Private Investigator’s License
In 2013 the Home Sectary Theresa May announced that the UK Private Investigator’s should be licensed by the SIA (Security Industry Authority). Her announcement was made in order to protect the public against the current “high risk of rouge investigators unlawfully infringing on the privacy of individuals” ¹.
The role of the SIA is to license the security industry, including doormen, security guards, key holders, close protection operatives, CCTV operators, and cash & valuables in transit. All of these industries were mostly unlicensed and unmonitored before the SIA came into force. The SIA put in place a set of minimum training criteria for each designated activity. To apply for a licence an individual must have a qualification from an awarding organisation in the license field and have a CRB check (criminal record). In order to carry out different licensed activities an individual most hold multiple licenses. The SIA also inforce these regulations and work closely with the police to prosecute individuals working without an appropriate licence.
The Home Sectary’s proposal is for the SIA to grant licenses to Private Investigators, meaning all private investigators will have to complete a new training course, have a criminal background check, and apply for a license. “In December 2014, the Home Office said the Government expects the introduction of the statutory licensing of private Investigation activities to come into force as soon as possible during the next Parliamentary session, which starts in May 2015.” ²
According to the SIA and the Act anyone private investigator carrying out surveillance, inquires or investigations without the persons knowledge will require an SIA license. This will not include solicitors, barristers, accountants, market research, conducting credit checks, journalists, broadcasters and anyone accessing public registers or records.
Agents For Truth is monitoring the changes closely and will only use private investigators with the appropriate SIA license and training qualifications once they have been decided and implemented. In the meantime Agents For Truth currently only uses the highest standard of private investigator’s. We run our own checks into the qualification’s and experience of all our experts.
If you would like to read more about these changes you can find the Home Office’s Command Paper here: http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm86/8691/8691.asp