Security Industry Authority (SIA)
The Private Security Industry Act and The Security Industry Authority (SIA)
In 2001 the Private Security Industry Act was passed. This has been amended and was finally enacted around 2004. The Act sets out some very strict rules for those wishing to engage in Vehicle Immobilisation (Car clamping/towing/blocking in) involving a release charge and list some pretty stiff penalties for breaches including fines up to £5000 and 5 years in jail.
From 1ST October 2012 The Government Outlawed clamping a vehicle and removal from private land
Part of the act authorised the setting up of an administrative body to oversee the licensing of Security Industry Operators and staff. This body is the Security Industry Authority. The Security Industry Authority (SIA) has a website (www.the-sia.org.uk). You can obtain links to all the relevant legislation relating to the SIA. More importantly you can perform an online check to verify the license of any SIA licensed individual.
Licenses fall into two categories – frontline and non-frontline.
Frontline licenses are required by all staff who will be undertaking day to day security duties including vehicle immobilisation.
Non-frontline licenses are required by the principals of firms whose employees undertake duties licensable under the PSI act.
Landowners have a responsibility to ensure that anyone performing vehicle immobilisation for a fee on their land is licensed by the SIA. There are pretty stiff penalties for landlords if they allow unlicensed operators to immobilise vehicles on their land on their behalf (i.e. acting as their agent).
The SIA do not regulate
• the amount of the release fee
• the time taken to release a vehicle
• the adequacy of signage around the site warning that vehicles may be immobilised
• the complaints procedure of the company employing the vehicle immobiliser
They SIA advise that:
“If a vehicle immobiliser uses threatening behaviour or intimidation they may be committing a criminal offence and we would recommend that you report such instances to the police”.
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