New SIA replacement body to have statutory powers

Rumors about the future and potential replacement of the SIA (Security Industry Authority) abound following last years’ announcement that it had been removed from iminent threat of closure.

The so-called “bonfire of the quangos” taking place under goverment spending review was originally scheduled to include the SIA, but in March 2011 it was removed from the proposed Public Bodies Bill.

Furthermore there have been statements from the Home Office that no changes are to be made to the regulatory regime in the security industry until after the 2012 Olympics.

Any changes to the SIA’s standing will probably require amendments to the Private Security Industry Act 2001 and therefore need the consent of Parliament, so it is not just a case of putting up a “Closed” sign on the office door !

The most likely outcome currently predicted is that a new, similar, version of the SIA will come into existance with broadly the same powers.

Although since its inception the SIA has been criticised for issuing licences to illegal immigrants, delaying the issue of licences to genuine applicants and allowing protection , the general perception in the security industry seems to be that a regulatory body is required, in particular to prevent crimminal gangs and drug dealing.

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