Call for progress on business licensing

by Mark Rowe

A guarding company MD has urged more progress on business licensing for security companies. It was recently announced that a security firm was under investigation for allegedly supplying cloned badges and unlicensed stewards at UK festivals. Managing Director of Magenta Security Abbey Petkar says this incident must ring alarm bells throughout the industry and is a signal that licences for business will protect the sector.

Petkar said: “It is obvious rogue traders, whether individuals or organisations, are still blighting the industry and more needs to be done. Too many times I have witnessed customers realise they have made a costly mistake by working with these companies.

“Unfortunately, it is not always easy to tell the legitimate providers of professional security services from the rogue operators. And that’s why I think it is essential that further regulation is required, in the form of business licences. Tougher regulation would ensure that all legitimate security service providers are licensed at a firm-level in addition to the individual officers. Not only would it benefit professional security companies, but ultimately the safety of our clients.

“With such a large amount of people operating in an industry, it is necessary to improve regulation to maintain the legitimacy, standards and the reputation of firms and individuals that provide a quality service. Change is not going to happen overnight but it is something our industry desperately needs, and I hope that progress is made on the introduction of business licenses soon so we can continue to improve the reputation of the industry.”

He believes that as Parliament’s focus will be on Brexit, allowing for little time to be spent on other legislation, that the current voluntary ACS scheme should become mandatory. He adds: “Legislative time to discuss business licences will not be available. However, if the current ACS framework was used and became compulsory, it would allow security companies to become accredited and offer a platform on which people can be assured that they are dealing with reputable organisations, and I believe this is something which should be considered as a viable alternative until such a time business licences can be introduced.”

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