Magenta Security and SIA leaders meet to discuss future of security industry

Abbey Petkar

Abbey Petkar

Magenta Security’s managing director Abbey Petkar has met with the Security Industry Authority’s (SIA) CEO Ian Todd and Tony Holyland (head of quality and standards for the SIA) at the security company’s headquarters to discuss concerns about the lack of business licences in the security industry. 

At the meeting, they also considered other topics focused on making the security industry more professional and more robust in the face of unscrupulous players in the market. These included how the SIA’s Approved Contractor Scheme could be made more available to the 80% of the industry, which represents approximately 40% of licence holders, yet to join the voluntary scheme.

“It was obvious from the outset that Ian understands the issues the security industry faces and that he and Tony want to do more for the industry,” explained Petkar. “Ian is keen to push through changes that would enhance the whole of the security market. However he needs to convince the Home Office that the changes are needed; and more importantly wanted by stakeholders across the whole of the security sector.”

Petkar continued: “In response to the objections I’ve raised over the SIA’s handling of business licensing, they made it clear that it’s still something they wish to explore and achieve, but the political landscape means it’s currently unfeasible. However, they will continue to lobby the Home Office as and when appropriate.”

Ian Todd

Ian Todd

Despite not being able to push forward with business licensing, the SIA representatives did confirm their desire to approach the challenge from a different angle, as explained further by Petkar. “Though they’re struggling in terms of business licences, the SIA is focusing instead on the end clients, educating them on the types of security companies they should consider using to ensure they avoid cowboy firms with poor standards across a number of areas.”

The conversation also considered the overriding importance of paying security officers a decent living wage.

It was agreed that Tony Holyland would attend the next Small Business Network (SBN) meeting at Petkar’s invitation. Holyland commented that, of all the organisations set up to help the security industry understand the implementation of the Private Security Industry Act 2001, the SBN is the only one to remain in existence.

Abbey Petkar concluded: “This meeting provides a real foundation for future dialogue and commitment to positive change.  The SIA has a lot of work to do. However, under the leadership of Ian Todd I’m convinced that the future of the industry is in safe hands.”

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.

Related Posts