Minister for Justice Helen McEntee TD has today published the Annual Report of the Private Security Authority along with the Financial Statements for 2022.
The Private Security Authority (PSA) is the statutory body with responsibility for licensing and regulating the private security industry in Ireland. The PSA was established following the passing of the Private Security Services Act in 2004 and is an independent body under the aegis of the Department of Justice. The PSA started licencing security contractors in 2006 and security employees in 2007 and at the end of 2022 was responsible for regulating 1,443 licensed contractors and 32,038 licensed individuals.
The 2022 Annual Report notes a number of achievements including the expansion of licensing to employees in the Event Security and Private Investigator sector and the publication of updated official standards across a range of industry sectors.
Once the public health restrictions were lifted in 2022, in-person inspection and enforcement activities returned to normal, which enabled the PSA to undertake 150 contractor inspections and 204 unannounced compliance inspections on licensed premises, retail outlets and other businesses in 2022 to ensure compliance with employee licensing.
Speaking on publishing the Report Minister McEntee said:
“One of my key priorities as Minister for Justice is reducing crime and keeping communities safe. As we all know this requires a whole of system approach within which the staff of the Private Security Authority play an important role. The work they do gives people confidence in a wide range of security services, from the person installing a security system to the person working on the door of a nightclub.”
As committed in 2022 the PSA continued to expand and strengthen the regulatory environment through expanding licensing to employees in the Event Security and Private Investigator sectors. This is extremely valuable as it helps to create safe spaces where we can all have greater confidence.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chief Executive Paul Scallan, Mr Richard O’Farrell, the Chairman of the PSA and the team at the PSA for their hard work, expertise and continued commitment to making our public and private spaces safer and to improving public confidence in the industry.”
The Annual report notes that the PSA Board, which was appointed in March 2022 for a term of four years published the Strategic Plan for 2023 – 2025 which sets out the plan to work with the industry to look at ways of supporting female participation in the security sector and ways to continue to promote respect, diversity and inclusion in the security industry.
Paul Scallan, Chief Executive of the Private Security Authority commented:
“In the year that saw the ending of pandemic restrictions and the return of large sporting, music and other public events, it was timely that we extended licensing to Event Security employees. During the year we also launched licensing for Private Investigator employees, prepared the groundwork for the licensing of Enforcement Guards and introduced new training courses for Door Supervisors and Security Guards.
The licensed industry continued to grow in 2022 with turnover increasing by 7% to €963 million. The growth of the industry created recruitment challenges as a competitive economy vied with the industry for scarce resources. In this regard, the industry was not helped by the court proceedings that halted the new employment regulation order.
Looking ahead, we launched a new Strategic Plan to take us to 2025 by which time we should have completed our licensing programme. We look forward to continued engagement with our licence holders and other partners in pursuit of our mandate to protect the public and improve standards within the private security industry.”