THREE leading firms have signed up to a working party to tackle rogue security firms in Merseyside after a string of attacks on developments.
Bellway Homes, Gleeson and David Wilson Homes are working with Merseyside Police to combat protection rackets run by unlicensed f irms.
Merseyside Police has launched Operation Seahog to tackle the problem. The Security Industry Authority has also backed the investigation, which follows a string of arson attacks, including one at Bellway's 584-home housing scheme at Hunts Cross Village, west Lancashire in May.
Richard Edgington, managing director of Bellway Homes West Lancashire, said: 'This is not a Merseyside problem. We are simply further down the line with public housing developments. There are expected to be around 20 housing schemes using public money in the area over the next year. It will be written into contracts that we will only be able to use security firms registered with the SIA.'
Lucia Howland, SIA head of investigation for the north, said: 'Those deploying unlicensed guards could face prosecution, or damage their business reputation and their insurance cover might be jeopardised.'