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Convicted Security Officer Uncertified

PRESS RELEASE: Convicted Security Officer Uncertified

Tuesday 6 December 2005


A security officer who received an eight-month jail sentence for burglary did not hold a current Certificate of Approval as required by law, the New Zealand Security Officers Association reported today.

Jeremy George Evan McLaughlin, a 27 year old security officer received an eight-month sentence in the Christchurch District Court this week after being found guilty of using pin numbers for burglar alarms that he was entrusted with in the course of his employment with a security monitoring company to burgle a property. He was also ordered to pay reparation of $1484 to the victim, and a further $500 to the security company who had previously employed him for emotional harm.

Judge Stephen Erber commented on the seriousness of the offence by pointing out that it was a breach of trust by someone who had been entrusted to defend a house. He also warned the security industry that the courts would deal with breaches of this kind seriously.

The Office of the Registrar of Private Investigators and Security Guards told the New Zealand Security Officers Association that McLaughlin did not hold a Certificate of Approval as required by law under the Private Investigators and Security Guards Act 1974.

The law requires all people employed in the business of monitoring burglar alarms on property they do not own or occupy to hold a Certificate of Approval. Any employer in this line of work who fails to ensure certification of employees or anyone working for such a business while uncertified can be fined $2000.

A spokesperson for the New Zealand Security Officers Association said that it was ironic that while a judge promised to get tough on breaches committed by security guards, the police refuse to prosecute security companies who do not certify their guards.

“Instead of these companies receiving $500 for emotional harm, they should be made to pay fines for non-compliance of security licensing laws. This however is not going to happen unless the police start enforcing the law,” he said.

ENDS

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