The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has announced the creation of two new membership Sections which aim to better align BSIA activity with recent developments across the wider security marketplace.
Resulting from the merger of the Access Control and Property and Asset Protection Sections, the new Access and Asset Protection Section will consist of companies involved in the manufacture, supply and installation of solutions that restrict, control and monitor the movement of people, assets or vehicles within, outside and around a building or site. This will now include physical protection methods such as security doors, fencing, locks, barriers, safes and strong rooms as well as electronic access control systems.
Meanwhile, the creation of a new Vacant Property Protection Section will see an existing Working Group formally recognised as a Section of BSIA membership, focusing on security measures and services introduced when a property is at increased risk of criminal attack because of a change of circumstances in its occupancy.
Commenting on the Access and Asset Protection Section, BSIA technical manager Paul Phillips stated: “We have often seen that common issues arise when looking at physical protection and associated electronic systems. By merging the two Sections, member companies can benefit from becoming involved in activities relating to both aspects.”
The former Access Control Section included a dedicated Technical Committee which drafted technical guides and provided input to British and European Standards relating to the sector. The Technical Committee will continue to operate under the auspices of the new Section, with proposals also including the creation of a new Technical Committee for the Access and Asset Protection Section designed to handle matters requiring detailed work specific to the area of physical protection.
Chairing the new Access and Asset Protection Section is Mike Sussman of TDSi, previously chairman of the Access Control Section. Commenting on the new merged Section, Sussman stated: “The merger between Access Control and Asset Protection strengthens the two original Sections. The merger will enhance technical meetings such that all areas of access control are now covered for all end user markets. I’m looking forward to the ongoing growth of this Section throughout the year as we continue to educate the market.”
The initial focus of the Vacant Property Protection Section will be the completion of work at the BSI on BS 8584, the British Sandard for Vacant Property Protection. This will provide a benchmark against which customers can compare providers to ensure they receive a high quality service.
This British Standard will build upon the BSIA’s own Code of Practice for vacant property protection (Form 154).
*For more information about the BSIA’s Sections of membership visit www.bsia.co.uk/sections
BSIA responds to Labour Party’s plans for ‘protecting police numbers’
The BSIA has called for increased partnership working between the police and the private security industry in response to the Labour Party’s pledge to guarantee neighbourhood policing in every area.
The private sector has a significant role to play in assisting police forces across the UK who’ve been tasked with making efficiency savings over the next few years. Police forces across the country have been placed under unprecedented financial pressure as public spending has been reigned in, meaning forces have had to seek alternative service delivery methods, in turn often outsourcing back office and support services to private security sector providers.
In December, the Home Office confirmed police forces in England and Wales would have their central Government funding cut by almost 5% for 2015-2016 – a cash reduction of £299 million compared with 2014-2015 meaning that financial pressure on forces across the UK looks set to continue.
Areas in which the private security industry can help include – among other things – managing cordons, area searches, managing custody suites and the transportation of offenders.
Security providers are also experienced in providing contingency support to the police service during times of crisis and natural disaster.
Responding to Labour’s pledge, the BSIA is reinforcing the importance of continued partnership working as being key to the success of neighbourhood policing, and in particular forces’ ability to return front line officers to the beat.
“Returning warranted officers to front line duty is a core benefit of outsourcing back office and support functions to private security personnel,” commented James Kelly, CEO of the BSIA. “Whichever political party or coalition comes to power in May will face the challenge of delivering high standards of policing against continued economic pressures. As such, liaison with the private security industry will be the key to any reforms proposed by a new Government.”
Kelly also stated: “Reducing the number of police officers doesn’t necessarily increase the risk of crime as there is a sizeable and capable private security industry that already delivers significant cost and efficiency savings to police forces across the country, enabling better allocation of resources and more expenditure on vital front line areas.”
According to a report published by PRCI, entitled: ‘The Opportunities and Barriers to Partnership Working Between the Police and the Private Sector’, such partnerships could save the taxpayer up to £1 billion which would then make a further contribution towards easing the pressure on forces having to cut front line resources.