AG wants security industry regulation

By Paul Hemsley

Plans to regulate the private security industry in dealing with government were outlined by Federal Attorney General, Nicola Roxon.

Ms Roxon gave a talk at the ASIAL Security 2012 Conference in Sydney about regulating the private security industry with a licencing scheme reform.

According to Ms Roxon, these reforms are one way to help address damaged reputations because criminals tend to target sectors that have the least regulation.

The regulation of the private security industry is being led by the states and territories although it is being overseen by a committee Ms Roxon and Minister for Justice Jason Clare sit on.

“There are reforms that can bring benefit to the industry improving the competence and skills of security personnel,” Ms Roxon said.

“Being nationally consistent, the reforms are also able to help the mobility of the private security personnel to work interstate.”

She said the “frustration with pieces of plastic card” when working in different areas has significant costs.

“Sometimes the industry’s copped flack because of some of the links that have seen to be tied to organised crime or corruption and this is a damaging image and is damaging to the reputation of the sector,” Ms Roxon said.

Ms Roxon said the majority of companies working in the industry are legitimate providers of security to the community.

The main lesson from the challenging negotiations is that it is very important that the industry itself has agreed on the approach to be taken, Ms Roxon said.

She said it’s “dead easy” to get the governments to agree, but the difficulty is meeting with state and territory governments saying they want different things.

“If you as an industry can have a national position, it really is not a difficult thing to do,” Ms Roxon said.

According to Ms Roxon, it still requires logistical challenges and a government sign off.

“But you then essentially have the ability to help lead that and that’s a very big circuit breaker for many differences between governments if you’re able to get to that position,” Ms Roxon said.

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