Yes, it is a criminal offence to carry out any scope of service regarding security-related work without a license – this includes store detectives and loss prevention officers, event staff, door supervisors, bodyguards or close protection operatives, CCTV offices, cash and valuables in transit guards and sometimes prison officers; if individuals are caught, they can be arrested.
Furthermore Its illegal to impersonate or pretended to be a security officer. Moreover if you’re caught carrying out a licensable activity without a SIA license, you could be in serious trouble. Under the private security industry act you could be fined up to £5000 or imprisoned for up to 6 months.
Some club owners/managers and event planners don’t see the potential threat of what could go wrong if customers or event goers are injured or claim “assault” by any of their security staff members performing security duties whilst unlicensed.
In this day and age, lawsuits are commonplace; it behooves all parties involved to spend the extra time and money necessary to obtain all that is required to get a SIA licensed or have those providing security services legally licensed.
Your establishment or brand (e.g. event/wedding planners) could end before it even takes off; you could be slapped with both criminal and civil suits, and the individuals acting as security personnel could face imprisonment and so on…
The reputation of a business is completely tarnished once the rumour mill begins about lawsuits filed against the business and unlicensed guards arrested for alleged assaults or wrongful detainment, etc.