A LOOK INTO THE PRIVATE SECURITY INDUSTRY
JAMAICA PRIVATE SECURITY INDUSTRY
The Private Security Industry can be classified as the buffer between State Law Enforcement and Private Properties Rules Enforcement, but in a modern society, the existence would feature a umbilical linkage between both the state forces and the private security forces. Although both posses a different purpose, the objective of protecting life, property and information through the enforcement of private properties rules and state laws is the same. A collaborative effort would support a reduction in crime to a tolerable and civilized level as the famous quote reads “Team Work Makes the Dream Work”.
With a high crime rate problem plaguing Jamaica’s full development potential, it would be prudent for the government to now, more than ever to consider the Private Security Industry as a part of its total security network. This re-design would improve the total protection coverage and law enforcement through legislative changes. According to an Economic and Social Survey there is a total of 328 registered companies across the Island of Jamaica with approximately 21, 551 guards (Gleaner 2015). This number is approximately three times the total amount of Police Officers employed to the Jamaica Constabulary Force at 8,441 (www.jcf.gov.jm) which when combined sends the total figure to 29,992- this means more men and women, citizen enabled with the knowledge of the laws of the land and the powers to enforce those laws under this new design.
TENETS OF THE REDESIGN
Many will agree that the medieval England common law practice which gives ordinary citizen the power to arrest, to which is the same power awarded to Security Officers is not applied and is not even recognized by either the Private Security Industry or Law Breakers and if a brave Security Officer should try to apply this power, it would be interpreted as the return of Britain for the Caribbean-impossible. The redesign requires for a Security Officer to receive advance training.
Firstly,In 2006 Heart NTA partnered with the Private Security Companies to develop a standardize training module for the Private Security Industry called “Industrial Security Operations” ( JIS 2006). This is the mark of another incremental step in the right direction to formalize the Industry to become world class, but without an adequate thought out plan of action, this could simply mean more training and no improvement in the overall protection network for Jamaica and is no different than having University Graduates but no jobs to apply this skills or no legislative framework designed to harvest the skills.
In the Modern Industry, Security Providers are becoming more equipped both educationally through training, technically through advanced technologies and resourcefully through human and non-human capital to combat the criminal forces and to meet the needs of the Private Security Industry Stakeholders. This is evident through several training seminars and workshop, world accredited program such as Aviation Security (AVSEC), Port Security (ISPS & PFSO) and the enviable Certified Protection Professional, Certified Private Investigator and the Private Security Professional- American Society for International Security (ASIS). Certification in the industry continues with Cyber Security, Occupation Safety and Health and Weaponry.
Secondly, There is a need for a legislative review to award security officers with the power to detain and the power to arrest, similar to those of a constable. This is critical to the change Jamaica need and not necessarily preventative detention as a stand alone. More eyes, more ears and more responsible men and women to combat the nations crime problem, but not entirely at the cost of tax payers. Additionally, increased responsibility requires increased compensation, where the government can implement small tokens of benefits such as fair treatment of the security officers, pay with sick leave, a pension plan and more importantly of all, a fully staffed and functional Private Security Industry Workers Union.
More is certainly required of the Private Security Regulation Authority. As outlined in the mission statement of the PSRA “To monitor and regulate the operations of organizations and individuals operating in the Private Security Industry. To facilitate a closer link between Private Security and State Security in the interest of national well-being”- this is yet to be seen as in most cases when complains are filed against a company regarding abuse of a security officer or employee, little or nothing is done to remedy the abuse.
Lastly, Most public servants receive some level of benefits and welfare from the Private Sector, be it through discounts at a supermarket, a lower interest on loans from a financial institution, house preferences through National Housing Trust or Concessions; it would be encouraging to our men and women who put their life on the line to protect the valuable life, property and information of their clients to receive some level of support. In an effort to attain a safe and secure country, more is certainly necessary and it will require a collaborative effort when everything is taken into account, to improve Jamaica Crime Ratings.
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”- Benjamin Franklin.
In concluding, our men and women of the security industry are ready to put their hands, hearts and minds together to make Jamaica the place to live, raise families and do business ( Jamaica Vision 2030).
Author: Krisho Holmes PFSO; CLA.
This article was written by Krisho Holmes. Mr. Holmes is a member of the Private Security Industry since 2005 and is a PSP candidate. Feel free to contact Mr. Holmes via email at krishoholmes@gmail. com with your questions and queries.