Get Licensed is warning that the Government’s latest proposals designed to protect public spaces from terrorist attacks will be futile unless those involved in front line security receive effective training. The company – which works with training providers throughout the UK’s private security industry – points out that the Security Industry Authority (SIA) neither offers nor endorses a qualification in counter-terrorism.
Currently, the only widespread training available is an online course delivered through the Government’s Action Counters Terrorism initiative and which takes just an hour to complete.
As reported by Risk Xtra, security minister James Brokenshire announced the plans that will require owners and operators of public spaces and venues, including businesses and councils, to take “reasonable and proportionate” measures as part of a statutory duty to keep the public safe from terrorist attacks.
Enhanced physical security
The Government’s move follows on from proposals drawn up by the family of Martyn Hett, who was among 22 people killed in the 2017 Manchester Arena suicide bombing. Along with mandatory airport-style security checks, the proposed measures may include an increase in physical security and incident response planning.
It’s understood that the ‘Protect Duty’ – which is expected to lead to an increased demand for private security officers – will not apply to smaller operators.
Get Licensed, itself a specialist training solutions provider with more than 11 years’ experience gained by working alongside fully-qualified instructors, is now calling on the Home Office and the SIA to ensure recognised training is provided to those tasked with countering any terrorist threat.
The current course required to gain a mandatory SIA security officer licence runs over three days and involves three units: working in the private security industry, working as a security officer and conflict management. Anyone wishing to become a licensed door supervisor must also undergo training in physical intervention.
Demand for licensed officers
Industry expert Anthony Milner of Get Licensed predicts an increase in demand for licensed security officers and specific terrorism-related training should the ‘Protect Duty’ be introduced.
Milner observed: “If this law is to be effective then those involved in front line security must be equipped with the necessary expertise to deliver a credible response. While I welcome any measure that improves public safety and increases the chance of neutralising any future attacks, the Home Office and the SIA must ensure the necessary training is in place to stand any chance of making a difference.”
Milner added: “I would urge James Brokenshire to ensure that the private security industry is able to respond in an effective manner by making certain that training providers are able to deliver the necessary skills to prevent or otherwise deter a terrorist attack.”