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Security Industry Authority

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his estimate is of the number of unregistered door supervisors and security guards operating in (a) each English region and (b) the Tees Valley. (63132)

It is not possible to calculate the numbers of licensed or unlicensed security guards and door supervisors on a regional basis. The national figures for England and Wales are as follows. The Security Industry Authority (SIA) estimate that there are about 183,000 people who require a licence to work in the private security industry. As of 5 July, the SIA had accepted 162,452 complete applications, granted 119,653 licences, and refused 4,231. The remaining 38,568 applications were in the SIA’s processing system. On that date there were also 213 companies with Approved Contractor status legally able to deploy about 15,450 of their staff while their licence applications were being processed.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his latest estimate is of the number of people employed and working in the security industry who have not yet received a Security Industry Authority licence. (71953)

The Security Industry Authority’s (SIA’s) most recent estimate is that about 183,000 individuals require a licence to work in the private security industry. As at 5 July, the SIA had accepted 162,452 complete applications, granted 119,653 licences, and refused 4,231. The remaining 38,568 applications were in the SIA’s processing system. On that date there were also 213 companies with Approved Contractor status legally able to deploy about 15,450 of their staff while their licence applications were being processed.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Security Industry Authority in awarding licences to security personnel; and if he will make a statement. (74129)

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) estimate that there are about 183,000 people who require a licence to work in the private security industry. As of 5 July, the SIA had accepted 162,452 complete applications, granted 119,653 licences, and refused 4,231. The remaining 38,568 applications were in the SIA’s processing system. On that date there were also 213 companies with Approved Contactor status legally able to deploy about 15,450 of their staff while their licence applications were being processed.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of contracted security guards that are currently working without licences. (79301)

[holding answer 21 June 2006]: The Security Industry Authority’s (SIA’s) most recent estimate is that about 183,000 individuals require a licence to work in the private security industry. As at 5 July, the SIA had accepted 162,452 complete applications, granted 119,653 licences, and refused 4,231. The remaining 38,568 applications were in the SIA’s processing system. On that date there were also 213 companies with Approved Contractor status legally able to deploy about 15,450 of their staff while their licence applications were being processed.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average length of time taken to process licence applications for operatives working in the private security industry was from the date the application was submitted to the date the licence was issued, in each month since April 2005. (79304)

[holding answer 21 June 2006]: The Security Industry Authority (SIA) do not calculate the average processing times for applications. Some, such as those involving overseas criminal records checks, unavoidably take a considerable time. The SIA have a published target of processing 80 per cent. of all applications within six weeks, measured from the date that a properly completed application enters the processing system to the date that a licence is issued.

Since September 2005, there has been a backlog of applications that have been waiting to enter the system. These have added an additional time of between four and six weeks to the process, so it is now taking up to 12 weeks to process most applications.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the licence applications submitted by operatives working in the private security industry (a) are currently being processed, (b) have been granted and (c) were returned to the applicants because they were completed incorrectly. (79305)

[holding answer 21 June 2006]: On 5 July, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) had 38,568 applications in their processing system, and had granted 119,653 licences. Over the past six months, the average monthly number of incomplete applications returned to applicants has been about 2,800.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many licence applications were held for processing by the Security Industry Authority on 1 March. (62302)

23,413 licence applications were held in the Security Industry Authority’s processing system on 1 March 2006.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average length of time taken was to process applications for Security Industry Authority licences in the latest period for which figures are available. (82490)

[holding answer 4 July 2006]: The Security Industry Authority (SIA) do not calculate the average processing times for applications. Some, such as those involving overseas criminal records checks, unavoidably take a considerable time. The SIA have a published target of processing 80 per cent. of all applications within six weeks, measured from the date that a properly completed application enters the processing system to the date that a licence is issued.

Since September 2005, there has been a backlog of applications that have been waiting to enter the system. These have added an additional time of between four and six weeks to the process, so it is now taking up to 12 weeks to process most applications.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for Security Industry Authority licences are being processed. (82491)

[holding answer 4 July 2006]: As of 5 July, the Security Industry Authority had 38,568 applications in its processing system.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to allow applicants for Security Industry Authority licences to work if the processing of their licences is delayed. (82492)

[holding answer 4 July 2006]: Applicants who have been trained and whose applications are being processed by the Security Industry Authority can be legally deployed under the Licence Dispensation arrangements available to approved contractors. On 5 July there were approximately 15,450 people who could be legally deployed under Licence Dispensation.