United States (31.03.17): According to Hawaii News Now sources, at least six law enforcement officers who had been fired from Hawaii Police Department (HPD) and the Department of Defense due to reasons such as unprofessional behaviour, DUI arrest, and theft were subsequently hired by a private security firm working at Honolulu International Airport. The private security firm, Securitas, gets paid $36 million a year by the state to provide ‘airport police’ and other security services. The State Senator of Hawaii, Will Espero, declared that the situation is unacceptable as the officers that they have terminated are being hired by the private contractors with which they have a contract. The Executive Director of Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA), Randy Perreira, has disclosed that HGEA is suing the Department of Transportation over the use of private security at the airport. Perreira claimed that there has been a steady erosion of Securitas’ responsibility and increased role for them as a private contractor. Espero adds that it would result in a better quality of oversight, if private security guards were kept out of the policing aspect of the airport.
Jamaica (31.03.17): The Private Security Regulation Authority (PSRA) is working to professionalise the industry through training security personnel. Since 2008, the PSRA has been implementing a series of higher educational and training standards in order to have more qualified security personnel. The Executive Director of the PSRA, Roslyn Campbell, informed Jamaica Information Services (JIS) that the authority is incorporating industry-wide training to ensure that there are measurable standards. The training services require 80 hours of basic training, training in several areas such as customer service, risk management, professional conduct, governance, leadership and critical thinking. Campbell also announced that as of January 2016, it is mandatory for companies to ensure that security guards receive training and provide evidence of certification. These internationally accredited certifications include the National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQJ) and the Caribbean Vocational Qualification. Campbell stressed that private security is becoming one of the fastest growing businesses, and the lack of training and standards in the field can lead to chaos and even low productivity.
Costa Rica (04.04.17): The head of the private security bureau, Roberto Méndez, declared that the Public Security Ministry has destroyed 450 arms belonging to private security companies, with the aim of decreasing the use of armed private security services. Whilst complying with international arms control mechanisms, the Public Security Ministry is in the process of looking for ways to not only encourage alternative security methods, but also to implement other safety practices. One of these methods is that all weapons in Costa Rica in addition to being registered upon entering the country will all eventually have a secondary code which will allow them to be tracked if they fall into the wrong hands.
Kenya (04.04.17): In the past month, Somali pirates have ambushed four ships, raising fears that the pirate menace has returned to the Indian Ocean. Analysts have reported that a number of factors have driven the resurgence in piracy, including droughts, famine, corruption, a surge of smuggled weapons and the influence of the Islamic State. From 2008 to 2012, shipping companies invested in hiring armed guards and aid organisations supported income alternative projects for men who had become pirates. However, the owner of a Somali anticorruption organisation, Marqaati, Mr. Mohamed Mubarak, claims that after years of declining attacks, resources moved away from patrolling Somalia’s coast and were used to battle other threats.
Australia (05.04.17): According to Amnesty International, billions of dollars’ worth of contracts for offshore processing centres should be made public. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has been previously accused of mismanaging contracts for the centres on Nauru and Manus Island by a series of independent audits. Reports from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) allege that more than $1 billion was spent over the last four years without proper authorisation. Amnesty International criticised the secrecy surrounding Broadspectrum, the leading private contractor for the centres which has provided garrison services on Nauru since September 2012.