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last updated 18-Aug-2020
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The United Kingdom is the largest supplier of Private Military / Security Companies, contractors and personnel together with the U.S. Regulation in the UK is an embryonic activity and the impetus continues to be for self-regulation and the adoption of voluntary codes of conduct. The endorsement of the Montreux Document by the British government has recently injected momentum to the trend. CLICK HERE to return to the Frequently Consulted Documents page.



Report of the Sierra Leone Arms Investigation. HCP 1016 (ISBN 0 10 552406 9). By Sir Thomas Legg KCB QC and
Sir Robin Ibbs KBE, London, The Stationey Office, July, 27, 1998. In the case of what has come to be known as the Sandline affair, it is common ground that something went very wrong. Arms were delivered by a British company to Sierra Leone for use by President Kabbah's forces in contravention of a United Kingdom arms embargo. Although there had been earlier press reports, the Committee's work began when the Minister of State responsible for Sierra Leone, Mr Tony Lloyd MP, appeared before the Committee in its inquiry into Foreign Policy and Human Rights on 5 May after the story broke in the previous weekend's newspapers. Mr Lloyd was questioned at length about the affair: PDF

Private Military Companies : Options for Regulation 2001-2002. Green Paper HC 577 (ISBN 0 10 2914115 X). London, The Stationery Office, February 12, 2002. This Paper is a response to the recommendation of the Foreign Affairs Committee in its report on Sierra Leone (HC 116-1) that in respect of mercenary activities, the Government publish a Green Paper outlining options for the control of private military companies which operate out of the UK, its dependencies and the British Islands: PDF

Foreign Affairs - Ninth Report Session 2001-2002. By the Foreign Affairs Committee, London, July 23, 2002. The Foreign Affairs Committee agrees with the Green Paper's conclusion that the growth in the number of PMCs is not a passing phenomenon. The increased size of the sector, the transfer of military and security capabilities—traditionally the domain of states—to private corporations, and the notion that PMCs might be employed in multilateral interventions all raise important new questions about responsibility and accountability for the activities of these companies abroad and the appropriate domestic and international legal framework for their operations. We have addressed these questions in our inquiry: TEXT (Browsable site hosted by the UK Parliament)


Private Military and Security Companies: Written Ministerial Statement By the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (David Miliband). London, U.K. Parliament, House of Commons, Friday April 24, 2009. Statement on the selection of a voluntary code of conduct as the preferred option for the regulation of British Private Military and Security Companies: TEXT

Foreign Office Minister Henry Bellingham has updated parliament on work to promote high standards in the Private Military and Security Company industry. Written Statement to Parliament. London, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, March 10, 2011: TEXT

Promoting High Standards in the Private Military and Security Company Industry. In a written ministerial statement, Minister for Conflict Issues, Henry Bellingham, announced that Aerospace Defence and Security (ADS) have been appointed the Government’s partner in developing and implementing UK national standards for PMSCs. Written Ministerial Statement. London, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, June 21, 2011: TEXT

Interim Guidance to UK Flagged Shipping on the Use of Armed Guards to Defend Against the Threat of Piracy in Exceptional Circumstances. Guidance on the use of armed guards on UK flagged ships to defend against the threat of piracy. London, Department of Transport, December 6, 2011: PDF

• Consultation on a Future Regulatory Regime for the Private Security Industry. London, Home Office, November 2012. This consultation sought the views of those who buy, supply and rely on private security provision and of law enforcement authorities in light of the proposal for a new regulatory regime for the private security industry: PDF

Private Security Companies: Written Ministerial Statement: Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds has updated parliament on the development of a regulatory system for private security companies. London, U.K. Parliament, House of Commons, Friday December 17, 2012: TEXT

> ANSI/ASIS PSC.1-2012 : Management System for Quality of Private Security Company Operations: PDF


National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015. A Secure and Prosperous United Kingdom. Presented to Parliament by the Prime Minister by Command of Her Majesty. London, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, November 2015 (Cm 9161): PDF | Launch page: HTML

FCO spend on hiring private military and security companies (Freedom of Information Act 2000 - Request Ref: 0293-12) London, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, April 4, 2012 update: PDF (dowload the file while available)

Companies recognised by the Department for Transport (DfT) as a providers of the aviation security functions specified by letter (a -i) and by location. London, Department for Transport, July 8, 2013 update: PDF (save document while available)

The security functions included in the scheme are:
a) The checking or searching of aircraft, and the controlling of access to aircraft;
b) The searching and/or patrolling of the restricted zone ;
c) The screening or searching by hand, of passengers, other persons or vehicles entering the
restricted zone;
d) The screening by x-ray or other equipment or searching by hand, of hand baggage;
e) The screening by x-ray or other equipment or searching by hand, of hold baggage;
f) Secondary screening of passenger and cabin baggage;
g) The Accounting and Authorising of Hold Baggage for carriage by air (Triple A);
h) Passenger questioning;
i) The issuing of passes to persons, or in respect of vehicles, to access the restricted zone.

For a link to SSR Online visit the UNIVERSITY PROJECTS page


• Private Security Industry Act 2001:. This is an Act to make provision for the regulation of the domestic U.K. private security industry including the establishment of body corporate to be known as the Security Industry Authority (SIA) London, The Statenioney Office: TEXT (browsable document hosted by the National Archive) | PDF

• The Private Security Industry in Scotland - A Consultation Paper. Edinburgh, Scottish Executive, Justice Department Police Division, September 2001. The Scottish industry has grown enormously in recent years and now encompasses a broad spread of
organisations involved in work ranging from guarding people and property to private investigators and security consultants. We want to see a common regulation system covering every organisation in the sector. That is what this consultation paper proposes: PDF


• Report: Olympics security (HC 531-I) Inquiry: Olympics security. London, September 21, 2012: The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee (HMIC) concluded that the blame for G4S's failure to come up with the required venue security staff rests firmly and solely with the company itself.

Seventh Report Olympics security: TEXT (browsable html) Inquiry into Olympics security: TEXT (browsable html)
Olympics security written evidence: PDF HMIC Report 30 September 2011: PDF
Deloitte Briefing Paper for LOCOG 11 May 2012: PDF HMIC Report 27 February 2012: PDF
HMIC questions G4S on Olympic security: July 17: WEBCAST  



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