Tag Archives: Lord Taylor of Holbeach

Regulation of Private Investigations: Latest Update from the SIA

On 31 July 2013, the Home Secretary announced the Government’s intention for the Security Industry Authority (SIA) to regulate private investigation activities. On 30 June 2014, Home Office Minister Lord Taylor set out the Government’s position on the regulation of private investigations.

In answer to questions asked in the House of Lords, Lord Taylor of Holbeach said that the Government expects the regulations to license the activity of private investigations to come into force in 2015.

The Government also expects the introduction of licensing of private security businesses to come into force in 2015, followed thereafter by private investigation businesses.

On 30 June, Home Office Minister Lord Taylor set out the Government's position on the regulation of private investigations

On 30 June, Home Office Minister Lord Taylor set out the Government’s position on the regulation of private investigations

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) will continue to work with the Home Office, which has responsibility for introducing the regulation of the private investigation sector.

In advance of the regulation date, the SIA will engage with the security industry to update the ‘Get Licensed’ criteria, and will continue to publicise widely further information about the proposed regulation of private investigations.

Who will need a licence?

The Private Security Industry Act 2001 defines the licensable activities of private investigations. The Home Office intends to review this definition to ensure that it remains fit for purpose.

Questions relating to whether specific activities will be licensable in future should be directed to the Home Office.

According to the Act, a given individual will need an SIA licence if they’re involved in any surveillance, inquiries or investigations that are carried out for the purposes of:

(1) Obtaining information about a particular person or about the activities or whereabouts of a particular person, or…

(2) Obtaining information about the circumstances in which, or means by which, property has been lost or damaged

Anyone involved in providing contracted private investigation services will require a licence. This includes employees, employers, managers, supervisors and directors* or partners of private investigation companies. It’s unclear if the Home Office will also wish the SIA to regulate ‘in-house’ private investigations.

*For the purposes of the Private Security Industry Act 2001, the term ‘director’ means executive and non-executive directors, shadow directors, parent company directors and corporate entities holding a directorship

Activities not requiring a licence

According to the Act, the following activities will not require a licence:

*Activities exclusively for the purposes of market research
*Activities exclusively concerned with a credit check
*Professional activities of practising solicitors and Barristers
*Professional activities of practising accountants
*Professional activities of journalists and broadcasters, and activities exclusively relating to obtaining information for journalists and broadcasters
*Activities exclusively relating to reference to registers which are open to the public, registers or records to which a person has a right of access and published works
*Activities carried out with the knowledge or consent of the subject of the investigation

Penalties administered for non-compliance

The penalty for working as an unlicensed private investigator will be (upon summary conviction at a Magistrate’s Court, Sheriff Court or District Court) a maximum of six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5,000.

The penalty for supplying unlicensed staff will be (upon summary conviction at a Magistrate’s Court, Sheriff Court or District Court) a maximum of six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5,000.

Upon conviction on indictment at Crown Court, High Court of Justiciary or Sheriff and jury trial, the penalty will be an unlimited fine and/or up to five years imprisonment.

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Antony Porter appointed as UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner

The following written ministerial statement has been laid before the House of Commons by Norman Baker MP and in the House of Lords by Lord Taylor of Holbeach, confirming the appointment of Antony Porter as Surveillance Camera Commissioner for the UK.

The Minister of State for Crime Prevention, Norman Baker, comments: “My honourable friend the Minister of State for Criminal Information, Lord Taylor of Holbeach, has today made the following written ministerial statement….”

“I am today announcing arrangements for the appointment of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner under Section 34 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012,” said Lord Taylor.

“Following an open competition overseen by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, this ministerial appointment will be filled by Mr Antony Porter. Mr Porter’s three-year term of appointment will commence on Monday 10 March 2014.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach

Lord Taylor of Holbeach

“The Surveillance Camera Commissioner appointment has been filled by Mr Andrew Rennison who has now completed his term of office. I should like to record the Government’s appreciation of Mr Rennison’s contribution in laying the foundations for the regulation of surveillance camera systems.

Norman Baker: minister of state for crime prevention at the Home Office

Norman Baker: minister of state for crime prevention at the Home Office

“Mr Rennison also holds the non-statutory appointment of Forensic Science Regulator. Arrangements for the recruitment of a new Forensic Science Regulator are in hand, and Mr Rennison will continue to fulfil that role on a part-time basis until a new appointment is made.”

Key elements of the role

The Surveillance Camera Commissioner is responsible for:

• encouraging compliance with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice

• providing advice on the effective, appropriate, proportionate and transparent use of surveillance camera systems

• providing advice on operational and technical standards

• reviewing how the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice is working and advising the Government where any changes may be necessary

A retired senior police leader whose roles have included commanding the North West Counter-Terrorism Unit from 2006 to 2012, Antony Porter received the Queen’s Police Medal in the New Year’s Honours List of 2008.

Speaking about his new role, Antony Porter said: “I’m delighted to accept this appointment and must first acknowledge the excellent foundations laid for me by my predecessor, Andrew Rennison.

“This role presents complex and challenging issues that impact on matters of social policy, Human Rights and crime prevention. My commitment to everyone is to ensure an open and transparent approach to the role.

“I will seek to raise levels of confidence across communities and interest groups as to the use of surveillance cameras and the standards against which those systems operate. Technology moves forward at a fast pace, which will present new and dynamic issues in the future. I look forward to building close and working relationships with all interested parties to ensure those challenges are managed and seen to be managed in the public interest.”

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Security Industry Authority launches security business licensing

From 6 April 2015, all regulated security businesses will need to hold a business licence from the Security Industry Authority.

The Home Office has been working with the Security Industry Authority (SIA) on the introduction of business licensing. Home Office ministers have publicly stated their commitment to the regulatory reforms and the introduction of business regulation which will help create a fair business environment for security companies, remove rogue operators and deliver better value regulation.

The Scottish Government and Department of Justice for Northern Ireland have indicated that they’re supportive of a consistent UK-wide regulatory regime.

Bill Butler: CEO of the Security Industry Authority

Bill Butler: CEO of the Security Industry Authority

The proposed implementation dates are as follows:

• 7 April 2014: SIA accepts business licence applications
• 1 October 2014: Last recommended business licence application date*
• 6 April 2015: Legal requirement to have a business licence

Business licensing is subject to ministerial approval and the approval of the Scottish Government and the Department of Justice for Northern Ireland.

To qualify for an SIA business licence, a security business must demonstrate that it is ‘fit and proper’ to supply security industry services.

When processing a business licence application, the SIA will consider: identity, criminality, financial probity, integrity and business competency (including British Standards).

A business will need to obtain approval for each sector in which it supplies a security industry service. The relevant sectors are:

• Security Guarding: Cash and Valuables in Transit, Close Protection, Door Supervision, Public Space Surveillance (CCTV) and Security Guarding.
• Key Holding
• Immobilisation of vehicles (including the restriction and removal of vehicles) in Northern Ireland only

A business licence will last for five years. To maintain a business licence, businesses will be required to comply with the conditions of the licence, provide a yearly return evidencing its continued compliance and pay an annual subscription fee.

The SIA is writing to private security businesses to inform them of their responsibilities in applying for a business licence.

Business representatives can sign-up for further information about business licensing on the SIA’s website: http://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/sign-up

*To ensure a business licence application can be processed in good time, the SIA recommends that businesses submit their licence application before 1 October 2014

The SIA cannot guarantee that it will complete the processing of any business licence applications received after 1 October 2014 in time for 6 April 2015

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