The Security Industry Amendment Act 2012 commenced on the 1st November 2012. The impacts of this act are already starting to be seen at venues around NSW.
The target of the legislation is squarely on the security industry. It will significantly enhance the NSW Police Force’s regulation of the security industry in an attempt to reduce the impact of organised crime and outlaw motorcycle gangs operating in the security Industry.
It follows on from other recently introduced legislation – Violent Venues List and the 3 Strikes Disciplinary Scheme.
What are the most notable impacts for Licenced Venues?
As the availability of suitably qualified security staff diminishes, costs for security services will go up. Marginal Subcontractors will be pressured to comply with the new regulations or close down.
Access to premises has changed as a warrant is no longer required for entry by authorised persons (Police / ALEC / SLED). Access to registers, incident books and other records is to be provided. A sign on register is required to be kept for all security staff at the premises. Records of all licences held by staff for RSA and First Aid will also be need to be kept and provided during an audit.
Audits can be conducted by any police officer or any person who holds written authority from the Commissioner of Police (for example Security Licensing & Enforcement Directorate compliance staff).
What are the impacts for Licenced Venues that contract out for security staff?
There are new subcontracting requirements covering security providers – all subcontractors must be disclosed and the Club must agree on subcontractors proposed.
A Sign-on register must be kept for all security staff at premises where security activities are carried on.
An Incident register must be kept at the premises recording particulars of certain incidents including physical contact with or physical restraint of a member of the public; and ejection of a member of the public from a location.
A copy of Compliance Documents need to be kept for any security person working at the venue and made available if an audit is conducted – notably RSA and First Aid certificates
What are the impacts for Licenced Venues that employ security staff under their own Master Security Licence?
As a Master licence holder there are new notification requirements – display of the Master Licence number at the premises and on vehicles if used for security purposes.
Clubs employing their own Guards will be required to hold the appropriate Master Security Licence and maintain licence details for any Guards operating on their premises including ensuring that these details are up to date and available if an audit is conducted – notably RSA and First Aid certificates.
Clubs employing subcontracted Guards will now be required to hold an appropriate Master Security Licence and maintain licence details for any Guards operating on their premises including ensuring that these details are up to date. They cannot defer the responsibility of the Guards licencing to the subcontractor. Licencing requirements and keeping of records will have to be maintained by the Club for any staff operating on their premises.
No warrant is required for authorised officers to access records, copy and seize information as they require. Other records that must be kept and made available in an audit by the regulators include an Employees and Services Register.
A separate Incident Register must be kept at each of the premises at which the Master licence holder’s employees conduct security activities.
Audits can be conducted by any police officer or any person who holds written authority from the Commissioner of Police (e.g. Security Licensing & Enforcement Directorate compliance staff). They may also inspect and take copies of any record relating to the security operations of a Master licensee at any reasonable time at the place of business where the records are kept.
Master licence holders should note that this authority is not limited to records required to be kept under the Security Industry Act or Regulation. Police and authorised persons may inspect, copy, or require a Master licensee to produce, all relevant records, including those required to be kept by other regulators such as the Office of State Revenue, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Australian Taxation Office. The NSW Police Force may notify these other regulators of any relevant issues that are identified in an audit of a Master licensee’s records.
Clubs cannot ignore the responsibility for security operations that are conducted within their premises. It is a necessary duty of care to ensure that any security personnel are properly licenced in case of an audit by the Police Force at any time.
Adequate record keeping and the availability of these records needs to be monitored to ensure compliance with the regulators.
This is another step forward to establish Industry standards are maintained and the most opportune time to review your business practices in line with new legislation, ensuring it fits well within your other system frameworks to reduce risk and better manage compliance.
For a review of your existing operating frameworks or the implementation of the new legislation please contact Sam Ekinci on (02) 9635 0477 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.