SIA). A separate consultation will be launched in due course on how the SIA is to be reorganised.

All individuals who are currently licensed by the SIA will have to confirm their status on the register to complete the new licensing process, with the criteria and conditions for registration to be set by the new independent regulator.

The proposals also confirm plans to grant the regulator powers to impose financial sanctions on businesses which fail to comply with the new regime, but this will need further primary legislation.

The fees payable to the regulator under the new regime have not yet been estimated but will be structured so that the overall regulatory cost on the private security industry is reduced, and that the regulatory regime would be self-funded from fees with no Government funding.

Income would come primarily from application fees and subscriptions from regulated businesses.

The Government is aiming for the legislation establishing business regulation and the new individual licensing process to be in place by the end of 2013.

The changes are intended to create a more efficient and cost-effective regulatory regime, and SIA chief executive Bill Butler has urged those involved in the private security industry to respond to the consultation.

In a video message posted on Facebook, Butler said: “The aim of the Government’s recommended proposal is for more efficient and cost effective regulation, which continues to reduce criminality, protect the public and improve standards within the industry.

“We want to ensure that before committing to any action, we have listened to your views, to ensure that we have identified all the relevant issues before committing to any action.

“This is why we encourage everyone who is involved in the private security industry, at whatever level, to take part in the consultation.

“This is your industry and this is an opportunity for you to have a say on its future direction.”

Minister for criminal information, Lord Taylor of Holbeach, said: “This Government is committed to reforming public bodies in order to improve the transparency, accountability, and cost effectiveness of all public services. This is why the Security Industry Authority (SIA) was considered as part of the Government’s public bodies review.

“Since its creation in 2003 the SIA has worked hard to raise standards across the private security industry. During this time the industry has also developed in maturity and professionalism.

“Given these improvements, the Government believes that now is the right time to give the industry a greater say in how it is regulated, and to give businesses more responsibility for the individuals that they employ.”

The consultation closes on 15 January 2013 and the consultation paper is available on the Home Office website at

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