RegTech impact on the Private Security Industry during a transition to a new regulatory regime

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By FINTECH Books Contributor, Benjamin Weld
Follow: @benweld

In a world of uncertainty, safety and security is an ever increasing demand. Growing concerns on crime, terrorism, and insufficient public safety measures; coupled with improved economic climate and a booming construction industry, has facilitated the rise in the global requirement for real-time regulatory compliance and best-practice.

Regulation was introduced to the UK’s £6.5bn industry under the provisions of the Private Security Act 2001, which created the Security Industry Authority (SIA) to ‘…reduce criminality and improve standards’ so as to ensure ‘…the public is, and feels safer’.

The regulation comprises of: the vetting of workers; the accreditation of companies; and local authorities requiring log books from licensed venues operating security, detailing: staff on shift; incidents and occurrences.

From 2001 logbooks were the only way to accurately collect data from workforces and dynamic customers. However, it is apparent that this process which once signalled change is riddled with problems. Firstly, accurate pocket-books are being loosely transcribed into logbooks – collected monthly for audit or storage. Discrepancies are commonplace with incorrect information, and missing evidence the norm.

Secondly, when moderated, it is unlikely that these errors are corrected, emphasising the pitfalls of this method, with regulatory breaches and public safety issues only exposed when auditing logbooks. This archaic process is losing contracts, damaging trust, and jeopardising public, staff, and infrastructure safety.

The impact of the implementation of RegTech should not be underestimated, as real-time incident and workforce management software will ensure compliance and surface incidents immediately. An ageing system will be revitalised allowing a greater, less intrusive, regulation of the industry whilst increasing security effectiveness.

Ultimately, RegTECH clearly creates a much more cohesive system which will improve best-practice, increase public, asset, and infrastructure safety, whilst allowing the public to feel – and be – safer and more secure in a world of uncertainty.