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Olivia Stock
5 October 2023, 13:25

Venue security staff found to have gone through ‘sham training courses’ by investigation

Security staff are fraudulently obtaining work licences, the BBC report alleges

Photo of security controlling a crowd

Venue security staff are attending ‘sham training courses’ and missing out on vital safety training, a new investigation by the BBC reports.

During the investigation, an undercover journalist was able to pay an additional fee to complete a mandatory six-day training course in just a day and a half, missing out on first aid and conflict management modules.

A third of additional training providers approached by File on 4 — available to listen to on BBC Sounds now — offered shortened courses, which breach safeguarding regulations, ranging from one-and-a-half to three days. Many advertise near-100% pass rates, the report revealed, as well as using phrases such as “no pass, no fee.”

Upon completion of the six-day training course, people are eligible to apply for an SIA licence — the blue badge worn on security staff armbands — subject to a variety of background checks. They can then work in nightclubs and other late night venues across the UK.

The BBC presented their findings to Paul Greaney KC, legal counsel to the inquiry into the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing, who said he remained “extremely concerned about the safety of the public attending events”.

The investigation comes shortly after security concerns were raised surrounding a fatal crowd crush at London’s O2 Academy Brixton last December. Another of the BBC’s File on 4 programmes reported that staff at the Brixton venue regularly took bribes to let in fans without tickets.

An investigation into what happened at Brixton Academy is ongoing, however the venue has been be officially given the green light to reopen as long as it meets “extensive and robust” safety conditions.