Police get ready for security legislation

A new police licensing unit designed to implement the requirements contained within the Private Security Services Law (2007) could be created within the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

Once the law comes into effect on 1 September, no-one will be able to operate a security business, act as a security technician or work as a security guard without a license approved and issued by the RCIPS.

Inspector Daniel Lee, who is heading up the project, said the mechanics of how the law will be implemented are being examined and discussed with security companies.

‘I have spoken with some companies about the forthcoming law, focusing mainly on how we will administer the regulations and what will be required of those involved.

‘I know there are still some businesses that I have not been able to reach and I would urge these operators to contact me.’

Amalgamating licensing functions so that firearms licensing, police records and private security companies licensing fall under the responsibility of one department is one of the possibilities being looked at. This option would provide a one-stop shop for applicants, while allowing the RCIPS to harness human resources, skills, knowledge and equipment all under one roof.

‘There is a lot for us to do,’ commented Inspector Lee. ‘Not only will there be the administration side of issuing licenses such as ensuring background checks are carried out etc. but we will also be making recommendations and advising on issues such as uniforms, note taking and diversity appreciation.’

Inspector Lee will be holding a meeting with all security companies in the near future to discuss the law and its anticipated impact and to answer any questions operators may have.

‘The private security industry has grown tremendously over the last 30-years, with little or no oversight or regulation. It is difficult to determine how many companies and employees there are, but anecdotal evidence suggests there could be over 40 companies and almost 2000 employees providing a range of security services,’ said Mr Lee.

It is hoped the new law will help address some issues identified in the past. In 2003, a Private Security Company’s Association was formed comprising of 30 companies and the police service. Although the Association became defunct after a year, discussions recorded, during meetings reflect that the industry was suffering from a lack of regulation. Problems highlighted included the recruitment by some companies of employees with criminal convictions, companies failing to secure liability and health insurance for employees, failure to pay pensions and lack of training for staff.

‘For many years the people of the Cayman Islands have entrusted their lives and property to a private security industry that has been unregulated,’ said Mr. Lee. ‘For the most part the industry has provided an admirable service but these new measures should enhance the service provided by these companies.’

Inspector Lee is urging all companies he has not yet spoken to, to contact him at [email protected] or 926-0687. The law and accompanying regulations are available on the government website, www.gov.ky or from the Legislative Assembly.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling crime stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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