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McDowell launches Private Security Authority

Thursday 28th October 2004

inister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr. Michael McDowell T.D. launches the Private Security Authority in Tipperary Town

Mr. Michael McDowell T.D., Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform today announced the membership of the Private Security Authority. The Authority will be chaired by Ms. Michelle Doyle and includes representatives from the legal profession, Security Industry Employers and Employees, Government Departments, An Garda Síochána, Fás and the Security Institute of Ireland. The full membership of the Authority is attached for information.

The Authority is being established pursuant to the Private Security Services Act, 2004.  Its purpose is to control and supervise individuals and firms providing private security services and to investigate and adjudicate on any complaints against them.

The Minister said:  'The private security industry has grown rapidly in recent years and now encompasses an extensive range of occupations and activities, including security guards and consultants, suppliers and installers of security equipment, door supervisors, private investigators and specialised cash-in-transit services.  It represents an important area of economic activity with an estimated turnover of some 250 million annually, involving some 400 companies and employing some 14,000 individuals on a full-time basis.  There are also many more employed in part-time work across this spectrum.'

The Minister added that the need to provide a sound regulatory environment for the private security industry is a matter of extreme public interest. Regulation of the industry is important, not just in the context of promoting consumer confidence in a growing industry but also to combat low standards and unacceptable behaviour that has become an unfortunate feature of some aspects of the industry, and which the industry as a whole roundly condemns.

The Private Security Authority will be independent in the exercise of its functions, which are set out in Section 8 of the Private Security Services Act, 2004.  These functions include :-

  • Controlling and supervising persons providing security services and maintaining and improving standards in the provision of those services.
  • Granting and renewing of licences
  • Issuing identity cards to licensees
  • Suspending and revoking licences
  • Establishing and maintaining a register of licensees
  • Specifying standards to be observed in the provision of security services
  • Specifying qualifications or requirements for the grant of licences 
  • Undertaking or commissioning research projects and activities necessary for the planning, development and provision of those services
  • Investigating security services being provided by any person
  • Establishing and administering a system of investigation and adjudication of complaints
  • Monitoring the provision of private security services generally
  • Liaising with licences
  • Advising the Minister on any matters relating to the above functions and keeping the Minister informed of developments that would assist in developing policy.

The Minister also announced his intention of locating the headquarters of the new Private Security Authority in Tipperary Town. In line with the Government's policy of decentralisation.  The Minister added: The Office of Public Works, is currently refurbishing the old Royal Irish Constabulary Building which will be the headquarters for the Authority in Tipperary Town. This is a positive development for the private security industry and for Tipperary.  This is the first of a number of moves to County Tipperary by offices under the aegis of my Department?. The Public Appointments Service is currently advertising for the position of Chief Executive of the Private Security Authority.  The successful candidate will play a leading role in the administration and development of the Private Security Authority's operations; will assist the members of the Authority in formulating and developing policy and be responsible for its implementation; and will also be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Authority.

28 October 2004

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