On Wednesday 24 July, SecuriGroup – the Glasgow-based security solutions provider – held a Forum at which Baroness Ruth Henig CBE gave a timely speech on the future landscape for regulation.
As a company, SecuriGroup has always been at the forefront of the regulatory agenda and, in 2009, won the ACS Champion of the Year category at the Security Excellence Awards.
Only recently, chairman John Malcolm QPM and managing director Russel Kerr asked Baroness Ruth Henig CBE – former chairman of the Security Industry Authority (SIA) – to join the Board, and it was in her capacity as a Board director that the Baroness addressed a gathering of company representatives and key customers at SecuriGroup’s Bath Street headquarters in Glasgow.
The Baroness began her address on the future roadmap for private sector security regulation by stating that SecuriGroup “embraces all of the values” the Regulator wants to see in security companies. The Baroness also expressed delight that SecuriGroup is progressing extremely well with its business not just north of the border but also in the South East of England.
Of course, licensing via the SIA was first introduced in Scotland back in 2007, and the remit then was really all about licensing the individual. “To be really effective, though,” stated the Baroness, “licensing needs to be focused on businesses.” This, of course, is why the next phase of regulation – the ‘new regulatory regime’ that has still to emerge – will do just that.
With over 800 responses received to the recent consultation on the future for regulation, the Government has promised further legislation with a slated appearance of this coming October. When that legislation does appear, Baroness Henig is adamant that we’ll need to “see sanctions and penalties for those companies who don’t co-operate” [with the new rules].
Reflecting on proposed regulatory change in the security sector, the Baroness continued: “Companies like SecuriGroup will have everything to gain and nothing to lose as a result of the forthcoming changes. It will now be much easier to crackdown on non-conformant companies.”
In terms of how top end security companies like SecuriGroup might be able to differentiate themselves under the new regime, there has of course been talk of a Hallmark-style scheme being introduced. “This is going to be an important area for development over the next few months,” commented the Baroness.
Experience of policing and security
Baroness Henig CBE is particularly well qualified to advise SecuriGroup and its customer base on the future regulation roadmap. Chairman of the Lancashire Police Authority from 1995-2005, the Baroness also served as chairman of the Association of Police Authorities between 1997-2005, eventually becoming president.
The Baroness was a member of the National Criminal Justice Board from 2003-2005, receiving her CBE from Her Majesty The Queen in 2000 for services to policing.
Made a Life Peer in 2004 by (then) Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Baroness was appointed chairman of the Security Industry Authority in 2006, and served in that role for six years.