Minister Flanagan announces plans to regulate private security personnel employed to enforce court orders

 

‘Enforcement guards’ to come within remit of the Private Security Authority

 

9 April 2019

 

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has announced plans to regulate private security personnel employed to assist in enforcing court orders (“enforcement guards”). Bringing such personnel within the licensing remit of the Private Security Authority (PSA) is the key recommendation of an Interdepartmental Working Group report brought to Government by the Minister today.

 

Minister Flanagan said: “I strongly believe that those providing security should operate to appropriate standards. Bringing security personnel enforcing court orders within the remit of the Private Security Authority will mean that enforcement guards will require a license to operate in this area and ensure that they are subject to the training standards and licensing regime operated by the PSA.  I am pleased that my proposal for legislative change was endorsed by Cabinet today”

 

Last autumn, Minister Flanagan asked his officials to review the regulation and licensing of some security personnel to determine if those enforcing court orders were satisfactorily regulated. The Interdepartmental Working Group examined the administrative, legislative, resource, security and other matters necessary to bring the regulation and licensing of security personnel assisting those enforcing court orders within the remit of the Private Security Authority. The amendments to the Private Security Act 2004 will create a new category of security service to be licensed, that of enforcement guards.

 

Licensing by the PSA includes:

 

When the necessary amendments to primary legislation and secondary legislation for the enforcement guard sector are in place, it will be an offence to operate as an enforcement guard without a PSA licence.

 

Following today’s Cabinet decision, Department of Justice and Equality officials will now work with the Attorney General to bring forward draft amendments to the Private Security Services Act 2004 (as amended).

 

ENDS

 

Notes for editors:

 

Role of An Garda Síochána

An Garda Síochána does not have a role in enforcing court orders.  Where such orders are being enforced, An Garda Síochána, where appropriate, assist with keeping the peace.

 

Private Security Authority

The Private Security Authority (PSA) is an independent body under the aegis of the Department of Justice and Equality. The Authority is responsible for licensing and regulating the private security industry in Ireland.

 

The PSA’s main functions are:

 

Section 2 of the Private Security Services Act 2004, as amended, sets out the definition of ‘security service’. The services currently licensable by the Private Security are:

(a) door supervisor,

(b) installer of security equipment,

(c) private investigator, 

(d) security consultant, 

(e) security guard, 

(f) provider of protected forms of transport, 

(g) locksmith, 

(h) supplier or installer of safes.

 

Enforcement Guards will be added to the list of services licensable, following enactment of the relevant primary legislation.

 

Compliance

When the necessary amendments to primary legislation and secondary legislation for the Enforcement Guard sector are in place, it will be an offence to operate as an Enforcement Guard without a PSA licence. It will also be an offence to represent oneself as an Enforcement Guard by advertisement or displaying any object purporting to indicate that the holder is a licensed Enforcement Guard. For both offences a person may be liable for a Class A fine or imprisoned for up to 12 months or both on summary conviction. A conviction on indictment can lead to imprisonment up to 5 years or imposition of a fine.

 

Key recommendations of Interdepartmental Working Group report

a)removing persons from a premises or place in order to take legal possession of the premises or place;

b)controlling, supervising, regulating or restricting entry to a premises or place in order to take legal possession of the premises or place;

c)seizing property or goods in lieu of an outstanding debt.

a)at its principal office during normal working hours, and

b)on its Internet website in such a manner that the section of that website which contains the Register is readily accessible by members of the public.

 

The full report can be read at http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Working_Group_Report_on_regulation_and_licensing_of_sec_pers_Ct_Orders.pdf/Files/Working_Group_Report_on_regulation_and_licensing_of_sec_pers_Ct_Orders.pdf

 

 

 

 

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