Licensing Plan for Security Officers in Scotland Hits Snag

Despite requirements, more than half of potential licensees not signed up


MORE than half of Scotland's bouncers and security firms have failed to sign up to a licensing scheme that comes into force in a week.

New rules introduced by regulatory body the Security Industry Authority will affect around 17,000 security and door staff in Scotland, including up to 7000 in the Glasgow area.

But a week before the scheme, which is designed to get rid of rogue security workers, comes into force only 8000 have secured the licence they will need to do their job.

It means up to 9000 workers could face fines of up to GBP5000 or six months in prison for not having the required paperwork.

Security Industry Authority bosses say the industry has known about the legislation, which is effective from next Thursday, for two years and people have had plenty of time to apply for a licence.

A spokeswoman said: "There are always going to be those who think they do not need a licence, but there is no reason why they should not have one. No-one can say they did not know about it.

"Our mantra has always been - be licensed and be legal."

From next Thursday door supervisors, security guards, CCTV operators and bodyguards will all require a licence.

The documents, which come with a photographic security badge and individual number, are approved and distributed by SIA, which manages licensing of the private security industry in the UK.

They show the individual is properly trained, qualified and fit and proper for the role.

Those requiring a licence should have applied by the beginning of September to ensure they received their badge.

However, licensing experts believe there are a backlog of applications still being dealt that has been partly caused by the recent postal strike.

Eddie Tobin, of Glasgow Nightclub Forum, said: "In recent weeks there has been an enormous number of applications, but they have not been processed.

"The SIA said it would take four to six weeks to process, but that has been extended to eight.

"You would be mad to to think everybody will have their badge by next week, but they should have applied for one.

"I am sure there are some people who are ignoring the legislation, but that is a foolish thing to do."

TIMESFILE

More than 100,000 doormen are employed by UK pubs and clubs.

The tough legislation comes in on November 1 but was first proposed in 2003. It brings Scotland in line with England and Wales.

Criminal record and identity checks are mandatory for anyone wanting to work as a doorman and they must undergo training.

It will be an offence to work in the security business without a licence