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BSIA urges Home Secretary to consider all options before deciding the SIA’s future

Published on 28 October, 2010

Careful consideration is essential in deciding the SIA's future, security industry alliance tells Theresa May
Independent oversight is key to maintaining public confidence in the private security industry
The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has called for the Home Secretary to carefully consider the implications of the rumoured abolition of theSecurity 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, appeals for 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 centre of an industry-wide alliance that has been formed over recent weeks to plan a strategic response to the rumoured 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 favour of continued regulation in some form," says James Kelly. "The private security market is complex and ever-changing, and industry participants take great pride in the significant improvement of standards and behaviour 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 signalled by the SIA's Chairman, Baroness Ruth Henig, earlier this year. The BSIA had already 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.

James Kelly concludes: "As an industry-wide alliance, we stand ready to work alongside the Home Office to develop the most suitable framework for addressing the needs of government, the public and the private security industry, and look forward to working with government to shape our industry's future, if and when an announcement regarding the SIA is made."

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