James Kelly, Chief Executive of the BSIA has today issued the following response to comments published in the London Evening Standard which were ill-informed and misleading about the private security industry:
"It was with great displeasure that I read your distinctly ill-informed comments about private sector security personnel in your London Evening Standard column (24th May 2017). Your comments about 'dozy private sector security personnel' are not only unfounded, but also hugely damaging to the public's confidence in an industry that plays an essential role in keeping them safe.
"Private sector security personnel are not docile or incompetent as you lead your readers to believe, but rather, trained, licensed and regulated professionals whose comprehensive training prepares them to support the emergency services, not only during this type of atrocity, but also in the day-to-day protection of the public. Indeed, private security personnel would have been the first responders on Monday night, running into the face of danger to assist the injured. It is abhorrent that just days after this terrible event, you have publicly offended, humiliated and de-valued the very people that were willing to put their lives on the line, to provide life-saving first aid to others.
"Your assertion that public events would be safer if security personnel were to be replaced by people trained in psychological profiling, merely serves to highlight your ignorance on this subject. Many private security personnel are now trained in counter-terror awareness through Project Griffin, specialist training which is voluntarily undertaken by the private security industry and equips personnel with specialist skills in areas such as response to suspicious items, hostile reconnaissance, bombs, firearms and weapons attacks. This is all in the interest of working in partnership with the police to deter, detect and counter terrorist activity and crime."
James Kelly, Chief Executive, British Security Industry Association