Brian Sims

Customer satisfaction with Security Industry Authority “remains high”

AN INDEPENDENT survey has found high levels of customer satisfaction with the Security Industry Authority’s (SIA) licence application service. 85% of individual licence applicants and 79% of businesses who responded to the survey were satisfied with the service. According to the regulator: “These results remain strong and are indicative of a well-performing organisation that delivers a good service to its customers.”

The SIA commissioned IFF in June last year to conduct a survey that would measure customer satisfaction with the former’s online licence application service. The survey results highlight that the key drivers of satisfaction for both individuals and businesses are making the application process “simple and straightforward” and the length of time taken to process a licence application.

A clear majority of individuals and businesses consider the SIA to be ‘good’ in both of these crucial areas. Importantly, 89% of individual licence applicants are satisfied that the SIA took licence-related decisions within the expected time and made it straightforward to apply for a licence.

The survey also found that satisfaction among individuals in terms of their contact with the SIA has improved by 5% since last year to reach a figure of 81%. Most individuals and businesses were able to glean the information they needed after contacting the SIA.

Iestyn David, the SIA’s head of licensing and service delivery, commented: “This is a good set of results. Although we saw a small dip in customer satisfaction this year compared to last year, the results still compare very well to other organisations.”

David continued: “This year, we’ve made a number of changes to the ways in which we manage customer contact, which have already started to produce positive results. Our new Business Support team has also made good progress building engagement with businesses and providing support with the licensing process. The next steps are for us to continue looking at changes to our systems and processes in order to address feedback from the survey and further improve the customer experience.”

IFF conducted its fieldwork between June and August last year. The survey involved over 800 interviews. These included 600 interviews with individuals who had recently applied for an SIA licence and 200 interviews with employers who had recently submitted applications on behalf of their employees.

A follow-up phase involved in-depth interviews with a representative sample of respondents from both categories.

*Access a summary of the survey findings

Statement on tragedy at Brixton Academy

Paul Fullwood, director of inspections and enforcement at the SIA, has confirmed that the regulator is working with the Metropolitan Police Service to assist the latter with its investigation into the tragedy that took place at the O2 Academy in Brixton on the night of 15 December last year.

Security officer Gaby Hutchinson, aged 23, and Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, were fatally injured when fans without tickets tried to enter a show by Nigerian artist Asake at the South London venue.

Fullwood affirmed: “We have seen the reports in the press resulting from the BBC’s File on 4 programme [entitled ‘Catastrophe at The Academy’]. As the regulator of the private security industry in the UK, we take allegations of corruption by security operatives extremely seriously. We have launched an inquiry into these allegations, which appear to extend beyond the O2 Academy in Brixton. We will also review licensing arrangements and take appropriate action against any individual or company found to be carrying out such practices as part of our regulatory licensing responsibility across the private security industry.”

Further, Fullwood observed: “We regularly meet with security companies to ensure their members of staff adhere to the highest professional standards. It’s a requirement that contracted security staff have passed our accreditation process to secure a licence. If a security operative falls below these standards, we demand an immediate investigation by the company that employs them. This includes disciplinary action to be taken and, where appropriate, that the matter is reported to the police.”

Subsequent to the incident that took place, the decision to suspend the venue’s licence for a period of three months was taken by Lambeth Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee. That course of action was supported by venue owner the Academy Music Group.

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