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21 April 2014

Open Letter From SIA Chief Executive

07/12/2010

Pubs of Ulster have received an open letter from Bill Butler, Chief Executive of the Security Industry Authority. This letter is intended for SIA licence holders and anyone else with an interest in the private security industry.

In October, the Government announced that the Security Industry Authority (SIA) would no longer be an NDPB (Non-Departmental Public Body) and there will be a phased transition to a new regulatory regime for the private security industry. What that means is the SIA will change from its current set up, but that the private security industry throughout the UK will continue to be regulated.

The Government has asked the SIA to lead the security industry in setting up a new system of regulation, and that is what we are now working towards.

I know you would like more information about the Government's plans for future regulation, particularly the dates when changes will take place. At this time, I cannot give you that level of detail, but we are working with colleagues in government and the security industry to plan how the private security sectors in the UK will be regulated in the future.

The new regulation will build on the successes of SIA licensing and our Approved Contractor Scheme. Getting things right takes time, and because of this, ministers have said that there will not be any major changes to SIA regulation or the Approved Contractor Scheme before the London Olympics 2012.

The Government has made it clear that regulation of the private security industry will remain in place. It is important that everyone in the security sectors, especially those whose SIA licences are coming up for renewal, understand that the Private Security Industry Act 2001 remains law. It is a criminal offence for security operatives and those deploying them, to work in licensable activities without a valid SIA licence. The SIA and our partners will continue to ensure that the law is properly enforced.

Some of you will be approaching the time to renew your SIA licence, or you may be considering applying for your first licence. I want to assure you that it is my intention to protect the investment you have made in training and your SIA licence. I do not want to see you lose out or be disadvantaged under a new system of regulation.

As the new arrangements for regulation are developed, it is essential that we hear your views and understand your concerns. I want everyone who holds a licence to have the opportunity to share their opinions with us. When the time is right, I will seek your views through our many communication channels, but I urge you now to keep in touch with us and be informed. If you are a licence holder it is a condition of the licence that you tell us when you change address, but it also helps us keep in contact with you.

We have a new section on our website called Future of Regulation where you can read about the latest developments and see a list of frequently asked questions and answers about the future of regulation. To keep in touch with us, visit our website where you can sign-up to receive our regular electronic newsletters, or why not follow us on Twitter (SIAuk) or on Facebook (Security Industry Authority). Staying informed means you can make the right decisions about your future.

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Pubs of Ulster is the trading name of the Federation of Retail Licensed Trade NI.