Security hiring boom ‘driven by Martyn’s Law’

March 23, 2023

The security guarding sector has seen a boom in recruitment in the past six months driven mainly by legislation, women and young people, new studies suggest.

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA), which represents the UK’s private security firms, claims businesses have hired an estimated 65,000 new specialists.

A survey of BSIA members suggests security businesses have increased the size of their workforces by almost a fifth (16%) since July 2022.

The rise is set against the economically gloomy landscape and new legislation expected this year designed to protect public venues.

The surge is also attributed in part to the the return of major public events and festivals in 2023.

A major national recruitment initiative, ‘People, Property, Places: Professionally Protected’, launched last year by the BSIA, which aimed to improve perceptions of a security career and the crucial work security officers do.


Data from the industry’s regulator, the Security Industry Authority (SIA), suggests that young people and women are two important groups contributing to the industry’s growth.

The SIA is responsible for granting licences for frontline security personnel in the industry.

In the twelve months to March 2023, the biggest increase in the licensed security officer population was in the 18-25 age bracket with a 14% increase.

Over the same period there was a 6% increase in licenced female security officers, double the 3% increase in licenced male officers.

The increasing demand for private security services follows the Government’s Protect Duty consultation, launched in the wake of the Manchester Arena terrorist bombing in 2017, which creates a legal requirement for organisations to provide proportionate security measures.

It has become known informally as Martyn’s Law, after Martyn Hett who died in the attack. His mother Figen Murray has been the driving force behind the changes.

Mike Reddington, Chief Executive at the BSIA, said: “The recruitment of new security officers is essential for ensuring public safety – and it’s heartening to see security booming amid the economic uncertainty.

“More and more people are recognising the wide range of opportunities and career progression the sector offers for talent cut loose from elsewhere.

“As an industry body we’re working hard to improve the perception of the security industry and attract young people and women by highlighting the incredible role security officers play in keeping people and property safe and protected. There’s a lot more to the job than wearing a hi-vis vest.”


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