Will licensing rates change following the SIA’s announcement?

Following on from our post ‘Magenta Welcomes SIA Compulsory Business Licensing‘, in this blog post  we take a look at the breakdown of active licenses issued by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

The UK’s private security sector employs around half a million people, contributing approximately £6 billion to the UK economy. In recent years, the industry has expanded into activities that, while previously undertaken by police officers, have no requirement for police powers to carry them out.

With such a large amount of people operating in an industry that has developed to include what are effectively frontline services, it has been necessary to improve regulation in an attempt to maintain the legitimacy, standards and reputation of firms and individuals that provide a quality service.

Statistics from the SIA, updated on March 10, 2014, show there were 385,767 active SIA licence. The breakdown of active licences in the licensable sectors is:

Since the first SIA licence was issued in April 2004, the SIA has issued more than 1,000,000 licences. Year on year the number of licences issued increases. In 2012 there was an exceptional demand as 163,000 licences were issued; this spike was most likely as a result of the security required for the Olympic Games.

So will the announcement of compulsory business licensing have an effect on the number of active licenses?  We will only find out for sure once the schedule to rollout the new requirements starts this summer. But we believe the industry will see a tumultuous time for licenses issued and withdrawn, as legitimate firms will already be licensed and unlicensed firms will become the subject of an industry crackdown.

The security industry has always been riddled with rogue operators and too many times I have witnessed customers realise they have made a costly mistake by working with these companies. With such a large amount of people operating in an industry, it is necessary to improve regulation in an attempt to maintain the legitimacy, standards and reputation of firms and individuals that provide a quality service. Only time will tell to see if this new regulation will finally rid the security operation of un-reputable organisations once and for all.

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