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Time For Action On Security Guards - Mark

29 June 2006

Time For Action On Security Guards - Mark

New Zealand First law and order spokesman Ron Mark believes that action to update the legislation governing the security industry is long overdue.

“There can be no doubt that both the legislation and the licensing regime need updating as a matter of urgency, given the changes in the industry since 1974 when the Private Investigators and Security Guards Act was first introduced, and the fact that use of security in one form or another has permeated all areas of life.

“The review of the Act has been underway since 2001, and statements from a previous Minister and Associate Minister both acknowledged its importance, and both gave assurances in 2002 and 2003 that the necessary changes were imminent.

“Yet here we are in 2006 with the revelations that a convicted rapist has been working as an unlicensed guard in a central city Police station and that (according to the Ministry's own website) well over 2000 of 4714 listed security guards are currently unlicenced.

“Worse, industry sources suggest that there is more like 8000 security guards currently working which means that there as many as two thirds of all security guards operating are doing so without a licence and therefore without adequate screening or monitoring.

“Unlicensed operators could be knocking on doors, and selling burglar alarms and security systems to unsuspecting members of the public, gaining access to the homes of people who believe they are dealing with a licensed security guard who has been properly vetted by police.

“The industry itself wants the changes and has been pressing the Ministry of Justice to take the review off the back-burner for years.

“I am pleased that the Minister has agreed on the importance of the legislation, but it is time to beef up the licensing process and make the necessary legislative changes. Let’s have less talk and more action,” concluded Mr Mark.

ENDS

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