Hinds: Urgent need for regulation of security industry

In the face of "fright­en­ing crime sta­tis­tics" both lo­cal­ly and across the re­gion, many peo­ple are turn­ing to pri­vate se­cu­ri­ty firms for pro­tec­tion.

So said Min­is­ter in the Min­istry of the At­tor­ney Gen­er­al and Le­gal Af­fairs Fitzger­ald Hinds at the clos­ing cer­e­mo­ny for Cari­com IM­PACS work­shop on the pri­vate se­cu­ri­ty in­dus­try, at Cus­toms House in Port-of-Spain.

"The ex­pe­ri­ence of and the fear of crime and the at­ten­dant in­se­cu­ri­ty that it gen­er­ates has led more and more per­sons as we have come to un­der­stand in the last few days to seek the sup­port of the pri­vate se­cu­ri­ty in­dus­try to im­prove and se­cure their per­son­al safe­ty and prop­er­ties," said Hinds.

The Min­is­ter said there was a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of un­reg­is­tered se­cu­ri­ty firms and this cre­at­ed a prob­lem as a lack of reg­u­la­tion could un­der­mine the in­dus­try's in­tent to aid with the fight against crime.

"There are about 1,000 com­pa­nies reg­is­tered in the 15 Cari­com states and in Trinidad and To­ba­go as I in­di­cat­ed yes­ter­day in the short time I spent with you we have 189 reg­is­tered and any num­ber of un­reg­is­tered com­pa­nies, large­ly un­su­per­vised," said Hinds.

"Un­reg­u­lat­ed pri­vate se­cu­ri­ty op­er­a­tions have been known to en­cour­age crim­i­nal­i­ty and reg­u­la­tion would min­imise this un­de­sir­able state of af­fairs," he added.

He said the need for reg­u­la­tion was of height­ened im­por­tance giv­en re­cent ad­just­ments to the Caribbean Sin­gle Mar­ket and Econ­o­my, which would al­low for se­cu­ri­ty guards to move across mem­bers states to work.

He said reg­u­la­tion could on­ly im­prove the stand­ing of es­tab­lished firms.

"Reg­u­la­tion of this in­dus­try would sig­nal recog­ni­tion and ap­proval of the im­por­tance of the very good work of in­dus­try play­ers to date. Reg­u­la­tion would pro­vide gov­ern­men­tal qual­i­ty as­sur­ance for es­tab­lished firms which they could use as a mar­ketable stamp of ap­proval to en­hance fu­ture busi­ness," said the min­is­ter.

The work­shop, which start­ed on Mon­day, closed on Tues­day af­ter­noon.

Reporter: Peter Christopher

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