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SIA Approved Contractor - Security Guarding & Key Holding

Fraudulent security guards – a welcome exposé

If you’ve read the BBC’s article about fraudulent security guard qualifications, you’ll understand why the Thames Security team is delighted.

The security industry has been tarnished for years by firms which operate outside the law.  The reputations of honest and ethical companies have been damaged by cowboys employing unskilled, untrained and unlicensed guards.

By law, every security officer in the UK (including door security staff) must be licensed by the SIA (Security Industry Association).  If they work without a license, they are breaking the law. If a security company employs an unlicensed guard, they are breaking the law too and they have got away with it for too long.

Security officers don’t automatically qualify for a license – they must:

  1. Pass an identity check
  2. Undergo a criminal records check
  3. Hold an SIA approved training qualification

And it’s this SIA approved training qualification that the BBC has exposed.  Firstly, let me say there are a large number of good, ethical companies who deliver first class training to the security industry.

Then there’s the other ones.

We know who these dishonest training companies are and we wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole.  They’ve offered us their services, so the BBC article doesn’t come as any great shock to us here at Thames Security.

Why, you might ask, haven’t we reported them?  Let me assure you – we have.  That’s why we’re so pleased to read this article on the BBC website.  Now perhaps something will be done to enforce the law, close down the cowboy operators and protect the public, the business community and the UK’s ethical security companies.

So what’s been going on?  Well, the BBC sent an undercover reporter posing as a security industry recruit to two London colleges for ‘training’.  The BBC’s scandalous discoveries included training being ‘fast tracked’ – condensing 140 hours into just three.  The reporter was told to falsify his qualifications and to copy large sections of somebody else’s exam paper.

An SIA spokesperson says “We take allegations of training malpractice seriously. When the BBC shares the information it is holding on training malpractice, we will take immediate action against the licensed individuals concerned in order to protect public safety.”

A Home Office representative was quoted as saying “We take allegations of malpractice very seriously and any criminal behaviour will be addressed.

Let’s hope they do just that.  The Home Office and the SIA have teeth – now it’s time they started to bite.

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