The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has called for the Home Secretary to carefully consider the implications of the rumored abolition of the Security Industry Authority (SIA), following recent speculation in the press that the security industry regulator is about to be scrapped.
In a letter to Theresa May MP, BSIA Chief Executive James Kelly appealed to the Home Office to engage with the security industry over any planned changes to regulation, citing issues such as industry maturity, public confidence and lighter-touch regulation as key considerations when planning the way forward.
The BSIA sits at the center of an industry-wide alliance that has been formed over recent weeks to plan a strategic response to the rumored abolition of the SIA, a coalition that also encompasses skills for security, the Security Institute and the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, as well as representatives from a range of private security companies and other industry stakeholders.
"We anticipate that this working group will represent a collective voice, one that has already declared itself in favor of continued regulation in some form," Kelly said. "The private security market is complex and ever-changing, and industry participants take great pride in the significant improvement of standards and behavior achieved in the last decade. Much of this improvement has been achieved with the valuable oversight of the SIA."
Regulation in the future could take many forms, not least that of “lighter-touch” regulation signaled by the SIA's Chairman, Baroness Ruth Henig, earlier this year. The BSIA had responded positively to this initiative and pledged the industry's support in principle for such a path. Continued policing and enforcement by the SIA has also been mooted among the industry, and the BSIA, along with its partners, feels that the SIA would be best placed to undertake this since independent oversight is key to maintaining public confidence in the private security industry.