Private Security Industry Act 2001: Scotland
63.The Private Security Industry Act 2001 introduced a mandatory national licensing scheme for certain categories of persons working in the private security industry, namely: door supervisors, security guards, wheel clampers, private investigators, key holders and security consultants. The 2001 Act also provides for a voluntary approved contractor scheme (although with powers to make it mandatory) and established the Security Industry Authority (SIA) as the industry regulator (www.the-sia.org.uk). The SIA began the licensing of door supervisors in March 2005 and will roll out the licensing of other security operatives through to 2006. The 2001 Act currently extends only to England and Wales.
64.In September 2001 the Scottish Executive issued a consultation paper ‘Regulating the Private Security Industry in Scotland’(6) on options for regulating the industry in Scotland. The consultation canvassed four options:
Extend the remit of the SIA to cover Scotland;
Establish a separate Scottish SIA; and
Introduce a mandatory local authority licensing system.
65.72 responses were received to the consultation. The Scottish Executive subsequently announced in March 2003(7) that it had concluded that the most effective and efficient means of regulating the private security industry in Scotland would be by extending the remit of the SIA to Scotland. This included the possibility of extending regulation to include precognition agents in Scotland. During 2003 the Executive separately undertook a further informal consultation with interested parties which confirmed that there was widespread support for this.