The Private Security Industry Act 2001
The requirements of the Act extend to companies such as Safecall who provide confidential reporting services. The activities of Call Handlers are subject to licensing under Schedule 2, Part One, Section 4(1
) of the Act.
This section applies to any inquiries or investigations that are carried out for the purpose of : -
(a) obtaining information about a particular person or about the activities or whereabouts of a particular person; or
(b) obtaining information about the circumstances in which or means by which property has been lost or damaged.
It is clear that any interview with a caller should fall within these criteria.
Safecall has been involved in the introduction of the Act for some considerable time. A Safecall Director advised the then Home Secretary, Rt Hon Jack Straw, over the Act during its passage through Parliament. The Security Industry Authority (SIA) was later set up to regulate the Act. A number of senior Safecall staff advised the SIA on the introduction of the Act. During this period it was confirmed by the SIA that Call Handlers were subject to licensing.
The latest Home Office Impact Assessment of the Act
highlights concerns regarding the access of data, lack of sensitivity towards vulnerable witnesses and a lack of competency by those conducting interviews and investigations. It identifies the need for licensing to raise the standards of competence and professionalism and to reduce unethical behaviour. The competency specification requires each practitioner to have the skills and knowledge to: -
- Conduct interviews and investigations
- Search for information and preserve evidence
- Understand, and work to, relevant Laws and Standards
Safecall is fully compliant with the Act as our Call Handlers, each with over 25 years police experience, have the necessary skills and knowledge required to properly interview callers.