“Rogue traders continuing to blight guarding sector” warns Magenta Security’s leader

Abbey Petkar

Abbey Petkar

Magenta Security’s managing director Abbey Petkar has called for more progress to be made on business licensing for security companies in the wake of news that a security firm has been under investigation for allegedly supplying cloned Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence cards and unlicensed stewards at UK festivals.

Petkar suggests that this incident must ring alarm bells throughout the industry and is a signal that SIA licences for businesses will protect the future of the guarding sector.

Petkar commented: “It’s obvious that rogue traders, whether individuals or organisations, are still blighting the industry and that more needs to be done. Too many times, I’ve witnessed customers realise they’ve made a costly mistake by working with these companies.”

In conversation with Risk UK, Petkar continued: “Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to tell the legitimate providers of professional security services from the rogue operators. That’s why I think it’s essential that further regulation is required in the form of business licensing. Tougher regulation would ensure that all legitimate security service providers are licensed at a company level in addition to the individual officers themselves. Not only would this benefit professional security companies, but ultimately the safety of the purchasing clients as well.”

Petkar went on to state: “With such a large number of people operating in the industry, it’s necessary to improve regulation to maintain the legitimacy, standards and reputation of firms and individuals who provide a quality service. Change isn’t going to happen overnight, but it’s something our industry desperately needs. I hope that progress is made on the introduction of business licensing very soon such that we can continue to improve the reputation of the guarding sector.”

Petkar feels that, as Parliament will be focused on Brexit, thus allowing for little time to be spent on other legislation, the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) should become mandatory.

He added: “Legislative time to discuss business licensing will not be available. However, if the current ACS framework was used and made compulsory, it would allow security companies to become accredited and offer a platform on which buyers can be assured that they’re dealing with reputable organisations. This is something which should be considered as a viable alternative until such time that business licensing can be introduced.”


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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