A significant report detailing the results of a survey concerning an industry-wide reduction in the numbers of security and stewarding personnel has now been published by the United Kingdom Crowd Management Association (UKCMA).
The finalised report delivered by the University of Derby has been agreed with the Football Safety Officers Association and the Security Industry Authority (SIA). Supporting data was provided by the SIA regarding the number of licence renewals, which have seen a reduction of nearly 40% since 2013, but the overriding aim of the survey was to gather more detailed factual evidence to explain this trend.
Both buyers and suppliers in the security industry were invited to take part in the inaugural survey in order to share their views and provide the necessary data required to benchmark the current state of the industry. The survey attracted a phenomenal response from industry experts, and the findings will now be used to catalyse discussions and identify ways in which positive action can be taken.
As a result of the report’s key findings, some suggested actions include:
*Diverting monies from the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy – which is unsuitable in terms of supporting the night-time economy – into training funds
*Creating qualifications beyond the restrictions of the NVQ to improve opportunities for people to work in the industry, including upfront, flexible training which is relevant to a multitude of venues and environments
*Ensuring the private security sector has the necessary resources to play a key role in counter-terrorism, meet increased demand and enhance public safety in the wake of several terrorist attacks on the UK earlier this year
UKCMA members have agreed that, in many cases – and especially so over the busy summer period – security providers have been working at maximum capacity and more resources will be required to meet future demand. This presents an opportunity for more licence holders to enter the industry, and particularly so if Government funding can be secured to assist with this process.
Mark Harding, chair of the UKCMA and managing director at crowd and event security management specialist Showsec, commented: “It’s really encouraging that the industry has recognised there’s a problem, as this acquisition of evidence is all in the interests of public safety. The next stage is to engage stakeholders to find solutions. The Government needs to collaborate with industry authorities on an action plan designed to address the deficiencies in the skills and number of security personnel. The private security industry must have the capability and capacity to meet not only ongoing business, but any upsurge in demand caused by one-off incidents.”