In July of this year the Home Secretary announced that private investigators will need to be licensed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) to operate legitimately. Such licences will be granted following a series of vigorous checks.
Investigative activities carried out for the purposes of publishing legitimate journalism will be excluded from regulation, she said.
“It is vital we have proper regulation of private investigators to ensure rigorous standards in this sector and the respect of individuals’ rights to privacy.” Theresa May
From autumn next year, the SIA will issue licences only if an applicant has completed training and achieved a government-recognised qualification, which includes understanding of relevant laws and standards.
Prospective private investigators will also have to confirm their identity and undergo a criminal checks.
Unlicensed investigators will face a maximum penalties of a £5,000 fine or six months in prison.
All of this we believe can only be good for our industry. All our officers are already vetted internally and must be trained to a minimum of a BTEC National in Surveillance.
We plan to register all our staff members with the SIA as soon as we need to and hope all our colleagues within the industry take the attitude we have.
Licensing will not only rid of our industry of any rogue traders but it will also increase public belief in the system of private investigation.