0300 123 9298
Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm
PLEASE DO NOT CALL US (WESTMINSTER SECURITY) REGARDING SIA RELATED PROBLEMS OR QUESTIONS, CALL THE SIA ON THE ABOVE NUMBER DURING THE APPROPRIATE TIMES – EXPECT TO BE ON HOLD FOR ABOUT AN HOUR!
The Security Industry Authority (SIA)
The Security Industry Authority (SIA) in their infinite wisdom; decided to close their call centre in July 2016 leaving countless thousands of licence holders and applicants in limbo regarding their applications, renewals, general questions, queries and licensing problems. The SIA do not advertise the above phone number on their website, preferring to direct you to a contact form and promising to reply to you within 10 days. Unfortunately many licence holders and new applicants have waited several months in some cases for a reply – and even then their initial problem wasn’t solved. This meant that hundreds if not thousands of people have either lost their jobs as a result of being unlicensed, or have not been able to start work due to the delay and communication issues caused by the SIA. If this is the case for you, please seek legal advice.
Why did the SIA close their call centre?
Presumably to ‘streamline operations’. In layman’s terms, to save money – their profits! All the while continuing to charge an extortionate amount of money to individuals every 3 years; £220 to allow you the privilege of working in an underpaid, over subscribed security industry that they promised to reform when they were formed way back in 2003. They claimed that regulation and licensing would create a manpower shortage and drive up wages! Fast-forward 15 years and wages are in most cases lower than they were in 2003. Door Supervisor’s are a prime example of this, some claiming to be on £15 per hour back then and £8 per hour now!
Who are the SIA and what do they do?
Good question: ‘The Security Industry Authority is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry.’ They deal with the compulsory licensing of individuals working within the private security industry in the United Kingdom. The SIA licence is not valid in any other country other than the United Kingdom. They also manage the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS). It’s an offence to falsely claim ACS status under section 16 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.
How much is an SIA licence?
The SIA licence application fee is currently £220, this is non-refundable. So, if you have your application declined for any reason (typically through criminality) you will not be entitled to a refund. The licence is only valid for 3 years, (stealth tax) and has to be reapplied for towards the end of that 3 year period to enable you to work in the security sector. Should you be charged with a crime during those 3 years, your licence will be instantly revoked and you will not be able to work as a security operative or be granted a licence until the crime is classed as spent under the rehabilitation of offenders act – typically (2 – 10 years).
How old do you have to be to get an SIA?
You have to be at least 18 years old to apply for an SIA licence.
Can I work in security without an SIA licence?
Yes – you can work in a manned guarding role ‘in-house’ without an SIA licence, as long as the activities involved are not in relation to a licensed premises, i.e: not in a pub, bar, club or restaurant.
About Westminster Security
Westminster Security Ltd are a independent and privately ran security and investigations company based in central London; operating throughout the UK, Europe and worldwide in support of our clients. Westminster Security are an industry leading security company, we were the first security company in London to be invited to and sign the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant; we continue our support for Armed Forces veterans and service leavers. We were also the first security company in London to be accepted onto the London Living Wage scheme; we believe in paying all of our security operatives way above the living wage for their hard work and dedication.
Our speciality is close protection, providing the most experienced and respected close protection teams throughout the globe. Our Managing Director being a former member of the Royal Military Police, Close Protection Unit of the British Army. Many of our close protection operatives served in protection specialist units in the Military and Police, including the UK Special Forces Group, SO1 Specialist Protection and SO14 Royalty Protection.
We are also full members of the Association of British Investigators – accredited by the Law Society. We conduct complex and thorough surveillance operations and investigations for private, corporate and government level clients. Many of our surveillance operatives come from backgrounds in the Special Forces (SRR), Int Corp, British Intelligence services and Metropolitan police (SCO11 Surveillance). We are registered with the Information Commissioners Office and strictly adhere to the Data Protection Act.
To find out more about the services we offer please visit: www.WestminsterSecurity.co.uk
Or to register with us for employment opportunities, please complete our online application form here: www.WestminsterSecurity.co.uk/recruitment