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PSA News

by Geraldine Larkin, CEO, Private Security Authority

PSA and The Courts High Court upholds decision to refuse Security Licence

While the Authority’s visits before the Courts are mainly in relation to prosecutions for breaches of licensing legislation and take place in the District Courts we have found ourselves before the High Court as a result of judicial reviews following decisions to refuse licences. One recent case involved our decision to

irrespective of whether such a business

22(3)(b)(i) of the Act and the application

of a company continued to direct and

sector.

decision to the Private Security Appeal

refuse on the basis that a former director control the company and was not a fit

and proper person to provide a security service.

Section 22(3) of the Private Security Services Act 2004 allows the Authority to refuse to grant a licence if satisfied

that the applicant is not a fit and proper person to provide a security service. For the purpose of this provision an applicant

can be an individual or in the case of

a body corporate any director, manager,

operates or operated in the security

In 2009 the Authority received an

application for a Security Guard (Static)

The Authority noted that a director

seeking to overturn the decision of the

of the company was also a director of another private security company, namely Watchdog Security Services Limited

whose licence application had previously been refused in April 2007.

that capacity. The Act does not specify

their application on the basis of the

In determining whether a person is fit and proper under the Act the Authority will

consider such things as our criminality criteria, compliance with the Companies

Acts and Revenue and Social Welfare provisions as well as compliance with PSA

legislation and regulations. The Authority

will also apply the provision to any other business or previous business which such

a person may have been involved with,

20

decision. The

licence from Strebor Security Limited.

The

what is meant by “a fit and proper person”.

Board which upheld the Authority’s

and a Door Supervisor (Licensed Premises)

secretary or other similar officer of the

body corporate or any person acting in

was refused. The company appealed the

Authority

wrote

to

Strebor

Security Limited proposing to refuse directors involvement with Watchdog Security Services Limited. The individual

subsequently resigned as director of Strebor however, the Authority took the view that, despite the resignation

as director, the individual continued to direct, control and influence the affairs

of the company thus falling within the definition of director for the purposes of

section 22 of the 2004 Act. The Authority concluded that the individual was not

a fit and proper person under section

company

subsequently

lodged

a judicial review with the High Court

Appeal Board, a declaration that the company was entitled to a licence and other orders including costs. Following

legal arguments, the High Court upheld the decision of the Appeal Board.

Prosecutions

Our Enforcement Division has continued

its successful prosecution policy into 2011. We had our first successful prosecution against an individual for breach of the

Private Security Services Act, 2004 after

he failed to renew his door supervisor (licensed premises) licence. This is the result of inspections undertaken by the Authority’s Inspectors, who carry out

regular inspections to ensure that door supervisors are licensed and wearing

identity badges while on duty. Further prosecutions against individuals are

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