This is odd, and it is kind of funny to read. Here is the US trying to regulate and license our guards to keep a check on the industry, and yet here is the UK trying to ‘reduce burdensome regulation’. lol
I will not say too much about this because it is a little out of my lane. In the past, we had some guest authors and readers discussing the pros and cons of the SIA and I really don’t know how effective it is right now? Maybe it is not needed or that it is not effectively screening folks and too costly? Perhaps government is not able to regulate it because of how inefficient and slow it can be?
Who knows but either way, the whole world is watching the UK and how it treats this issue. I have mentioned the US, India, and China as three countries looking hard at regulating this industry and the UK is one of the few places that has actually done this. Imperfect–maybe, but none the less they have licensed and regulated their industry.
The other thing I was thinking about was how this might impact contracts throughout the world? If the SIA is no longer in existence, then British and commonwealth type companies would have one less means of sifting through folks. It would be interesting to hear what Andy Bearpark and others have to say about this one? –Matt
By Glenn Campbell Scotland correspondent
22 September 2010
The Home Office is preparing to scrap the body which regulates bouncers and other security workers across the UK.
The Security Industry Authority has been placed under the axe as part of a wider plan to cut the number and cost of public bodies.
Abolishing the SIA will not save taxpayers money because it is largely self-financing, but a Home Office document, seen by the BBC, suggests the move would save security firms money and contribute to “reducing burdensome regulation”.
The document suggests the industry has matured enough to police itself.
A Home Office spokesman said no final decision had been made but the department expected to “make an announcement in due course”.
The spokesman added: “The government is committed to making substantial reforms of its public bodies to increase accountability and reduce their number and cost.
“All departments are working with the cabinet office and treasury to assess our public bodies and ensure they perform an essential role which has to be carried out by government and cannot be provided more efficiently elsewhere.”
Some industry figures are worried that scrapping formal regulation could have a negative effect.
Russel Kerr, managing director of SecuriGroup, an SIA approved contractor in Glasgow said: “It may knock us back 10 years. There’s a danger also that the serious and organised crime element would find it easier to get themselves re-established.”
Private security has always had a shadowy reputation, with some firms linked to drug dealing, money laundering and extortion.
The SIA was tasked with reducing crime and improving standards in the industry.
It licences bouncers, in-store guards, CCTV operators and other qualified security workers who pass background checks.
There are almost 350,000 security workers with valid licences across the UK.
Regulation began in 2003 in England and Wales and was extended to Scotland in 2007 and to Northern Ireland in 2009.