“Lack of training will devalue ‘Protect Duty’ proposal” warns Get Licensed

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

James Brokenshire MP

James Brokenshire MP

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

Anthony Milner

Anthony Milner

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.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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