With Conference season upon us, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), has been busy championing the views of the private security industry; planning and attending meetings with MPs, Ministers, Peers, PCCs and think tanks at the Labour party conference (which is already underway) and the Conservative party conference next week.
At the forefront of the BSIA’s agenda is the ongoing issue of business licensing and regulation, with discussions also set to focus on garnering support for grant funding to allow businesses to export to growing markets around the world. Also on the agenda is the BSIA’s latest research into the number and scope of CCTV cameras in the UK and how the Association’s findings relate to the Government’s CCTV Code of Practice.
With such a wide array of meetings planned, the BSIA’s Chief Executive, James Kelly, will be championing the views of the Association’s members whilst also raising awareness among Parliamentarians of the industry and the challenges it faces.
With regulatory change featuring highly on the agenda, Mr Kelly commented: “The Government has failed to identify a legislative vehicle by which to enact these changes, placing the Government’s original implementation target of 2015 in real jeopardy. The BSIA – as part of the Security Regulation Alliance – has been at the heart of these negotiations and still has hope that the industry can achieve clarity on a future regulatory regime within the current Parliament.”
Support for the BSIA’s cause has been pledged by Members across all parties, as well as a significant number of Police & Crime Commissioners (PCCs), many of whom use private security companies to provide back-office support to their police forces, allowing officers to spend more time on front-line duty and less time focused on paperwork.
This year’s conference season sees the BSIA almost double its contact with Parliamentarians when compared to previous years, with many MPs set to receive their first ever briefing on the work of the BSIA and the industry. Amongst those set to meet with James Kelly are Baroness Smith of Basildon, Shadow Home Affairs Minister for Private Security, Jack Dromey, Shadow Minister for Policing, Owen Paterson, previously Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Secretary of State for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and David T.C.Davies, Chairman of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee.
As well as meetings with politicians, many meetings have been arranged with PCCs from across the country. Reflecting on this, Mr Kelly said: “The standards set and maintained by industry regulation and licensing is key to the ability of police forces across the UK to place their trust in private security suppliers, and it is essential that the future regulatory regime continues to provide this element of reassurance.” This message will be enforced when meeting with PCCs, to ensure that the partnerships between BSIA member companies and various police forces are actively promoted for the benefits they bring.
Mr Kelly concluded: “With the 2015 General Election just around the corner, it is important that the BSIA continues to engage with all parties to ensure that our industry is fully represented in the crucial policy development period running up to the election. The BSIA is proud of its role as the voice of the UK’s private security industry and we are looking forward to building upon our success at conference to actively represent our members’ needs.”
To find out more about the BSIA’s political work and lobbying follow our Public Affairs team on twitter via @bsiapolitics