Select Committee on Defence Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


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 threat.

  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.

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