All individuals working in private security are required to have a valid SIA licence demonstrating their right to work as a security professional and in order to obtain an SIA Licence they must have a SIA Certificate. For front line professionals such as Door Supervision, Security Guards and anyone else whose role as a Security professional brings them into direct contact with the public, an SIA badge must be worn at all times in order to mark them out as qualified security personnel. There are conditions under which "covert licensing" conditions can apply to public-facing security workers, although these conditions never apply to vehicle immobilisers due to the nature of their work.
Close Protectors do not have to display their SIA credentials for obvious reasons – the presence in public view of a security individual carrying out surveillance or reconnaissance makes it immediately obvious that there is a public figure in the area. A close protector's role is essentially covert and non-public facing, therefore wearing a prominent ID badge would impair their ability to do their job. As your sole responsibility as a Close Protector is to your client – who already knows your role – there is no need to display credentials anyway. However, should you be required to by an SIA spot check or by a member of the police force, you should be able to produce your badge
The same conditions apply to Store Detectives as to Close Protectors. As their role involves a lot of plainclothes activity and a specific need to be inconspicuous, their ability to perform this role will only be impaired by wearing prominent identification, and this can lead to shoplifters and other lawbreakers going undetected. The store detective's responsibility is to the store where they are working, who already know their identity, so the need for prominent ID is non-existent. If, however, a store detective apprehends a suspect, they must at that point produce their ID badge as any court case that results from an apprehension could be compromised by failure to do so. Again, if required to as part of a spot check, you should be able to produce your licence at all times. This is so that not every member of the public can follow individuals around and then explain their actions by claiming to be a detective.
Vehicle Immobilisers are not ever allowed to operate without their credentials on display. Any attempt to appear inconspicuous in order to hide their identity as a Vehicle Immobiliser could leave them and their employer open to claims of entrapment. Furthermore, a visible security presence could add the extra layer of credibility to parking restrictions that stops individuals from parking wherever they wish. It is important that this is followed as best practice, because a Vehicle Immobiliser's role is not to see to it that more vehicles get clamped, but that parking restrictions are followed to the letter. A visible wheel clamper is one way to make this far more likely.
Public Space Surveillance professionals and Key Holders are not required by SIA regulations to wear their SIA badge at all times. It may be preferable that they do, as the possibility of them needing to be involved in some capacity when a security issue arises means that they could be put in a position where their credentials need to be verified. This can be achieved without any hold-up if they wear the badge prominently but, as non-front line security professionals, there is no immediate pressure that they do so. The most significant reason for prominently displaying security ID is that you can be recognised as a security professional by members of the public, and Key Holders and PSS professionals are not public-facing.
Whatever your standpoint, there are reasons why wearing your SIA badge should be a simple choice. For a start, you've worked for it so why not show how proud you are to have gained it? There is no doubt that if degree certificates came in badge form, the average graduate would pin theirs on happily. Secondly, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that a visible security presence is more effective as a prevention mechanism than any curative step taken when violence has just commenced or is just about to. Thirdly, the very real chance that you could be subject to a spot check, with potential repercussions for not conforming to SIA regulations, should make you think twice before going to work without your badge prominently displayed.
Whether it be pride, strategy or self-preservation, the wearing of an SIA badge is a non-negotiable part of any public-facing security professional's job. The carrying of a badge is compulsory and having earned the badge it seems only right to use it. It will make your job easier, your life easier and will be what marks you out as a qualified professional in the security industry.
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