Daily Archives: 11/08/2014

Security Industry Authority licence-linked qualifications exceed 1.25 million

The number of Security Industry Authority licence-linked qualifications that have been issued now exceeds 1.25 million.

Since 2003, and in continual partnership with the security sector, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) has developed Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications for security personnel across seven sectors. These qualifications are nationally recognised and governed by the relevant regulatory authorities in the UK.

For many individuals, an SIA licence-linked qualification is their first recognised qualification and is often a stepping-stone to a defined career in security.

Currently, the SIA is reviewing and updating the training specification which has required expert Working Groups from each sector to gather and discuss any changes.

It’s anticipated that the new requirements will be introduced in January 2015.

Detail of an SIA licence card

Detail of an SIA licence card

Professionalising the private security industry

Andrew Shephard – the SIA’s head of quality standards – explained: “The introduction of minimum standards through licence-linked qualifications has been pivotal in professionalising the private security industry. The first door supervisor qualification was devised in 2003, and there are now over 1.25 million security qualifications held across the regulated sectors. Many individuals have used a qualification to support an SIA licence application.”

Shephard added: “These qualifications help to establish the private security industry as a recognised career with opportunities for individual development. As members of the general public, we all benefit from having more professional security personnel protecting us.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Insurance fraudsters feel the heat as IFB and IFED reach double arrest milestone

The insurance industry’s fight to detect and disrupt insurance fraud has reached a double milestone following an early morning arrest in Luton. This action marks the 1000th arrest1 made as a result of information and support given to law enforcement by the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB).

The action also comes just weeks after the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) – the only police unit in England and Wales funded by the industry and dedicated to tackling insurance fraud – completed its five hundredth arrest2.

John O’Roarke, chairman of the insurance industry’s Financial Crime Committee, said: “The IFB and IFED are our response to the menace that is insurance fraud. This criminality impacts on our economy, costs the insurance industry billions of pounds, hits honest policy holders in the pocket and, in some cases, places innocent lives at risk. The message to anyone committing insurance fraud is simple: you will be found out and you will be arrested.”

The units attack insurance fraud from different angles but for the same purpose. Where the IFB operates behind the scenes, using its access to significant volumes of data to identify organised cross-industry fraudulent activity, the IFED is at the ‘sharp end’, investigating insurance fraud, disrupting criminal activity and arresting suspects.

The units routinely work together with industry and other law enforcement agencies in a co-ordinated show of force.

Identification of organised frauds

Ben Fletcher, director of the IFB, explained: “Our focus is on using our unique range of data to identify organised frauds which are not visible to individual insurers. That’s what really makes the 1,000 arrests significant. We believe these people are not opportunists, but are actively involved in organised scams raking in millions of pounds.”

Ben Fletcher: director of the IFB

Ben Fletcher: director of the IFB

Fletcher added: “The notion of insurance fraud as a ‘victimless crime’ is on the wane, in part thanks to the IFED’s enforcement and disruption activity on the front line.”

Steve Head – City of London Police Commander and the Police National Co-ordinator for Economic Crime – explained: “This level of enforcement activity demonstrates that the IFED is delivering on its primary purpose of working with industry to bring fraudsters to justice and disrupt their criminal enterprises.”

Steve Head: City of London Police Commander

Steve Head: City of London Police Commander

He continued: “Every arrest the IFED team makes actively stops a suspected insurance fraudster in their tracks and, just as importantly, when the news of this appears in national and local newspapers, on television or on social media, it makes others who have previously thought insurance fraud is an easy touch or a criminal action with no consequences to think again.”

Detective Inspector David Hindmarsh from the Metropolitan Police Service, whose team made the 1000th arrest, said: “Operation Catcher is a small and specialised team of detectives dedicated to investigating organised criminal gangs who cause collisions with innocent road users for the sole purpose of committing fraud. This latest arrest is linked to an organised criminal gang we have now been investigating for over a year, and is just one of many joint IFB operations we are currently undertaking. Members of the public should be aware that this is not a victimless crime and anyone becoming involved in fraud risks being arrested, prosecuted and ultimately receiving a criminal record.”

Industry recently extended and increased its investment in IFED, committing £11.7 million over three years to fund further expansion of the unit.

Insurance fraudsters feel the heat as IFB and IFED reach double arrest milestone

Insurance fraudsters feel the heat as IFB and IFED reach double arrest milestone

Consultation on future strategy

The IFB is in the midst of a consultation on its future strategy which will shape its direction and development over the next five years. The results are expected to be announced in late September.

References

1The IFB’s 1000th assisted arrest came when Metropolitan Police Service detectives from the Operation Catcher team detained a man suspected to be part of an organised criminal gang involved in a ‘crash for cash’ scam

2IFED’s 500th arrest came in June 2014 when detectives investigating multiple travel insurance claims for missing jackets and bags filled with valuables apprehended a man in London

*Arrests have been counted individually by each organisation. Within the total there are 69 arrests that cross over

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Information Commissioner ‘sounds the alarm’ on data breaches within legal profession

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is warning barristers and solicitors to keep personal information – and in particular paper files – secure. The advice follows a number of data breaches reported to the ICO involving the legal profession.

The ICO can serve a monetary penalty of up to £500,000 for a serious breach of the Data Protection Act provided the incident had the potential to cause substantial damage or substantial distress to affected individuals.

In most cases, these penalties are issued to companies or public authorities. However, barristers and solicitors are generally classed as data controllers in their own right and are, therefore, legally responsible for the personal information they process.

The information handled by barristers and solicitors is often very sensitive. This means that the damage caused by a data breach could meet the statutory threshold for issuing a financial penalty.

Also, legal professionals will often carry around large quantities of information in folders or files when transporting that information to or from court, and may also store those folders or files at home. This can increase the risk of a data breach.

In the last three months, 15 incidents involving members of the legal profession have been reported to the ICO.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said: “The number of breaches reported by barristers and solicitors may not seem that high but, given the sensitive nature of the information they handle and the fact that it’s often held in paper files rather than secured by any sort of encryption, that number is troubling. It’s important that we sound the alarm at an early stage to make sure this problem is addressed before a barrister or solicitor is left counting the financial and reputational damage of a serious data breach.”

Tips for barristers and solicitors

The ICO has published the following ‘top tips’ to help barristers and solicitors keep the personal information they handle secure:

*Keep paper records secure. Do not leave files in your car overnight and do lock information away when it’s not in use
*Consider data minimisation techniques in order to ensure that you are only carrying information that’s essential to the task in hand
*Where possible, store personal information on an encrypted memory stick or portable device. If the information is properly encrypted it will be virtually impossible to access, even if the device should be lost or stolen
*When sending personal information via e-mail consider whether the information needs to be encrypted or password protected. Avoid the pitfalls of auto-complete by double checking to make sure the e-mail address you are sending the information to is correct
*Only keep information for as long as is necessary. You must delete or dispose of information securely if you no longer need it
*If you are disposing of an old computer or other device, make sure all of the information held on the device is permanently deleted before disposal

The ICO is currently working with The Bar Council to update the Information Security Guidance provided to barristers in England and Wales.

The ICO’s website includes further guidance on security measures that should be in place when handling personal information.

In addition, the ICO has published a blog explaining the importance of encryption and the options available to barristers and solicitors who need to secure their data.

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Inkerman Group appointed vetting and screening partner by The Security Institute

The Security Institute has appointed The Inkerman Group as its new membership vetting and screening partner. The announcement follows on from a competitive tender process for the provision of security screening undertaken for The Security Institute’s members and staff in addition to Chartered Security Professionals.

Given that The Security Institute is the UK’s largest membership body for security professionals, the Board decided it would be appropriate for the organisation to adopt a recognised methodology and standard for undertaking screening which can be measured for proportionality and relevance as well as demonstrate the Institute’s commitment to professional security standards.

To this end, all Institute members, staff and Chartered Security Professional (CSyP) applicants will now be screened in line with British Standard 7858:2012 – Security Screening of Individuals Employed in a Security Environment.

Emma Shaw CSyP: chairman of The Security Institute

Emma Shaw CSyP: chairman of The Security Institute

Speaking about this development, Emma Shaw CSyP – chairman of The Security Institute – stated: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome The Inkerman Group to this new partnership. Membership screening is vital to our professionalism and underpins the appropriate recruitment and validation of our members. Adopting the recognised British Standard in security screening ensures that we are able to take a balanced, rounded and accurate view of a prospective individual’s background when they’re applying for membership of The Security Institute or the Register of Chartered Security Professionals. We feel this is an appropriate route to take.”

Shaw added: “This appointment of The Inkerman Group is yet another demonstration of key strategic decisions taken by the Institute’s Board of Directors that reinforce our commitment to professionalism in the security environment and support both our membership growth and development plans.”

Commenting on the new partnership Karen Englishby, director of The Inkerman Group, explained: “The Inkerman Group is delighted to have been appointed as The Security Institute’s screening provider. We’re looking forward to a long and productive partnership. We have been delivering screening services for many years. Ours is a business which has continued to grow and works in tandem with a wide range of clients across the public, commercial and private sectors. Being successful in securing this appointment is hugely important to us as it recognises the expected high standards required of our service delivery. We’re very excited at the prospect of working with the team at The Security Institute.”

About The Security Institute

The Security Institute is a not-for-profit organisation established in 1999 for the benefit of individuals working in the security sector. The organisation promotes the art and science of security management and works to drive standards, educate and spread Best Practice across the security sector – a sector responsible for the safety of much of the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure.

The Institute is responsible for managing and operating the Register of Chartered Security Professionals on behalf of The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals. In conjunction with the Registration Authority, it sets standards, provides quality control, appointment and management of licensees and admitted registrants.

Since the launch of the Register, The Security Institute has processed over 100 applications. There are currently 71 Chartered Security Professionals.

About The Register of Chartered Security Professionals

The Register of Chartered Security Professionals was launched on 7 June 2011. Established under Royal Charter by The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, the Register itself endorses the main aim of the Company which is “to promote, support and encourage standards of excellence, integrity and honourable practice in conducting the profession of security practitioners and to aid societies and other organisations connected to such profession.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News