At some point later this year the Home Office are going to begin enforcing new licensing regulations amongst all private investigation firms based in the UK. The SIA (Security Industry Authority) will be taking over the management and enforcement of the soon to be amended Private Security Industry Act of 2001.
While at first glance this may seem like a dent in the overall effectiveness of organisations such as ours, we believe that these changes will serve only to ensure that the customer is provided with the epitome of professionalism, whilst stripping away many of the ‘cowboy’ companies that have persistently taken advantage of unwary consumers and tarnished the reputation of this industry almost beyond repair.
As of yet, there has been relatively little information released on what these changes will entail, but here’s what we know so far:
- An SIA license will be required by anyone conducting an investigation in order to obtain information about a specific person, be it their location, personal information, or their recent activities.
- From top to bottom, private investigation firms will require licensing for their employees, managers, employers, directors, supervisors, etc.
The act itself however, will not enforce licensing for the following purposes:
- The professional activities of solicitors, barristers, accountants, journalists and broadcasters.
- Any activities engaged in aid of market research.
- The accessing of any publicly available registers for reference purposes.
- Any investigation carried out with the explicit consent of the subject in question.
Failure to comply with the regulations stated throughout the act will result in anywhere up to a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment and/or a £5000 fine. This includes working without a license and supplying unlicensed staff.
While there is still time to go before they iron out the details in full, we’ve been given a pretty good idea of what changes will be made, and you can remain assured that we at Insight Investigations will continue to work with the same level of integrity and skill as we always have.