18.05.2017

Weekly News Update

https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/may/12/industry-of-inequality-why-world-is-obsessed-with-private-security Photo: Reuters ©

Rwanda (06.06.17): Four private security firms have been closed down due to operating without a license. The Rwandan police have issued a stern warning to private security providers against unprofessional conduct and violating standard procedures. Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Theos Badege, declared that these four firms did not acquire an operational license so all of their activities were closed effective immediately. Furthermore, Badege added that the private sector activities and infrastructure are expanding so the process of licensing and continuous inspeaction is geared towards high standards of professionalism.

 

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Iraq (07.05.17): The Iraqi government has signed a contract with US contractors to secure a road between Baghdad and the Jordanian capital of Amman. This road was closed after IS captured the Anbar province in 2014. The Vice-President of the Anbar provincial council, Faleh Al-Issawi, confirmed that the provincial government and the temporary government have contracted with private security police to secure the international road. Al-Issawi insisted that the US contractors will withdraw once the job is completed and Iraqi forces will be ready to secure the border.

 

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Australia (11.05.17):  After an incident occurred in the medium security prison, Acacia, where two officers were assaulted by inmates, private prison operator, Serco, has rejected claims that the prison is short-staffed. The Western Australian Prison Officers Union (WAPOU) expressed that the incident occurred because the prison is full and the staff are stretched. The Secretary of WAPOU, John Welch, declared that the prison staff are consistently run off their feet and working under pressure because the prison is working at maximum capacity. Welch explained that in Western Australia, both public and private corrective services operate on a ‘dynamic’ offender-to-staff ratio, and local agreements between the Department of Corrective Service and private facilities allow operating regimes to adapt in order to ensure ‘safe and secure’ operation.

 

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Global (12.05.17):  According to The Guardian newspaper analysis, at least half the world’s population live in countries where there are more private security workers than public police officers. The global market for private security services, which includes private guarding, surveillance and armed transport, is now worth an estimated $180bn and is projected to grow to $240bn by 2020. Around the world, private security guards patrol areas such as shopping malls, elite gated communities, public streets; in some countries, they wear uniforms, carry handguns and more. Estimates suggest there are more than 20 million private workers worldwide. A professor at Ottawa University, Rita Abrahamsen, expresses that everyday private security has become a universal phenomenon.

 

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Jamaica (12.05.17):  At the Guardsman’s Group Security Forum on May 11th, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, announced that as the government is pursuing initiatives to improve citizen security and safety, partnership with the private security industry will be a critical part of the process. He emphasised that the private security sector is an essential component of the national security framework, serving as sensors that can passively detect criminal activity and threats, providing vital support for State security. Furthermore, Prime Minister Holness noted that the input of all stakeholders (public security, private sector and civil society) is essential.

 

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India (13.05.17):  The city police of Ahmedabad’s special operations group (SOG) cracked down on security agencies functioning without proper licences. The SOG conducted a drive from May 8 to May 10 to identify such agencies and eight agencies were caught violating the rules.  The Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), B C Solanki, noted that security agencies have to follow guidelines laid out in the Private Security Agencies Regulation Act 2005. Moreover, ACP B C Solanki declared that there have been a number of instances in the city of security guards being involved in crimes such as theft and robberies. The drive was an exercise to educate citizens not to employ guard from unauthorised agencies.

 

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Papua New Guinea (16.05.17):  Police in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have asked a United States private security firm to provide firearms training to officers ahead of the country hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit next year because the Australian Federal Police deployed in the country refused the request. The Australian Federal Police Officers were expelled from Papua New Guinea because the Supreme Court found it was unconstitutional to give police powers to individuals who were not part of the national police force. In order to avoid legal problems, the Australian Force Police have 73 officers in the country that are allowed to be unarmed advisors without the powers of arrest. Police Commissioner, Gari Baki, declared that five men from the Laurence Aviation and Security Group (US private security contractor) had been in the country determining the scope of work for further training. The contractors had caused an alarm after being photographed carrying high-powered weapons in residential streets, but Baki had given the men authorisation to carry the weapons and accompany the police.

 

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Brazil (16.05.17):  According to local news reports, in the neighbourhood of Leblon in Rio de Janeiro, local residents and merchants are banding together to implement their own private neighbourhood security initiative in order to combat the recent wave of robberies and break-ins.  The plan involves contracting private security guards and installing a system of interconnected security cameras throughout the area. The President of the Association to O Globo, Evelyn Rosenzweig, expressed that the neighbourhood is tired of waiting for a decision from the Secretary of Security and are creating a project with their own resources based on the model Operação Segurança Presente (Operation Security Today). This model was a joint initiative between the Rio de Janeiro state government and the Federation of Commerce of Rio de Janeiro, which was implemented in 2014 to reduce crime in five neighbourhoods. Rosenzweig claims that it will not be a militia but a project protected by the law.

 

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