Tag Archives: Theresa May

More junior officers honoured with Queen’s Police Medals

Nine ‘rank and file’ police officers have been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Police Medal by Her Majesty The Queen as part of the New Year Honours – three times the number honoured in the 2016 Birthday Honours.

In one of her final actions as Home Secretary, Prime Minister Theresa May recommended that more officers below senior ranks should receive the Queen’s Police Medal in order to recognise the vital role they play in protecting the public and address an imbalance over to whom the medal is awarded.

Police leaders responded by putting forward a number of officers from junior ranks from across England and Wales who have shown outstanding courage and distinguished service in the line of duty. More than half of the 17 Queen’s Police Medals announced on Friday 30 December have been awarded to officers below the rank of superintendent.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “These deserving recipients of Queen’s Police Medals have gone above and beyond the call of their duties and it’s absolutely right that we recognise all of those who serve our communities and keep us safe. I’m especially pleased by the response from policing leaders, who have made sure that a shift in nominations has led to a much more representative group of officers receiving the medal. I look forward to seeing many more brave and talented individuals at every rank of our police forces being honoured in this way in the future.”

qpm2017

The Queen’s Police Medal was instituted by its royal warrant in 1954 and is awarded to officers of any rank for acts of courage and conspicuous devotion to duty. It superseded the King’s Police Medal, which was originally created in 1909.

Brandon Lewis, Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, added: “There are exceptionally skilled, dedicated and professional officers in all areas of our police forces, from front line constables through to senior leaders. Honours such as the Queen’s Police Medal have been awarded for over 100 years to recognise some of their exceptional individual contributions. I’m delighted that more rank and file officers have been awarded the medal this year for dedication to their duties and acts of exceptional courage. I hope the example they’ve set continues to inspire the very best from officers and police staff in 2017.”

The recipients of the Queen’s Police Medal are:

  • PC Ifor Williams (Avon and Somerset Police)
  • Sergeant Timothy Slade (City of London Police)
  • PC Jacqueline Oliver (Metropolitan Police Service)
  • Chief Superintendent Martin Lloyd Fry (British Transport Police)
  • PC Leslie Roger Eke (Thames Valley Police)
  • PC Christopher Smith (Dorset Police)
  • PC Louise Pye (Sussex Police)
  • PC Shirley Vivienne Lindsay (Avon and Somerset Police)
  • Inspector Ian David Hanson (Greater Manchester Police)
  • Detective Inspector Carol Ellwood (Humberside Police)
  • Chief Superintendent Gordon Briggs (Metropolitan Police Service)
  • Chief Superintendent Victor Olisa (Metropolitan Police Service)
  • Chief Superintendent Jagdev Singh Atwal (Derbyshire Constabulary)
  • Assistant Chief Constable David John Allard (Ministry of Defence Police)
  • Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams (West Yorkshire Police)
  • Commander Simon Martin Letchford (Metropolitan Police Service)
  • Chief Constable David Graham Jones (North Yorkshire Police)
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Officer in life-threatening Samurai sword stand-off wins national Police Bravery Award

Sergeant Stephen Brown of the Metropolitan Police Service, who tackled and disarmed a man trying to slash him with a Samurai sword, has deservedly won a prestigious national Police Bravery Award.

With only his baton and CS spray to protect himself, and on his own, Sergeant Brown found himself fighting for his life as the man repeatedly swung the sword at his face and neck while ignoring orders to put the weapon down.

When the suspect swung for the officer again, Sergeant Brown discharged CS spray into the man’s face. The officer quickly moved towards his assailant and, while the sword was in the air, struck the man’s arm with his baton three times. On the third hit the man dropped the sword and fell to the floor.

Sergeant Brown immediately jumped on top of the man and was then joined by colleagues in restraining the individual. The offender was still struggling violently before being arrested after the incident, which occurred on Christmas Eve 2012 in north London.

Earlier that evening, the offender had repeatedly stabbed a woman. After he was detained by Sergeant Brown and his colleagues, officers discovered that the bag he was carrying contained an arsenal of weapons.

National Police Bravery Award

For his diligence and skill, Sergeant Brown has won the national Police Bravery Award. He was presented with the trophy at a ceremony held in central London attended by Home Secretary Theresa May, policing minister Mike Penning and Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM in addition to other dignitaries.

Earlier in the day, Sergeant Brown joined 65 of his colleagues from 31 police forces around the country for a reception at 10 Downing Street hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron and designed to recognise their heroic acts of bravery.

Sergeant Stephen Brown and Home Secretary Theresa May

Sergeant Stephen Brown and Home Secretary Theresa May

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “The actions of Sergeant Stephen Brown are a powerful reminder of the commitment and courage that police officers bring to their role. Sergeant Brown put his own life in danger to defuse a terrifying situation. His intervention protected members of the public and may well have saved the lives of others. We should reflect on the bravery shown by all the officers nominated and that displayed by all police officers in the course of their duties each day.”

Speaking about the prestigious award, Sergeant Brown commented: “I feel overwhelmed. Other people deserve it more and I feel very honoured to have won this award. I would do exactly the same thing again and it’s what every officer would have done in that situation.”

He continued: “The man needed to be tackled there and then. The woman he had attacked was innocent and unknown to him. He needed to be stopped. This is what we do as police officers. People call it brave but it’s just part of the job.”

Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “I’m constantly humbled and amazed by the selfless acts of bravery carried out by police officers on a day-to-day basis. For every act of courage and bravery recognised in the national Police Bravery Awards there are hundreds more occurring in our communities every day that go unrecognised. Each nominee is a credit to the police service and to the community they serve.”

Stephen Mann, CEO at Police Mutual, stated: “Every day, police officers across the country face incredibly difficult and dangerous situations and act with real heroism to protect the lives of others. All of the officers nominated for an award have shown great dedication to their duty and remarkable courage.”

Mann concluded: “Police Mutual is honoured to continue its sponsorship of the national Police Bravery Awards for the sixth consecutive year, and we give our sincere thanks to the men and women who keep us all safe.”

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Crimestoppers and SIA reaffirm joint commitment to protect the public

Independent charity Crimestoppers and the Security Industry Authority have cemented their commitment to protecting the public by renewing their partnership again this year.

The two organisations, who joined forces in 2006, have conducted operations alongside the police in areas including Northern Ireland, Bristol and Birmingham to ensure security operatives are correctly SIA licensed.

These Crimestoppers-supported operations were also used to raise awareness of SIA licensing requirements while appealing to the public for information on those breaking the law.

Previous successes include receiving quality intelligence to tackle serious and organised crime, detection of unlicensed activity, breaches of SIA licensing conditions and the arrest of individuals for other offences.

Extension to the existing partnership

As a result of these successes, the two organisations have renewed their partnership for a further year, in turn ensuring that those enjoying the night-time economy will be greeted by door staff they can trust and who have been properly vetted and trained to perform their role.

Since the start of 2014, Crimestoppers has received an average of 54 anonymously submitted pieces of information per month about those committing licensing offences, not only in relation to door supervisors but also in relation to guarding and all other parts of the regulated sector. This information is passed across to the SIA to assist with their investigations and can lead to further action.

Dave Humphries: director of partnerships and interventions at the SIA

Dave Humphries: director of partnerships and interventions at the SIA

At present there are 382,377 licenses held by 339,940 people. Of those, over half are held by door supervisors.

In 2013, the SIA was successful in 17 prosecutions and issued 337 written warnings and 59 improvement notices. In the last six years the SIA has revoked 33,945 licences and refused a further 22,722.

Incredibly positive working partnership

Rodger Holden, director of development for Crimestoppers, said: “This has been an incredibly positive partnership between two organisations whose primary goal is to keep communities safe and clamp down on law breakers. As an organisation, we work closely with a number of partners to tackle various crimes, and our work with the SIA is paramount to tackle those in breach of the law.”

Dave Humphries, director of partnerships and interventions at the SIA, added: “The SIA is committed to tackling all forms of crime associated with the private security industry, including serious and organised crime. With the help of partners such as Crimestoppers, we will work collaboratively to drive these rogue elements from the industry and keep members of the public safe.”

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New regulatory regime “helpful to businesses”, Security Regulation Alliance tells Government

In a letter to Government ministers, the Security Regulation Alliance has called for unanimous support of the proposed new regulatory regime for the private security industry, and urged them to consider the benefits of security regulation against the backdrop of the Government’s wider deregulatory agenda.

Writing to the Minister for Business and Enterprise and the Minister for Government Policy, Security Regulation Alliance chairman and BSIA chief executive James Kelly expressed the industry’s frustration with the continued delays in preparing the necessary legislative groundwork for the implementation of a new regulatory regime.

“Despite the recent announcement made by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) of the proposed timescales for the implementation of business licensing, there are still several factors yet to be clarified by Government on which the long-term success of the transition will heavily depend.”

Elaborating on this statement, Kelly continued: “First, the Government has yet to identify a suitable legislative vehicle through which suitable enforcement powers can be granted to the SIA. Also, the failure of Government to clarify the cost of the new regime is leaving many security companies in the dark when it comes to business forecasting for the coming years.”

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA and chairman of the Security Regulation Alliance

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA and chairman of the Security Regulation Alliance

Kelly explained: “The Security Regulation Alliance is concerned that the transition to a new regulatory regime is being delayed by a number of Government departments, namely the Treasury and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) who are expressing concerns about the cost to the taxpayer and the perceived contradiction against the Government’s deregulatory agenda. Our letter aims to provide reassurances that the cost of licensing has always been – and will continue to be – borne by industry, and that regulation has, in fact, had a positive influence on the security sector.”

Role of regulation in raising standards

The role of regulation in raising standards within the industry is a prime example of the positive effects of regulation, which the Security Regulation Alliance believes has improved public safety while providing industry practitioners with the credibility to support the police service when it comes to low-level crime and community policing.

Regulation has also played an important role in encouraging healthy competition throughout the industry, the letter claims. Prior to regulation, customers relied upon BSIA membership and larger company reputation to screen suppliers, making market entry harder for new competitors.

The Security Regulation Alliance believes that the total removal of formal regulation would reverse these benefits.

Overriding need for clarity

In the letter, Kelly writes: “The new regulatory regime will be good for all businesses, reduce cost and help build a private security industry that is fit to hold the public’s trust and support the police. However, this will only be the case if all phases of the new regulatory regime are completed with proportionate powers that allow robust enforcement to be continued. If, as seems possible, an incomplete process without primary legislation is enacted, it would be damaging as long as the uncertainty persisted.”

Representing the Security Regulation Alliance, the BSIA has maintained pressure on the Government for clarity through its programme of Parliamentary roundtable meetings and also by way of its attendance at bloth the Conservative and Labour Party Conferences earlier this month.

“We hope that our letter provides the necessary assurances to Government that regulation is actively supported by the industry,” concluded Kelly, “and helps to obtain at least some degree of clarity for the many businesses affected by the current climate of uncertainty.”

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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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BSIA leads talks on security regulation at party conferences

As this year’s political party conference season draws to a close, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has reflected on a number of successful discussions with MPs, Think Tanks and Police and Crime Commissioners which saw the issues of police reform, regulatory change and the CCTV Code of Practice at the forefront of the agenda.

Attending both the Conservative and Labour Party Conferences, the BSIA’s CEO James Kelly led the way in championing the views of Association members, raising awareness among Parliamentarians of the issues and challenges currently facing the UK’s private security industry.

At the forefront of these discussions was the transition to a new regulatory regime, and in particular the urgent need for clarity from the Government on the timings and costs involved.

James Kelly: CEO at the British Security Industry Association

James Kelly: CEO at the British Security Industry Association

Primary legislation: the essential next step

“Primary legislation is an essential next step in the transition to a new regulatory regime, effecting the change in status of the Security Industry Authority (SIA), the introduction of new enforcement powers and the transfer of responsibility for the industry’s quality hallmark – currently the Approved Contractor Scheme – to industry,” explained Kelly.

“Perhaps the most important of these changes is the granting of new civil enforcement powers to the Security Industry Authority (SIA), which would give the organisation the power to issue penalty fines or take legal action against companies breaching the terms of their licence.”

Kelly continued: “Recently, there has been talk of a ‘half-way house’, by which the introduction of business licencing would be effected through secondary legislation without granting civil enforcement powers to the SIA. It’s our view that this compromise could potentially threaten the current standards of professionalism within our industry, as it increases the risk of lower-level and semi-serious breaches going unpunished, in turn increasing the risk to customers and the public.”

The BSIA’s leader added: “Despite the necessity of primary legislation, the failure of Government to identify a suitable legislative vehicle by which to enact these changes is placing the original implementation target of 2014 in real jeopardy.”

Support for the BSIA’s cause

Support for the BSIA’s cause was pledged from both Labour and Conservative politicians, as well as a number of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), many of whom depend upon private security companies to provide back office support to forces and help police officers return to front-line duty.

Hosting a networking dinner at the Conservative Party Conference with keynote speaker Lord Taylor of Holbeach (Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Home Office), the BSIA was able to explore this issue in more detail with PCCs, MPs and local council leaders.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach

Lord Taylor of Holbeach

“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,” urged Kelly. “It’s essential that the future regulatory regime continues to provide this element of reassurance.”

The BSIA’s political engagement programme is set to continue into 2014 as the Association seeks to build upon the progress made at the party conferences.

“With the 2015 General Election fast approaching, it’s important that the BSIA continues to engage with the entire political spectrum and ensures that our industry is fully represented throughout this period of transition and change,” concluded Kelly.

“The BSIA is 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 to actively represent our members’ needs.”

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Home Secretary Theresa May visits the National Security Inspectorate

Local MP Theresa May, the Home Secretary, visited the Maidenhead headquarters of the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) on Friday 27 September.

The NSI is the specialist certification body for the private security and fire sectors in the UK. The company employs 72 staff including a field force team of auditors who conduct regular visits to alarm installers, guarding companies and fire protection organisations to ensure compliance with the technical standards applicable to their specific area.

During the visit, the Home Secretary was briefed on the NSI’s role and duties and met a number of staff while also presenting silver medals to two members of the Maidenhead team who were celebrating their 20th year of working within the organisation.

Theresa May outside Sentinel House with the NSI's members of staff

Theresa May outside Sentinel House with the NSI’s members of staff

Jeff Little OBE, the CEO of NSI, commented: “We were delighted and most grateful that the Home Secretary took time out of her amazingly busy schedule to visit our headquarters on Friday. Security is close to everyone’s mind at the moment, and we at the NSI share the Government’s determination to reduce crime and maintain high standards. We talked to Theresa about a number of developments, including the recent announcements that private investigators are to be regulated and plans for the future licensing of security companies in the guarding sector.”

The visit came at a time of significant change in the security industry wherein technology is enabling far more remote monitoring and actions to be conducted via apps on a smart phone.

Wireless alarm systems are now becoming widespread and the power of the Internet, improved lenses, cameras and recording capabilities are now making it increasingly difficult for criminals to evade justice.

Domestic burglar alarms have been hugely successful in reducing the number of house burglaries over the past decade, but too many homeowners still wait until they’ve experienced the trauma of a burglary before fitting an alarm – by whihc time it’s too late.

The NSI strongly recommends that homeowners and those responsible for their business’ security choose an NSI approved company as they are independently audited to ensure continued compliance with relevant industry standards.

A domestic security advice guide can be downloaded, free of charge, from the NSI’s website at http://www.nsi.org.uk in the ‘Information Centre’.

The website also offers an NSI approved company directory to help locate a choice of suppliers for the particular security or fire safety service(s) required.

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