Private security sector faces 'huge challenges'

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Stark reminder: private security sector faces huge challenges amid ongoing reforms (Credit:Getty/somboon kaeoboonsong)
Stark reminder: private security sector faces huge challenges amid ongoing reforms (Credit:Getty/somboon kaeoboonsong)

Related tags Licensing Legislation Health and safety

The private security sector faces some “huge challenges” over the coming years with a “huge amount” of work to be done by regulators and the Government, according to the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA).

This comes as a Shrewsbury nightclub security manager was recently prosecuted for supplying illegal security at the venue. 

Kenneth Bailey was given a £120 fine and ordered to pay £500 prosecution costs and a £34 victim surcharge after being found to have illegally managed security by employing unlicensed door staff at the Buttermarket nightclub between July and November 2021. 

Night-Time Industries Association CEO Michael Kill said: “I am sure we will see more cases like this as the industry undergoes some internal reforms. 

“The private security sector faces some huge challenges over the coming years, with the implementation of Martyns Law and the ongoing pressures from central Government to restructure the sector and eradicate tax disparity within resource supply.” 

Stark reminder 

Kill continued that there was still a “huge amount of work” to be done regarding the reforms within the sector by the regulator and key Government departments. 

Poppleston Allen associate solicitor Suraj Desor​ added the prosecution in Shrewsbury “highlighted the importance” of ensuring any employed door staff are licenced with the Security Industry Authority (SIA). 

“It is a stark reminder to operators of licensed venues and their managers to ensure any door staff utilised are SIA registered and that an offence may be committed both by those who are working as unlicensed security operatives and also those who employ them”, he continued. 

The prosecution against Bailey was brought forward by the SIA following an inspection at the establishment, carried out in partnership with West Mercia Police in October 2021. 

Investigators found a man named Stephen Dion working without an SIA licence during the inspection and discovered he had worked without a licence on 14 occasions over a three-month period.  

Bailey was then identified as his manager and, as an SIA license holder performing the role of head doorman at the Buttermarket, was tasked with ensuring security staff held an SIA license but allegedly failed to check the authorities register.  

Mandatory condition 

Multiple venues across Shrewsbury, Telford and Wolverhampton were inspected as part of the same operation. 

SIA criminal investigations manager Jenny Hart said: “The role of the licensing regime is to protect the public.  

“Mr Bailey was previously of good character but because of his actions he now has a criminal record, and his licence is suspended.” 

Dion was also prosecuted in 2022. He was sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge, fined £135 as court costs and ordered to pay £22 victim surcharge in June 2022. 

Desor added: “Licensing law requires a premises licences carry a mandatory condition requiring any door staff used to be registered with the SIA. 

“Therefore, a Designated Premises Supervisor or Premises Licence Holder may be prosecuted for breach of that mandatory condition in the event that unlicensed door supervisors are used and it also risks a review of the Premises Licence.” 

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