23.03.2017

Weekly News Update

Credit: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/protection_swiss-security-contractors-active-abroad/43041590 Photo: © Keystone

South Africa (16.03.17): Fidelity Security and US-based Tyco have concluded a R2 billion merger deal which will see the latter’s ADT security business become part of the South African Fidelity group. This new entity will become one of the largest private security providers in the country supporting around 57, 000 employers. According to the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA), as of 2015, there are over 1.87 million registered security officers in South Africa— 490,000 of which are classified as active. A study conducted by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) revealed that South Africa’s private security force has quadrupled between 1997 and 2015, from 115,331 registered security officials, to just under over 487, 000.

 

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Switzerland (21.03.17): According to data from the foreign ministry, private Swiss security firms have carried out more than 400 missions abroad over the past 18 months; one in five missions was aimed at supporting the local armed forces or police or maintenance of weapons systems. Missions that have taken place outside of Swiss borders have been subjected to approval by the foreign ministry since 2015 in order to prevent human rights violations. The authorities opened a formal procedure in seven of the about 400 requests, two applications were withdrawn and one case is still pending.

 

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Ecuador (13.03.17): Presidential candidate, Guillermo Lasso, has proposed to privatise security services in Ecuador. Lasso, a former banker, claims that security must be strengthened in order to coordinate the actions between the National Police and private security companies. Colombian journalist, Daniela Pacheco, argues that shifting issues of security into private hands ultimately undermines public safety by pandering to whims of political and economic elites, as she claims has happened in Colombia.

 

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Australia (22.03.17):  An unlicensed security guard seen walking through Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall openly carrying a gun days after January’s deadly car rampage is expected to be charged with possessing a firearm. Victoria police have interviewed the security guard in regards to performing security work while unlicensed and the private security company that he was working for is currently being investigated. A police statement declared that the company in question was a holder of a corporate firearm licence and a private security business licence. Both licences have been suspended as private security companies are responsible for ensuring any individuals that they employ are the holders of appropriately endorsed and valid licences.

 

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