As a leading private investigator association, WAPI, the World Association of Private Investigators have not welcomed the proposals spelled out by the Security Industry Authority to bring the investigation sectors licensing under their regulations.
The subject of regulating private investigators and investigations agencies have come under the spotlight many times over the last decade, none more so than in recent months due to the phone hacking scandal and revelations that followed about individuals trading as private investigators carrying out illegal services for financial gain.
After attending the SIA conference in Sheffield yesterday and listening to the proposals laid out by Baroness Ruth Henig, Chair for the SIA, to bring the PI sector under their control and regulations. Baroness Heig laid out some very strange terms for anybody wanting a license in the industry. She said “The SIA have been asked to give a report to the Levinson enquiry to review the feasibility of licensing the Private Investigator Sector. There are also sectors of the industry where we have not yet reached our goal.”
All business that operate within the licensed sector will be required to be licensed. The SIA stated that they are looking towards 2014 when it will be an offence to trade as a business within the licensed sector without being registered, and it would appear that the criteria for this will be quite stringent.
•No HMRC issues
•No PAYE issues
•No company accounts filing issues
•No Criminal Convictions
•No prior bankruptcy issues or liquidation issues
This has already been met with fierce resistance from UK & EU Regulation and Press Governing Member of WAPI; Ian Withers.
Mr Withers said of the proposed SIA action “This is beyond ridiculous. It must be obvious that a Government Authority cannot legally deny employment on the basis of unpaid taxes or indeed historic debt Issues. This will be undoubtedly be challenged at great cost to the taxpayers. After all, some of the UK’s most successful Businesses and Businessmen have risen from the ashes of previous financial disasters.”
Such proposed action from the SIA is sure to upset many members and non-members of WAPI and other related bodies, the reality is licensing is fully supported by many investigation agencies but that it needs to be done in a reasonable, realistic manner for the overall gain of the public, not just for proposers such as the SIA to rule over.