Abbey Petkar, managing director of Magenta Security, has expressed “deep concerns and disappointment” in relation to recent decisions taken by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) on the Regulator’s Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS).
Petkar told Risk Xtra: “As children, so many of us will have heard teachers saying “I’m not angry with you… I’m disappointed. My feelings for the SIA are no different. Some months ago, I was excited and looking forward to pending improvements to the ACS. Those improvements were going to make us more professional as an industry and help us to develop greater trust with customers and communities. ‘Cowboy’ security firms would struggle to operate and all staff would be treated fairly by responsible employers.”
He continued: “However, much like the many campaign promises falling from the lips of Conservative Party politicians hoping to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister, the promises of the SIA appear to have been nothing more than words with little to no substance behind them. Going forward, what changes have been made are only going to impact the 20% who are voluntarily undertaking the ACS. In fact, those of us acting truly professionally and making the extra effort to achieve ACS are going to be penalised as we’re undercut by those who do nothing more than check their individual officers are licensed.”
Further, Petkar stated: “If we want to charge what we are truly worth, demonstrate our knowledge and stand shoulder to shoulder with other industries then we need to be checked and certified at a company level. The ACS is the only vehicle to do that. The latest news from the SIA means only those doing the right thing in the first place are being policed. We already had an environment where the unprofessional firms had numerous advantages. Now, the rest of us are being actively disadvantaged. As an industry, for example, we’re looked upon unfavourably by banks and credit providers who have seen companies ‘phoenix’ time after time. The SIA had an opportunity to close loopholes, yet somehow its poor choices have created even more.”
In conclusion, Petkar observed: “We had an opportunity to be a shinning example to the rest of the security world. It’s an example that’s slipping rapidly through our fingers if something isn’t done urgently to stop the rot.”