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Reservations over proposed security bill

PRESS RELEASE: NZSOA expresses reservations over proposed security bill.

New Zealand Security Officers Association Monday 7 July 2008

The New Zealand Security Officers Association today expressed reservations about Associate Justice Minister Clayton Cosgrove’s Private Security Personnel and Private Investigators Bill designed to overhaul the legislation governing the security industry that was announced yesterday and is expected to be ready to be introduced into Parliament within the next few months.

The NZSOA was particularly concerned about pre-licensing training and the exclusion of in-house security guards under the proposed bill.

Clayton Cosgrove said, “People will be obliged to complete any mandatory training before they are issued with a full certificate of approval or a licence. After an initial Police check for convictions is undertaken, but before the full objections process and training are completed, applicants can be issued with a temporary certificate of approval, valid for three months.”

Spokesperson for the New Zealand Security Officers Association, Mr Darryn Loveridge said, “Mr Cosgrove appears to support the introduction of compulsory training for security officers. While he presents a sound argument that security officers require training to better protect the public and themselves, in a bizarre twist he has concluded that employees need not undertake training for up to three months.

Mr Loveridge said, ‘Supervisors in the security industry are well aware that the majority of problems arise from new employees who are often put in uniform and “turned loose” without any training whatsoever. This appears to defeat the objectives for introducing pre-licensing training.

“Clayton Cosgrove really needs to look at the results of effective pre licensing training introduced in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, which has produced professional and accountable security personnel in these respective jurisdictions,” he said.

The New Zealand Security Officers Association also commented on the exclusion of in-house security guards from the proposed legislation. Under the proposed changes, staff employed directly by a business to perform security work will not need to be licensed.

Spokesperson Darryn Loveridge said, “Many of the reported cases of dishonest guards stealing from their employer have been in-house guards. It seems a foolhardy move on the Governments part to allow such a large loophole in the proposed legislation when this is considered,” he said.


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