Memorandum submitted by The Joint Security
Industry Council (12 February 2002)
1. The Joint Security Industry Council considered
the invitation to submit evidence to the House of Commons Defence
Committee in regard to the subject currently under consideration
by the Committee.
2. The introduction of the Anti Terrorism,
Crime and Security Act 2001 is warmly welcomed. However, section
7 (61) of the Act, allows that at times considered appropriate
to the Home Office, the names, addresses, nationality and date
of birth of those with access must be submitted for vetting. We
believe that this vetting takes place before such people are employed
on sensitive work or have access to special materials, chemical
and biological samples that could provide weapons grade enhancements.
Here we refer to those who are working at Universities as students,
especially from abroad, and those persons working in such sensitive
areas in industry.
3. We believe that with the introduction
of the Private Security Industry Act 2001 together with the creation
of the new Security Industry Authority, that the private security
industry should be allowed to play an important part in support
of the Police Service and the military in countering the terrorist
4. It is considered that with more than
250,000 security guards employed in providing the physical security
presence at places of work, shopping malls, schools, universities,
defence establishments, to name but a few, as well as the considerable
numbers of door supervisors, estimated at around 500,000 UK wide
there could be a further group of "eyes and ears" for
the security authorities.
5. It is important that all such "auxiliary"
groups as described above be subject to appropriate training.
The Security Service, who would be responsible for training the
trainers, should set the standards for this training. The training
of the private sector would lie more appropriately with the Police
Service, each of the 43 different police forces providing this
training on a regional basis.
6. Such trained private security officers
would all have to be licensed under the aegis of the new Security
Industry Authority prior to receiving such training. Training
records would have to be kept which would be subject to scrutiny
by the Security Service, as would the quality and standard of
the training provided. This would ensure that standards are being
maintained across the country.
7. The costs of this training should, be
borne by Government. This training is part of the national interest.
8. We believe that there is a vast untapped
resource within the private industry that should be used to support
and protect the Homeland from terrorist attacks.
9. We believe that this excellent guarding
organisation should be armed. The MGS are all crown servants,
and under the terms of the Firearms Act they are covered.
10. Moreover, they would, in emergency or
extremis, be able to provide the necessary armed support to the
MDP and the Armed Services who may be deployed away from their
military or defence establishments to protect other Key Points.
The current strength and commitments of the regular and reserve
armed forces may be insufficient to cover both KP's and military
establishments together, unless it was a sustained emergency that
required the callout of reserve forces.
11. There is no question or requirement
for the private security industry to be armed. It does not need
to be nor does it expect to be armed just because the MGS may
be authorised to carry arms.