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