03.02.2017

Weekly News Update

Credit: http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2017/01/30/Hovering-to-catch-criminals © Gallo Image/iStock

South Africa (30.01.17): Some security firm are increasingly turning to the use of drone security and surveillance services to boost security. Drones can be used as a rapid response to alarms, being able to quickly be sent over a property to assess whether there is a real emergency. The use of drone nevertheless raises concerns over invasion of privacy and other violations – such as for example contravention to civil aviation rules.

 

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Jamaica (22.01.17): Last November, Minister of National Security Robert Montague announced a new self-contributory health insurance scheme, allowing security guards to access an individual health plan. Nevertheless, only 122 of the 23’000 private security guards of the country have started to make payment for it. If the private security guards endorse the insurance scheme, very few are nevertheless able to afford it. Trade unions representing them argue it is unfair to have the private security guard bear the totality of the insurance cost themselves, when other local business normally contribute up to 80% of the cost for their workers’ insurance.

 

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Jamaica (21.01.17): Minister of National Security Robert Montague said he would be lobbying for improved working conditions for private security guards and will be taking a submission to Cabinet with proposals to that aim. Propositions will among other include one mandatory day off per week.

 

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United States (20.01.17): Despite being provided with Secret Services protection services, US president Trump so far retained his own private security and intelligence force and seems to intend to keep ‘at least some members’ of those teams. The retention of a private security force would break with tradition and potentially raise operational and legal issues. In particular, private security – in contrary to Secret Services – is not overseen by any committee, there is no transparency in their vetting procedures and it is unclear how coordination between both services would work. The hiring of private security by the president could also be a violation of the Antideficiency Act.

 

 

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Palestine (30.12.16): The NGO Yesh Din petitioned the High Court of Justice to revoke private security contractors’ powers from policing private Palestinian land. The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) had issued in 1971 an order empowering private contractors to perform searches and seizures, and use “any reasonable measure” to arrest Palestinians to maintain security. The NGO claims the order does no longer serve the ‘regional defense’ doctrine, which was meant to protect Israel from enemy invasion, and has remained in place solely to protect the settlements and illicit outposts. According to the NGO, private contractors’ powers have been too broad and have been used to abuse Palestinians.

 

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