Guard companies all licensed

Following some start-up troubles
with licensing Cayman’s security guard companies, Royal Cayman Islands Police
reported last week that all known operators and security officers had been
successfully licensed by the police service.

“The department has no knowledge of any company
operating a security business without a licence,” RCIPS Inspector George Watson
said. “We are pleased with the co-operation provided by those in the security industry.”

Mr. Watson said, as of 15 January there were 32
security companies, 493 security guards and 29 security technicians licensed to
operate in Cayman.

At this time last year, the RCIPS had not achieved
such compliance with the licensing law.

In early February 2009, 15 security companies had
completed licensing application forms and had paid the necessary fees to
achieve compliance. Another 15 companies collected application forms but have
not been licensed.

Police officials estimated there were at least 50 companies,
including electronic services and technicians that install security devices in
the Cayman Islands.

Those companies faced the possibility that their
businesses would be shut down if they were not registered by the time their
temporary licences expired.

A police spokesperson said current security licences
for this year will expire on 28 February, but the deadline companies must register
for is 30 days prior to that date.

The Private Security Services Bill (2007) gives the
RCIPS commissioner the power to issue and oversee security guard and security
company licences.

The police commissioner, or a designee, can reject any
request for a licence if an applicant was disqualified by the courts, or if
there are concerns about the person’s character, competence or finances.

Security business owners must also convince the
commissioner or his or her designee that they understand modern security
systems, civil rights and provide suitable training for employees.

The bill would create conditions in individual security
guard licences to allow the guard to carry certain weapons, including firearms.
The Cayman Islands Chief Secretary would have to approve any weapons before
they are imported and used.

Attorney General Samuel Bulgin has previously said
that this part of the bill does not automatically give all security guards the
ability to carry guns.

The law is aimed at regulating and improving
services provided by private security companies in Cayman, including those that
provide security at bars and nightclubs.