Minister of State Naughton publishes the Private Security Authority Annual Report for 2020

  • Report recognises the impact that Covid-19 has had on private security industry
  • Some form of non-compliance found in 71% of the 570 enforcement cases in 2020 with 13% serious enough for sanctions
  • Authority working on an online learning platform for the security industry to raise awareness and help prevent human trafficking.

Minister of State at the Department of Justice, Hildegarde Naughton TD, today welcomed the publication of the Private Security Authority (PSA) Annual Report for 2020. The Report provides a detailed overview of key developments, performance and general statistics on the work of the Authority, and includes the 2020 Financial Statements as certified by the Comptroller and Auditor General.

Welcoming the Report the Minister said;

“I would like to thank the outgoing board for all their hard work and dedication during a period of significant challenge to the industry as a result of various aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic. I know that the pandemic has led to a delay in completing key elements of the Strategic Plan, meaning that some elements will remain unfinished when the Plan, and the term of the current Board, come to an end in November.

 “The Authority provides a valuable service in relation to the licensing and regulation of the private security industry and I am pleased to report that despite the pandemic, the Authority managed to complete 570 of the 687 enforcement cases it opened in 2020. In general, it found high levels of compliance amongst both buyers of security and individual employees”.

While some form of non-compliance was found in 71% of the 570 enforcement cases completed, most were regarded as minor breaches, with no further action taken following rectification. In 13% (or 74 cases) some form of sanction ranging from revocation of the licence or refusal of an application was regarded as necessary.

In other areas of work, the PSA in conjunction with security employee and employer representatives, An Garda Síochána and training providers have now developed new training requirements for those working in the Door Supervisor, Security Guarding and Event Security sectors. While delayed because of Covid-19, the PSA expects to shortly announce a new timeframe for the courses following consultations with industry stakeholders.

These will expand learning in areas such as conflict avoidance and reduction, effective crowd control, drugs awareness and identification, effective access and egress control measures and security person’s responsibilities under data protection legislation. The PSA has also recently provided training providers with new mandatory guidelines on physical intervention training targeted at those working in the door supervisor and event sectors.

Speaking about one of the new training programmes which is focused on raising awareness of human trafficking in the sector, the Chief Executive of the PSA, Mr. Paul Scallan, said,

“I am pleased to report that the PSA has been working with MECPATHS on the development of an online learning platform for the security industry to raise awareness and help prevent human trafficking. I believe that the security sector has a unique contribution to make to the fight against all crime including trafficking in humans. The nature of their work means that security personnel have access to areas often restricted to the public and they are trained to observe and identify instances of criminality.”

 Minister Naughton also said that providing training to security personnel will help victims of human trafficking and support efforts to tackle this awful crime. The Minister said:

“Earlier this month I launched a campaign with the International Office for Migration to make people aware that human trafficking is a crime that is happening here. The campaign is about making everyone alert to the signs of human trafficking should they encounter it in any context.

 “Frontline staff have a particular role to play in this and my Department funds the development of training, through NGOs, targeting front line staff in industries such as hospitality, airline and shipping who may come into contact with trafficked persons. Providing similar training to security personnel will create a stronger, wider network of people, present in various industries and settings, who can work with us to help identify victims of trafficking so we can ensure they get the help they need.”

Finally, the Minister for Justice is currently seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified and experienced persons for consideration for appointment to fill 4 vacancies on the Private Security Authority. The closing date for applications is 3pm on Wednesday 10th November 2021 and full details on the application process are available here:

The Annual Report can be found here