Daily Archives: 31/07/2013

New regulation of private investigators to be introduced for the UK

The Home Office is to introduce a new system of regulation for private investigators to protect the public from unscrupulous activity.

Operating as an unlicensed private investigator will become a criminal offence, Home Secretary Theresa May announced on Wednesday 31 July.

The current arrangements, under which the system is not regulated, allows anyone to work as a private investigator regardless of their skills, experience or criminal convictions. This presents a high risk of rogue investigators unlawfully infringing on the privacy of individuals.

Home Secretary Theresa May: introducing new regulation for private investigators

Home Secretary Theresa May: introducing new regulation for private investigators

As a result, the Home Office is introducing new regulation of private investigators to put a stop to this situation and help to ensure members of the public are protected against unscrupulous activity.

All investigative activities that are carried out for the purposes of publishing legitimate journalistic material will be excluded from regulation.

Comment from the Home Office

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “It’s vital we have proper regulation of private investigators to ensure rigorous standards in this sector and the respect of individuals’ rights to privacy.

“That is why I am announcing today the Government’s intention to regulate this industry, making it a criminal offence to operate as a private investigator without a licence.

“Anyone with a criminal conviction for data protection offences can expect to have their application for a licence refused. Journalists will be excluded from regulation to allow them to carry out legitimate investigations in the public interest.”

Security Industry Authority to grant licences

Licences will only be granted by the Security Industry Authority when an applicant has successfully:

•completed training and achieved a Government-recognised qualification, which includes understanding of relevant laws and standards and the skills required to conduct activities ethically
•confirmed their identity
•undergone a thorough criminality check

As with other sectors of the private security industry, all applicants will need to meet these standards in order to receive a licence. This includes any contractors working on private investigations for companies.

Bill Butler, the SIA’s CEO, commented: “I welcome the announcement from the Home Secretary on the Government’s intention to regulate private investigators. SIA licensing protects the public by ensuring that only fit and proper people, who are trained and qualified to do their job, work in the private security industry. I now look forward to working with Home Office colleagues to introduce effective regulation for private investigations.”

The regulation of private investigators will be introduced as quickly as possible, and the new regime will begin next year.

The maximum penalty for working as an unlicensed private investigator or supplying unlicensed investigators will be a fine of up to £5,000 and up to six months in prison.

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Can demand match supply for wireless in mobile video surveillance?

According to a new report entitled ‘The World Market for Mobile Video Surveillance’ which has been published by IMS Research (now part of IHS), a surplus supply of wireless download technology was fitted to 16% of all video recorders sold in mobile video surveillance markets during 2012.

This is technology that the customer either never intends to use, or doesn’t have the back-end software to support. So does this mean, then, that manufacturers are wasting their money on ‘oversupply’?

As part of new research into the market presented in the report, IHS tracked the current adoption rates of wireless download technology across each vertical market as one of the fastest-moving trends in mobile video surveillance in the past two years.

Adoption rates on the increase

“Adoption rates have increased quickly, with the technology really suiting the usage cases for these larger fleets of trains, buses or police cars,” said David Green, senior analyst for video surveillance at IHS.

“Using Wi-Fi for downloading saves time and cost for the operator, can improve reliability and also offer added value features such as remote vehicle health checks.”

Can demand match supply for wireless when it comes to mobile video surveillance?

Can demand match supply for wireless when it comes to mobile video surveillance?

However, in 2012 it would appear that demand lagged behind supply. While 45% of recorders sold were fitted with Wi-Fi that the customer will use, 16% were fitted with technology the customer won’t use – meaning that manufacturers are adding to costs by paying for components that don’t actually need to be fitted.

“In reality, manufacturers won’t be losing out,” asserted Green. “The 16% statistic might sound a lot in terms of unit shipments, but it’s only a small portion of the revenue. Economies of scale mean the component costs will be low to start with, plus most of the oversupply is coming from recorders made by low-cost Asian manufacturers. These companies can’t move on price since they’re already at the bottom, so they compete with each other by loading up on features even though they know the customers won’t use them.”

Green also noted: “You take a look at the high-end manufacturers and the level of oversupply is certainly less than 16%.”

Are the supply levels as they should be?

So does that mean the high-end manufacturers have their supply levels right, and do they expect adoption rates to continue increasing at current rates?

“Definitely they see adoption increasing into the future,” suggested Green.

“Mobile video systems are evolving and wireless is a key part of the more intelligent system, linking with back-end software to provide an end-to-end solution. Manufacturers aren’t wasting their money here, and they’ll see the rewards when the market witnesses a boost in sales over the next couple of years.”

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