Security Industry Federation: A trade union for UK private security

Working in the UK private security industry takes a special kind of person. A person with patience, and good communication skills. A person who remains calm and acts fast under pressure. A person who is willing to run towards danger whilst others run the other way.

If you think that you fit this criteria you then have to pay to work in this industry. You pay for a course and sit exams, if you pass you then pay for a licence.    

Right, you have now completed all of this and you are ready to work, utilising all of these skills and ready to earn a good living. Right?

Well, maybe. If you’re lucky to work for an employer that pays the UK living wage, cares for your welfare, provides you with adequate safety equipment and rewards you with a fixed contract then the answer is yes.   

Was your answer, yes?

There are many different roles in the UK security industry from key holding to close protection but one of the most thankless roles is that of a Door Supervisor. Door Supervisors carry the responsibility of protecting the public and property at the venue usually during the night time economy, when people are intoxicated with alcohol or drugs, making the job that much more difficult. I learnt during my 20 years as a police officer that it is very difficult to reason with someone who is drunk or under the influence of drugs. There is an increased chance of being assaulted and an increased chance that you will find yourself being accused of assault. So surely Door Supervisors, who are expected to police the night time economy in the absence of our over stretched police officers, are paid the hourly rate this type of work deserves?

Unfortunately, all too often I see adverts asking for Door Supervisors that only offer hourly rates between the UK minimum wage of £9.50 up to £12.50. In a time where UK inflation is at its highest in over a decade and the cost of living means that people this winter are choosing whether to eat or heat, these rates, coupled with an uncertainty of work due to the increase in zero-hour contracts, the industry is no longer giving a person an opportunity to provide for a family without getting a second job. Now it’s clearer why so many people are not renewing their licences and are leaving the industry. The process starts over.

This is evidenced by the recent,violence in the security industrysurvey by Working the Doors.

A staggering 86% said that they felt that the levels of violence they see and experience whilst at work had increased over the last five years. 65% of respondents were resigned to the fact that violence within the security industry was inevitable.

57% say that an incident has affected their mental state more than 24 hours after the event.

Quite shocking result’s, I think you would agree.

As an SIA trainer I have been all to aware of the uncertainty people feel in carrying out their role in security to the best of their ability whilst trying to protect their own job security and reputation. Effectively the industry has created an environment where we have an agonising decision to protect ourselves or the public. This is evidenced in the Manchester Arena enquiry where security were criticised for not stopping a terror attack.

My own personal values are clear, I wanted to stay in an industry that I have great passion for and I want to keep people safe. I also want to keep the people that protect people and property safe.

This is why I decided to create a trade union for the UK private Security Industry, the Security Industry Federation (SIF). Run by security professionals for security professionals.

On 1st November 2022 anybody working in the UK private security industry, no matter what your role, will be eligible to join. For just £11.99 per month not only will you be a member of a trade union, your trade union, where you have a voice and support on all matters that effect you, you will receive various benefits including legal assistance from one of the UK’s leading firm of solicitors, Linder Myers. Linder Myers have vast experience in this field having served as the solicitors for the police federation over the last 25 years.

You will also receive unlimited access to Care First, a 24/7 telephone wellbeing service where you can talk to trained counsellors, financial, employment and relationship advisors, and much more including face to face counselling sessions, the first guaranteed within 5 days.

There are many other reward partners offering benefits such as discounted gym membership, insurance and mortgage policies and specialist security equipment including Audax UK who are pioneers in Body Worn Video (BWV) cameras for law enforcement and security. Having used BWV myself I know that they are an undisputable tool in reducing risk of conflict and frivolous complaints as well as providing evidence to the police, mitigating against the need for a lengthy investigation. Because of the protection they offer frontline security workers one of the first things I am doing as President of the SIF is to speak to the heads of all major UK security providers and press them on providing BWV for all of their frontline staff as part of their duty of care.

The SIF employ many Ambassadors who have a wealth of experience across the security industry from managing directors to Door Supervisors. Their mission is to assist with the campaigns and issues that matter the most to you.   

We simply want to make the security industry better and retain the highly skilled, key workers, that you are

The Security Industry Federation want to give you a voice, want to give you a chance to make changes, however small, that will keep you in the security industry. Retention of specialist knowledge and skills matter to us but in order to do that there has to be change. The SIF want to give you benefits and rewards that you would not usually have access to.

There has to be someone to turn to that can fight on your behalf and help you in your hour of need, just as you help others in their hour of need. Join us today.

Daniel Garnham ASylA trade union for UK private security

Daniel Garnham ASyl

President of the Security Industry Federation