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SIA licensing decision welcomed by BRC

British Retail Consortium : 08 May, 2009  (Technical Article)
The British Retail Consortium applauds the SIA's decision not to subject in-house guards to licensing requirements
A requirement for retailers to license in-house security guards would have added nothing but unnecessary costs and bureaucracy, said the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) has today (Thursday) announced that it did not find evidence of risk or threat to public protection to justify the Government introducing regulation for in-house licensing. The Government has agreed, requesting that the issue be re-visited in three years time.

The SIA currently licenses guards employed by security firms. Its investigation considered whether there was a case for extending licensing to in-house guards.

Retailing is the UK's biggest employer of in-house guards and the BRC provided extensive evidence to the SIA of the good practice adopted by its members.

In its report the SIA accepts BRC evidence that retailers have very good recruitment processes for security staff, including criminality checks and thorough training. The report has acknowledged that, "Quite often the training is to a much higher standard than the SIA approved training."

British Retail Consortium Director General Stephen Robertson said: "The Government is right to reject licensing for in-house security guards. It would have piled new costs and bureaucracy on to hard-pressed retailers while adding nothing to public protection.

"We told the SIA that licensing could not raise retailers' standards for recruitment and training because they are already higher than the SIA requires. Its report rightly accepts this.

"We're delighted that sense has prevailed. In its report the SIA acknowledges the good practice within retail, dismissing unsubstantiated claims that this is not so.

"Ultimately retailers live or die by their reputation with customers. No responsible retailer would employ security staff who put customers at risk."

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