Minister McEntee publishes Private Security Authority Annual Report 2021

 21st November 2022

The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, TD has today published the 2021 Annual Report of the Private Security Authority.

Despite the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, the PSA maintained high pre-pandemic service levels in the areas in licence application processing, inspections and taking enforcement measures where necessary.

Minister McEntee said:

The Private Security Authority is an important body tasked with regulating the activities of those involved in the private security industry to ensure that the interests of consumers are fully protected through the establishment, promotion, monitoring and enforcement of appropriate standards.”

 “I would like to thank Chairman Mr Richard O’Farrell, Chief Executive Paul Scallan and the team at the PSA for their continued commitment to meeting the highest standards of regulation and commend them for running a number of public information campaigns across radio, newspapers and trade magazines to raise awareness of the benefits of a regulated security industry.

 The COVID-19 pandemic posed unexpected challenges for all us and naturally had a significant impact on the private security industry, with many businesses that would require private security services closed during periods of public health restrictions. Nonetheless there are positive signs that the industry is recovering and growing, as demonstrated by a 3% increase in number of licensed contractors over the two years of the pandemic. We hope to see the industry sustain this growth in the coming year.”

In 2021, the Private Security Services (Amendment) Act 2021 extended licensing requirements to enforcement guards, who are responsible for assisting in enforcing civil court orders. The Authority established a working group to develop the licensing requirements for enforcement guards and launched a public consultation on the requirements for contractors in December 2021.

The Annual Report also details progress made on improving regulation in the access control sector of the industry. In 2021 the PSA established a new technical standard for operators in the access control sector, 67:2021, and also improved the oversight of the bodies auditing these standards.

Paul Scallan, Chief Executive of the Private Security Authority commented:

“I am very pleased that despite the challenging background of 2021 we continued to improve and expand our regulatory oversight of the security industry. Our licensing and compliance teams operated at pre-pandemic levels while our Qualifications and Standards team introduced a new standard and oversaw the start of the transition to a new certification model.

 The extension of our remit to the regulation of the enforcement guard sector presents a new challenge but one I am confident we will successfully deliver. In this, as with all our actions, our focus will be on the protection of the public through a regulatory regime that raises standards, increases awareness and enforces compliance.”

The Private Security Authority in numbers, 2021

  • 1,447 Contractors Licensed (1,434 in 2020)
  • 32,439 Individuals Licensed (31,104 in 2020)
  • 164 Licences Revoked (31 in 2020)
  • New Standard Published for Access Control
  • 870 Enforcement Cases (687 in 2020)
  • €2,638,738 Income from Fees (€2,746,886 in 2020)
  • 10,498 Applications Processed (12,062 in 2020)