It’s back to back rain and autumn is in full swing, and this bids goodbye to a UK summer full of music festivals. As festival season won’t return until next year, we must look at how dodgy and unlicensed security guards are a danger during festival season.
How do corrupt security guards put festival-goers in danger?
Corrupt and unlicensed security guards at a festival put festival-goers in danger because they can aid in the smuggling of drugs at festivals. In a new BBC Three documentary Festival Drugs: Meet The Dealers, reporter Livvy Haydock founds out how gangs get their drugs into festivals and the role that dodgy security guards play in drug smuggling.
One of the drug smugglers, Livvy speaks to is a security professional who calls himself ‘The Transporter’. ‘The Transporter’ is a security professional but when he smuggles drugs into festivals, he uses a fake security ID which he has bought on the black market for £300.
Drugs are a huge problem during festival season and in August, a 17-year-old girl died of a suspected drug overdose at Leeds festival. In The BBC Three documentary Festival Drugs: Meet The Dealers, drug dealers are also shown to mix drugs with rat poison and rat poison is labelled as not ‘fit for human consumption’ showing how much of a danger drugs are especially at festivals. But it’s not just the use of drugs that are a concern as Knife crime can also be rampant at festivals, especially among young people
How can it be ensured that the right security guards are present during festivals?
Although one of the security guards in the BBC Three documentary has a valid licence, it’s important to note that he uses a fake licence when smuggling drugs. It’s important that security companies thoroughly check the licences of their security staff.
A whistle-blower in the BBC Three documentary explains to the reporter Livvy Haddock how unlicensed security guards are being hired during festivals.
“There’s so many big festivals all at the same time up and down the country, the big [security] companies, they don’t have the manpower,” he says. “They’ll subcontract big chunks to different people. They’ll put an advert on the internet and they’ll take anybody.”
“Social media is awash during festival season with people advertising for staff for festivals,” he tells Livvy. “You could get a job quite easily for a festival this weekend with very little checks.”
Even though there are 400,000 active security license holders in the UK but there have been examples of subcontracted security companies supplying unlicensed guards to festivals. The SIA has prosecuted more than 30 people or security businesses in the last year.
How can you be a licensed security guard?
If you are caught working without an SIA licence, you can face penalties. On the SIA website, it is stated: “For those working in a licensable role without an SIA licence, the penalties are, upon summary conviction at a Magistrate’s Court, Sheriff Court or District Court, a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment and/or a fine up to the statutory amount.”
To avoid these penalties, you can get your SIA licence through Get Licensed. Working in the security industry without a valid licence is not worth the risk, and licensed security staff can face massive penalties such as imprisonment and revocation of their licence for aiding drug dealers.