Regulation of Private Investigators

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On 31 July 2013 the Home Secretary announced the Government’s intention for the SIA to regulate private investigation activities, starting some time in 2014. I hear you ask: what has this got to do with security guarding in the East Midlands cities of Nottingham Leicester and Derby?

There had been debate over whether this area of security should be licensed, ever since the Private Security Industry Act of 2001 was introduced. Starting with Licensing for Door Supervision in 2004, other sectors including Security Guarding and Cash and Valuables In Transit, CCTV and the now demised Clamping licenses have all been introduced. This will be the first new licensing category to be introduced since 2006/7 and certainly since the decision was made to make the “new” SIA self-funding and its disassociation from the Government.

Finally, after a couple of years of doubt it seems that the SIA are putting more ideas, policies and regulations into the arena that is the security world. We are getting Business Licensing sometime next year (hopefully!) and we expect the cost of individual licenses to come down substantially. We’ve also heard news that the licensing process is to be farmed out to sub-contractors and individuals will be able to walk into their local Post Office and submit forms and identification documents directly without having to rely on the postal service.

Why Private Investigators, after such a wait and what exactly do Private Investigators do? Well, the SIA describe their activities as:

  • obtaining information about a particular person or about the activities or whereabouts of a particular person; or
  • obtaining information about the circumstances in which, or means by which, property has been lost or damaged.

Why private investigators? Some have been ruthless in obtaining evidence in an improper manner and have a shown a complete and utter disregard for data protection, Human Rights and most of all taste. Perhaps this is a good step for us all in the wider security arena.

Ref: Licensing For Private Investigators

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