Umbrella interviews the founder of SIF

**Daniel Garnham**
**Founder and President of the Security Industry Federation trade union**

The aims of Umbrella and the aims of the newly formed Security Industry Federation are very much allied. Both were founded by people with a security industry background. The driver for both organisations is protecting the Operators on the ground. Where Umbrella is essentially a provider of insurance, legal advice, mental health support and help with tax. SIF is a trade union who aims to unit the industry. Represent the workers in the industry and campaign and lobby for their interests.

Did you know there are about 480000 SIA badge holder working in the UK. Imagine what you could do if you were united under one banner? The Security Industry Federation is that banner.

**Umbrella Cover managed to get an interview with Dan Garnham, the founder and CEO of SIF and find out what motivated him to start the Federation, what is it for and what are its objectives.**

**Dan, we speak at last, (setting up this interview has not been easy) you are a busy guy. What are you working on?**
Well obviously, SIF keeps me very busy but I also have by day job Gentium UK Cyber, and I now travel the world teaching law enforcement and organisations through gamified learning. I also lecture in criminology and cybercrime in a London university where I am also the resident cybercrime expert.

**Can you tell us a little about your background?**
I began my career in policing where I served for 20 years working in multiple roles across London for the British Transport Police, including as an expert forensic body recovery officer, cyber protect officer and digital trainer. During this time, I attended major crime and terrorist attacks such as the Manchester Arena attack in 2017 where I was the force trauma manager.
It was during the time of leaving the police and setting up my business that I did my SIA Door Supervisor and CCTV courses, going on to teach the CCTV courses.

**Which is were we first met, Tell us a little about what SIF is?**
The SIF is the UK’s only certified trade union designated solely for security workers in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. We recognise that security professionals are skilled workers having undergone rigorous SIA training, passed exams and put themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis to protect us, as they are often the first responders and offer vital evidence to the police and criminal justice system.

**Exactly, that is where the inspiration for Umbrella came from. The industry is completely different from what it was when I started in the job 20 plus years ago. The risks faced by the average operator are not just physical. They are legal, emotional and as many are on zero hours or are self-employed there are the obvious need for help with tax**

And that is why I started SIF. SIF is a bespoke trade union for the UK’s security industry and was long overdue. In our first 14 months we have received widespread support from our frontline workers with hundreds of members now relying on us to support them during tough times. Our reps are attending disciplinary meetings every week all over the UK to offer expert advice and support to those that find themselves facing misconduct proceedings. I am proud to say we have an excellent record of successfully defending our members and in some cases claiming thousands in compensation.  

**How did you get involved with SIF?**
It was during training the SIA CCTV course and attending the DS course that I got to hear of the complaints that security workers had with the industry. I was painted a picture of high risk for low reward and an industry that was struggling to recruit and retain skilled staff. I soon put in place a plan to create a trade union that would give these workers hope that there were security experts that were genuinely concerned and would offer support where other unions had tried and failed due to their lack of industry knowledge.
**What are the aims of SIF?**
Two weeks ago, I launched our 2024 manifesto which sets out our aims and objectives over the next 12 months. Our intention is always to support, through _our _relationships with the SIA and security employers, however, the manifesto drills deeper into specific support that is needed such as, intervention polices for frontline workers and a commitment for security employers to pay the National Living Wage rather than the national minimum wage.
It is also our aim to strengthen relationships with likeminded key industry stakeholders such as Umbrella, in order to help us improve conditions and support our security professionals. Collaboration really is key.

**We saw you on your social media at the Pride March in London last year. Clearly inclusivity is part of SIF’s agenda.**
Absolutely, we want to show that we are here for everyone in the industry, from all backgrounds.

**That is fantastic and long overdue, speaking for Umbrella we are very keen to collaborate, and support the SIF in its aims. In a few words, why should security officers join SIF?**
The UK’s security professional should join the SIF to ensure they are protected when it’s needed. Due to the high demand of our current members, we cannot always guarantee support for pre-existing issues. At just £10.99 a month I believe this is affordable and a small price to pay. By being a member of the SIF, you will benefit from a range of expert support in all work related matters and discounts at high street retailers.

**Dan, its been great to catch up with you. How can someone find out more about becoming a member?**
Its easy, just go to the website. All the information is on there about what we do and how to join.

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