HEALTH & SAFETY
Live Industry

The Security Industry Authority has warned that inaction by door supervisors in the South East and London may force pubs and clubs to close if licensees cannot employ enough licensed door staff. Insufficient numbers of the South East’s door staff have applied for their new door supervisor licence. However pubs, clubs and venues have countered the SIA’s press announcement saying that numerous staff have applied for badges but the SIA’s own examiners are far too slow in coming back with results for applicants, slowing the whole process down.

From 28 February in the South East region and from 11 April in Greater London it will be a legal requirement for all door staff to hold a new Security Industry Authority (SIA) door supervisor licence. All local authority registration schemes will cease. There has been widespread publicity of the new licensing scheme, and door staff in the South East of England have been able to apply for their new licences since 25 October 2004. The SIA commented that “The South East and London benefit from a vibrant night-time economy and the public deserve a high level of service from door staff when they go out to pubs, clubs and bars. An SIA door supervisor licence demonstrates that the holder has undergone identity and criminal record checks and has reached set levels of training and professional standards”. Door supervisors and their managers working without an SIA licence risk prosecution and damage their eligibility to be licensed in the future. Premises licence holders using unlicensed door staff put their premises’ licence at risk. To attain an SIA door supervisor licence applicants must: undergo a four-day training course and attain a Level 2 qualification in door supervision (some exemptions to training may be allowed); undergo an identity check; undergo a criminal record check. Door supervisors working in the South East excluding Greater London require a licence by 28 Feb 05. Door supervisors working in Greater London require a licence by 11 April 2005. A list of door supervisor training providers is on the SIA website – http://www.the-sia.org.uk and licence application packs can be obtained form (UK) 08702 430 100. The maximum penalty at a Magistrates Court for a person found guilty of working as a door supervisor without an SIA licence is a 00 fine and or six months imprisonment.

However there is concern that the door supervisors programme outlined above will lack a framework for supervision. The Magistrate Magazine (January 2005) reported that in one English county, East Sussex, the SIA has just ‘one tenth’ of the resources previously in place with possibly just one officer to supervise the entire county which includes the bustling towns of Brighton and Hastings.

The SIA has put a brake on the continuing of its developing regulatory programme after admitting it was not in a position to implement the next stages of the regulatory framework for the private security industry. To the fury of consumer groups, the SIA has announced that the next phase of regulation, initially for private car clamping companies, has been suspended indefinitely despite the SIA setting this timetable itself. This position will be reviewed in June. Only a small proportion of wheel clamping companies had applied for accreditation and it is suggested that the marking and results of examinations set for clampers had not been completed.
See: The Times 16 February 2005 and http://www.the-sia.org.uk