Violence at Work (UK)

Hiring Security Guards

For a number of reasons, increasing numbers of organisations are employing security guards these days. Primarily, the reason is loss prevention.

If you are considering hiring security guards to prevent and control a prevailing risk of violence, you need to know what is written below.


Private Security Legislation

The Private Security Industry Act 2001 regulates the Private Security Industry and, subject to some exceptions, makes it an offence to work in certain designated sectors of the industry without an appropriate licence and also to employ an unlicensed person.

To read the full text of the Private Security Industry Act 2001: Click here


Warning: It is not unknown for Security companies to supply staff who are not suitably Licenced

For example:

In July and August 2008 at Peterborough Magistrates Court, five security guards employed by Central Security (East Anglia) Limited were found guilty of working without SIA licences. More info

In October 2008, at a hearing at Nottingham Magistrates' Court, James Turner, 48, chief executive of Stealth Security pleaded guilty to 24 charges of deploying unlicensed operatives. He was sentenced to a 12-month community punishment order, with 40 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay costs of £1,000. More info

Ensure the people who guard your premises are appropriately trained

In order to qualify for their Licence to practice, security guards will need to have received the training required by the Security Industry Association (SIA).

However, security hirer's should be aware that, at present, the training required by the SIA to qualify for a Security Guard Licence does not include any training in the physical management of violent people, or how to physically eject trespassers, or how to respond to criminal offenders who resist arrest.

So, if these situations are likely to arise in the couse of their employment (for example, Hospital A&E Departments, Pubs, Nightclubs, Retail Outlets, Benefits Agencies, Public Events, etc.), additional training will be needed before the security guards can safely be deployed.


Inadequate training puts everyone at risk!

Inadequate or inappropriate training means management have no real control over the way staff behave. It leaves the Security Guards at risk of being injured and it puts the public at risk of physical abuse by the Security staff. It also leaves the security service provider (and the contracting organisation) vulnerable to criticism and liablity for adverse outcomes.


Specify training requirements in contractual terms

Service requirers are strongly advised to specify training requirements in their contractual terms with security service providers.


Precautionary measures and considerations

Local Authorities and others looking to contract for a security guard presence in response to a risk of violence or other criminality should also ensure that the Guards they are going to be relying on:

  • Are suitably Licenced by the SIA to carry out the duties they are expected to perform.

  • Are going to be deployed in sufficient numbers to safely manage situations that may be foreseeable based on Risk Assessment (i.e. not the number of security staff required by the Local Authority's Licensing department!)

  • Have been issued with suitable (workable) guidance - and procedures - to follow in incidents where violence is a factor

  • Understand their instructions, their responsibilities and the law

  • Fully appreciate the rights of others

  • Know the danger of causing asphxyiation during physical restraint - and what methods and what signs and symptoms present a high risk of it happening.

  • Are suitably supported to carry out their purpose effectively, safely and in a client centered way.

  • Can demonstrate competance (Trained / Experienced)


If you are contracting in Security Guards, get 'Best Value'

The European Union has developed an extensive legislative framework to cover public procurement that is designed to drive standards up by freeing local authorities to award contracts on the basis of Best Value.

The concept of Best Value seeks to take into account not only a favourable price, but also the quality elements of a bid for service provision.

The tendering of security services falls under the remit of the European Services Directive (Council Directive 92/50/EEC) and now allows local authorities to award contracts to the "economically most advantageous tender".

Supporting this, a handbook has been produced for use by adjudicating authorities that provides a checklist of criteria for assessing the quality of private security services. This highlights the value to end users of taking these criteria into consideration and it also provides an excellent system for quotes which enables bids to be assessed according to criteria of both price and quality.

You can get it FREE by visiting the web site.


FREE Training for Security Guards?

AEGIS Protective Services have provided a free (online) training programme designed to eliminate doubts and uncertainties about:

  •  Legal Authority

  • Statutory Responsibilities - Health & Safety

The primary objectives are to develop ability to manage incidents where violence is a factor.

To view it now: Click Here


Do you want to ensure your Security provider is meeting contractual expectations?

Have you considered the advantages of the service provided by the Security Watchdog? If you are responsible for running a manned guarding service and want to ensure your personnel are meeting your service quality expectations you will be interested in this company's services too.


Who inspects the Security Industry?

The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) is the new national body inspecting firms providing security systems across the UK. It brings together two well established organisations, National Approval Council for Security Systems (NACOSS), and the Inspectorate of the Security Industry (ISI) covering electronic services and manned services respectively..