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Get Licensed warns lack of training will devalue ‘Protect Duty’ proposal

Get Licensed is warning that government proposals to protect public spaces from terrorist attacks will be futile unless those involved in frontline security receive effective training.

The company – which works with training providers throughout the North’s private security industry – says governing body the Security Industry Authority (SIA) does not offer or endorse a qualification in counter terrorism.

Currently, the only widespread training available is an online course delivered through the government’s Action Counters Terrorism initiative which takes just an hour to complete.

Security minister, James Brokenshire, announced the plans that will require owners and operators of public spaces and venues, including businesses and councils, to take “reasonable and proportionate” measures as part of a statutory duty to keep the public safe from terrorist attack.

It follows proposals drawn up by the family of Martyn Hett, who was among 22 people killed in the 2017 Manchester Arena suicide bombing. Along with mandatory airport-style security checks, measures may include an increase in physical security and incident response planning.

It is understood the new ‘Protect Duty’ – which is expected to lead to an increased demand for private security guards – will not apply to smaller operators.

Get Licensed, a specialist training solutions provider with more than 11 years’ experience working alongside fully qualified instructors, is calling on the Home Office and the SIA to ensure recognised training is provided to those tasked with countering any terrorist threat.

The current course required to gain a mandatory SIA security guard licence runs over three days and involves three units: working in the private security industry, working as a security officer and conflict management. Anyone wishing to become a licensed door supervisor must also undergo training in physical intervention.

Industry expert, Anthony Milner of Get Licensed, predicts an increase in demand for licensed security guards and specific terrorism-related training, should the ‘Protect Duty’ law be introduced.

Anthony said: “If this law is to be effective then those involved in front line security must be equipped with the necessary expertise to be deliver a credible response.

“While I welcome any measure that improves public safety and increases the chance of neutralising any future attacks, the Home Office and SIA must ensure the necessary training is in place to stand any chance of making a difference.

“I would urge James Brokenshire to ensure the private security industry is able to respond in an effective manner by ensuring that training providers are able to deliver the necessary skills to prevent or deter a terrorist attack.”