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PSA News

by Geraldine Larkin, CEO, Private Security Authority

The PSA has issued licences to 7 Cash-in-Transit (CiT) contractors. The road to the issue of these licenses has been long and intense and the volume and quality of work put into the development of standards is inversely proportionate to the comparatively small number of licenses issued. Background Ireland had a very high incidence of CiT robberies in the early 2000s and the danger experienced by the crews as well as the high-profile and high-value crimes meant that measures were required to be taken to combat this trend. The PSA, for its part, was tasked with regulating this sector to both improve the safety of CiT crews and the security of the cash being transported by the CiT companies. The PSA saw its role as manifold. Firstly regulation would support the sterling and invaluable work being carried out by An Garda Siochana in detecting and preventing crimes against CiT crews and cargo. Secondly regulation would further emphasise the Mission Statement of the PSA to improve and maintain standards in the private security industry. The first and main step was to develop a set of standards to underpin licensing of this sector. The long and exacting process of developing standards began. The PSA engaged the expertise of the NSAI in developing a Quality Management Standard and all the relevant stakeholders, including the PSA, NSAI, Gardai and industry set to work. After many meetings and drafts the group published IS998 which now forms one half of the compliance requirements for standards for CiT licensing. Simultaneously the PSA and our colleagues in An Garda Siochana developed a set of requirements covering the technical operation of the CIT companies. Extensive consultation with both employer and employee sides in the sector resulted in the development of a standard which covered requirements under the main areas of activity of the sector. The consultation with industry 8

stakeholders as well as the invaluable expertise and input from our colleagues in An Garda Siochana has resulted in a sector which is comprehensively regulated and properly controlled and monitored by an independent statutory body. The PSA believes that the standards covering Irish CiT operations are exacting but fair, challenging but attainable. This promotes confidence in the clients and prospective clients of the CiT contractors and a secure and efficient operational framework for CiT operators and their staff.

without a licence there exists the provision for criminal proceedings to be taken against those clients who use unlicensed contractors. However CiT is a numerically small sector and initial evidence and intelligence gathered by our enforcement staff would indicate that licenses issued to date cover all the contractors known to the PSA. If any of the people reading this article are aware of, or suspect, illegal CiT contractor activity, our enforcement Division can be contacted at 062 32600.

Enforcement

The PSA has brought CiT contractors within the licensing net however that does not conclude our efforts in this sector. The PSA is currently actively considering the issue of licensing individuals working within the sector. The Authority is currently conducting widespread consultation with all relevant industry stakeholders and these consultations will invariably inform aspects of individual licensing when that it introduced.

Now that licenses have been issued and regulation has entered an advanced phase for this sector, the PSA will turn its attention to ensuring that compliance with the standards continues on into the future. The PSA has conducted compliance audits in respect of the technical operational standard and the NSAI has conducted audits for compliance with IS998. Compliance audits, particularly in respect of the technical operational standard, are an evolving and ongoing process where the PSA will seek to ensure that compliance determined to date is improved upon over agreed timeframes. This is a process where the PSA will involve industry stakeholders as frequently and deeply as possible. It is a truism that the criminal fraternity will not rest and this fact alone will drive the PSA's determination to ensure our enforcement efforts continue to keep standards high, crews safe and cargos secure. Under the Private Security Services Act 2004 which established the PSA, along with criminal proceedings that can be taken against contractors who operate

What next?

The PSA would like to thank employers, trades unions and An Garda Siochana for the help, guidance and advice it received in the long march to licensing of the CiT sector. The Authority is aware and appreciates that licensed CiT contractors have committed significant funding to meet the requirements of the standards as well as the large amounts of their time and effort spent in their dealings with the PSA from the inception of the process. They and their staff have played their part in the successful introduction of licensing. We look forward to continuing that constructive work into the future.

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