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If you follow the news, you’ve probably heard that Uber has lost its license to operate in London.

The decision comes after repeated failures that put passengers in danger (such as unauthorised drivers uploading their photos to other Uber driver accounts, which allowed 14,000 fraudulent trips to take place in late 2018 and early 2019).

Sadly, these lapses reminded us of certain things we’ve seen in our own industry, and got us thinking – what are the similarities between the ride-hailing industry and the security industry?


Different Industries, Similar Issues

Superficially, the ride-hailing and security industries couldn’t look more different. However, when it comes to some of the issues these industries are facing, there are some striking similarities.

For one thing, both have a responsibility to ensure customer safety. In the ride-hailing industry, this means getting passengers from A to B safely. In the security industry, it means keeping customers safe from a variety of very real threats.

Secondly, both industries have struggled to ensure that only properly qualified and vetted players are able to participate. In terms of the ride-hailing industry, the problem has been ensuring that drivers are: (a) properly vetted and (b) who they say they are. In the security industry, the problems are exactly the same.

For both industries, these are huge issues. Because security and ride-hailing are so directly involved in customer safety, failing to properly regulate who is taking part can, in the worst case, put people in harm’s way.

In the UK, the security industry is regulated by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). The SIA is responsible for issuing licenses to all individuals directly operating within the security space.

In order to legally work in the private security industry, individuals need to have an SIA license. The licensing process ensures that only fit and proper individuals are able to carry out important security roles.

The problem is – as with the ride-hailing industry – some individuals and companies are attempting to bypass the licensing and vetting process in order to operate illegally.

Although the SIA does a good job of finding individuals and companies flouting the law, the sheer number of unscrupulous people attempting to do this is a problem – a big problem.

The trouble is that, when an individual does not possess an SIA license, there’s no way to tell if they are who they say they are and whether they are suitable to carry out important security duties. This can put businesses (and their people) in danger.


Customer Safety Must Always Come First

For both the ride-hailing and security industries, customer safety must always come first.

Unfortunately, for those looking to procure security services, it can be difficult to tell which companies are operating legally and which are not.

After all, many of the companies which are presently operating illegally have swanky looking websites, offices, sales teams and all the rest.

So, how do you make sure you choose a security company which is operating legally?

There are three important things to look for when choosing a security company.

 1) SIA-Licensing – Individuals working in the security industry require an SIA license in order to legally carry out their jobs. As such, always ask a potential provider if their staff are SIA-licensed. If they’re not, the company is breaking the law.

2) ACS Pacesetters – The SIA operates a scheme to help businesses and individuals identify the best security companies. Known as the ACS Pacesetters, this group represents the top 15 percent of all UK security companies (determined by continued and extensive assessments conducted by the SIA). If possible, choose a company which belongs to the ACS Pacesetters.

3) Other Accreditations – Good security providers will also place a high value on gaining other professional and industrial accreditations. These may include qualifications which demonstrate that they treat their staff properly, that they operate in an environmentally friendly way or that they adhere to good health and safety practices.

Since being founded in 1993, Churchill Security has grown into one of the nation’s leading private security companies. All our guards are SIA-licensed and we belong to the top five percent of all UK security companies – making us a top-tier member of the ACS Pacesetters.

We also have ConstructionLine membership – which ensures our services are fit for private and public sector security work – and are SafeContractor approved.

We have a ninety-five percent customer retention rate, maintain an average of 350 active sites and have an average alarm response time of 30 minutes.

You can find out more about our company and our accreditations here.

Churchill Security is a leading security company. We provide only the most highly-trained security personnel and are in the top 5 percent of all members of the ACS Pacesetters – which represents the top 15 percent of all UK security companies

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John Melling is a Director for Churchill Security Ltd. John is a highly motivated, determined and decisive security industry professional. Drawing on his extensive experience gained within the security industry whilst working on the coalface John has operated at all levels within the industry. He has a proven track record for motivating and leading high performance teams and has helped mentor and develop many people at Churchill who now hold key or senior positions within the business. John is committed to delivering only the finest services, exercising compelling leadership, maintaining good internal morale and striving to resolve any challenges efficiently and effectively.