Posted on: Friday, 7 August 2015

Is violence just part and parcel of work in the security industry? Should we just shrug and accept that there’s nothing we can do about it?

That’s not the position taken by the SIA. They are of the view that positive change can be made.  In fact, according to their July Newsletter, reducing violence within the security industry will be their top priority for 2015/16 and beyond.

The announcement follows independent research commissioned by the SIA. Carried out by specialist research company CRD, this looked at the extent to which violent incidents occur within the security industry – both by and against security workers. The researchers used online surveys of 891 individuals working in the private security industry, as well as interviews and focus groups.

IBA UK have been studying the findings, and they make interesting reading. The statistics showed that for UK security workers in the last year:

  • 85% had experienced verbal abuse
  • 74% had experienced physical assault not involving a weapon
  • 34% had been attacked with a weapon
  • 38% had required first aid
  • 20% had been hospitalised

The consequences of violent incidents were strongly felt by some workers: although 16% said it had no lasting effect, 34% said that they would like to find another job!

So that is the extent of the problem – what can be done about it? The SIA sees three strands to improving the situation:

  • Strategic measures relating to planning environments
  • Design and management of venues
  • Tactics and equipment

There are no easy answers, it seems, and it will take a culture-shift amongst agencies and employers to really achieve results.

As providers of security training, we were particularly interested what the SIA had to say about its role in the reduction of violence:

Training was regarded as highly important in equipping security staff with the skills to do their work safely. The requirement to do training to acquire an SIA licence was widely seen as sound in principle, although concerns emerged about the breadth of topics covered, inconsistent standards between training providers, and the lack of refresher training.

We couldn’t agree more! It’s unfortunate that so many individuals have received inadequate or out-of-date training that fails to equip them for their working life.

We welcome the SIA’s important new report and look forward to seeing what steps can be taken to keep security workers happy and safe in jobs that they love.

Watch this space!

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