Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Private Security Services Authority must be diverse and representative

8 October, 2003


Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Justice Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called on the Minister for Justice to amend the Private Security Services Bill to ensure that the composition of the new Private Security Authority is "properly diverse and representative". Speaking following Committee Stage hearings on the Bill, Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"Sinn Féin supports the creation of the Private Security Authority as we agree that the private security industry must be better regulated. However, I believe it would be of benefit to diversify the proposed composition of the Authority. The Minister's legislative provisions on membership of the Authority provide for representation of the industry and the Gardaí, but there is no specific provision for union representation so that the workers are properly represented. There is no specific provision for advocates with a human rights or civil liberties background, which would lend important expertise in the necessary safeguards against abuse. Nor is there provision for community representation. Communities are directly affected by the quality of private security services, and should therefore have some say in how they are regulated. While the Minister may argue that he could use his discretion to ensure that his appointees fill such roles, this is not enough for Sinn Féin. We would prefer to see such representation legislated for and not left to Ministerial whim.

"I also support Labour's gender balance amendment that would require appointees to be at least 40% female. I agree that this target is necessary to ensure that this public body is established in an equitable manner and in a way that is more representative of our population. Frankly, I was taken aback when the Minister responsible for Equality glibly rejected this amendment."ENDS

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