With party political conference season now upon us, the British Security Industry Association has been busy championing the views of the private security industry, planning and attending meetings with MPs, Ministers, Peers, Police and Crime Commissioners and representatives of Think Tanks at the Labour Party Conference (currently underway in Manchester) and for the Conservative Party Conference beginning next week.
At the forefront of the British Security Industry Association’s (BSIA) agenda is the ongoing issue of business licensing and regulation, with discussions also set to focus on garnering support for grant funding that will allow businesses to export to growing markets around the world.
Also on the agenda is the BSIA’s latest research into the number and scope of CCTV cameras in the UK and how the Association’s findings relate to the Government’s CCTV Code of Practice.
With such a wide array of meetings planned, the BSIA’s CEO James Kelly will be championing the views of the Association’s members while simultaneously raising awareness among Parliamentarians of the industry and the challenges it currently faces.
In reference to regulation, Kelly commented: “The Government has failed to identify a legislative vehicle by which to enact these changes, in turn placing the original implementation target of 2015 in real jeopardy. As part of the Security Regulation Alliance, the BSIA has been at the heart of these negotiations and still hopes that the industry can achieve clarity on a future regulatory regime within the current Parliament.”
Support for the BSIA’s cause has been pledged by members across all parties as well as a significant number of Police and Crime Commissioners, many of whom use private security companies to provide back office support to their police forces, in turn allowing officers to spend more time on front line duties and less time focused on paperwork.
Increased contact with Parliamentarians
This year’s conference season sees the BSIA almost double its contact with Parliamentarians when compared to previous years, with many MPs set to receive their first ever briefing on the work of the BSIA and the industry.
Among those set to meet with James Kelly are Baroness Smith of Basildon, Jack Dromey (Shadow Home Affairs Minister for Private Security), Owen Paterson (Shadow Minister for Policing and previously Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and David T.C. Davies, Chairman of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee.
In addition to meetings with politicians, many discussions have been arranged with Police and Crime Commissioners from across the country. Reflecting on this point, Kelly added: “The standards set and maintained by industry regulation and licensing are key to the ability of police forces across the UK to place their trust in private security suppliers. It’s essential that the future regulatory regime continues to provide this element of reassurance.”
This message will be enforced when meeting with PCCs to ensure that the partnerships between BSIA member companies and various police forces are actively promoted for the benefits they undoubtedly realise.
In conclusion, James Kelly explained: “With the 2015 General Election just around the corner, it’s important that the BSIA continues to engage with all parties to ensure that our industry is fully represented in the crucial policy development period running up to the vote. The BSIA is extremely proud of its role as the voice of the UK’s private security industry, and we’re looking forward to building upon our success at conference by actively representing our members’ needs.”
To find out more about the BSIA’s political work and lobbying visit: http://www.bsia.co.uk or follow the Public Affairs Team on twitter via: @bsiapolitics