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Security Industry Authority

Volume 698: debated on Thursday 31 January 2008

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Crime Reduction (Vernon Coaker) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Following the Home Secretary's Statement of 13 December 2007, I should like to update the House on the latest position regarding the revocation of Security Industry Authority licences following immigration checks.

As the Home Secretary said in the Statement on 13 December, the SIA contacted some 10,500 individuals to inform them they were minded to revoke their licences as a consequence of checks which indicated no right to work or where the BIA was not satisfied that the individual had the right to work. Licence holders had up to 21 days to respond to the SIA with further information challenging the intention to revoke, and a further 21 days in which to appeal to the magistrates’ or sheriff courts. Both of the 21-day periods have now elapsed.

Information is today being made available on the SIA's register of licence holders on some 7,000 individuals who have had their licences revoked. SIA will update its advice to employers. Some 3,000 challenges to the minded-to-revoke letter are currently being processed.

As the Home Secretary informed the House on 13 December, the BIA has been carrying out targeted enforcement activity in relation to illegal working in the security industry, focusing on visits to employers and workplaces where SIA checks suggest there may be a repeated use or significant presence of illegal migrant workers.

The BIA is screening and prioritising cases for investigation where employers have blatantly failed to comply with the law on the prevention of illegal working, and where individuals have committed criminal offences, including where this includes the use of false identities or forged documents. Individuals with adverse immigration records or who may pose a risk to the public are being prioritised for removal.