Magenta Security MD Abbey Petkar met with SIA Chief Executive Ian Todd and Tony Holyland (SIA Head of Quality & Standards) at Magenta HQ last month to discuss concerns about the lack of business licences in the security industry. They also considered other topics focused on making the security industry more professional and more robust in the face of unscrupulous players in the market. This included how the ACS could be made more available to the 80% of the industry, which represents approximately 40% of licence holders, yet to join the voluntary scheme.
“It was obvious from the outset that Ian understood the issues the security industry faces and that Ian and Tony want to do more for the Industry. Ian is keen to push through changes that would enhance the whole of the security market, however he needs to convince the Home Office that the changes are needed; and more importantly wanted by stakeholders across the whole of the security sector,” comments Abbey Petkar, managing director of Magenta Security. “In response to the objections I have raised over the SIA’s handling of business licensing they made it clear that it is still something they wish to explore and achieve but the political landscape means it is currently unfeasible, however they will continue to lobby the Home Office as and when appropriate.”
Despite not being able to push forward with business licensing, the SIA representatives did however confirm their desire to approach the challenge from a different angle as explained further by Abbey. “Though they are struggling in terms of business licences, the SIA is focusing instead on the end clients, educating them on the types of security companies they should consider using to ensure they avoid cowboy firms with poor standards across a number of areas.”
The conversation also considered the importance of paying guards a decent living wage – to avoid modern day slavery; customer service levels and environmental issues, all of which are fundamental to Magenta’s business practices and ethos.
It was agreed that Tony Holyland would attend the next SBN (Small Business Network) meeting at Abbey’s invitation. Tony commented that he believes that of all the organisations set up to help the security industry understand the implementation of the Security Act, the SBN is the only one to remain in existence, and that he looked forward to attending the meeting.
Abbey concludes: “The meeting provides a real foundation for future dialog and commitment to positive change. The SIA has a lot of work to do. However, under the leadership of Ian Todd I am convinced that the outlook for the future of the industry is in safe hands.