Fears that door supervisors will miss the deadlines to get new licences required under the Private Security Industry Act were strongly denied by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) this week.
While original estimates suggested there were around 40,000 part- and full-time security workers in the industry throughout England and Wales, figures from regulating body the SIA show that it has only issued 10,000 licences. There are a further 5,000 applications awaiting approval.
The legal deadline for door supervisors to be licensed has already passed in most areas - except the South-east, where the requirement comes into force on 28 February, and central London, where the law goes live on 11 April.
However, police in the North-west, where the regulations were introduced in November, have postponed action against door supervisors without licences on a discretionary basis, because there are so many workers still without them.
Despite there being an estimated 6,500 doormen working in the area, only 2,000 are currently licensed, with 800 more still going through the application process.
Robert Buxton of the SIA denied that the application rate was lower than originally hoped for, and added that he felt criticisms about the application forms being overly intrusive were unfounded.
"The application process is easier than applying for a driving licence or passport," he said. "We have a duty of care to issue licences to people and check they are who they say they are. They have to fill in a form [asking for] personal information - it's not difficult."
Where applications have been received, the majority are being processed within the SIA's recommended four to six weeks.
To apply for a licence, visit www.the-sia.org.uk.
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 3 February 2005