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Security firms forcing evictions must be subject to regulation – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

30 January, 2019 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD will tomorrow move his Regulation of Private Security Firms Bill at first stage in the Dáil.

The Bill seeks to regulate firms that are being used by banks to enforce eviction orders, such as the ones seen in Strokestown and Frederick St in recent times.

Speaking this evening, Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:

“On the back of the Frederick St eviction I sought information from the Private Security Authority as to who those men in balaclavas were and to see if they could be held to account.

“The PSA informed me that such firms are unregulated, which is very concerning.

“The Bill would amend section 2 of the Private Security Services Act 2004 by adding a new category of security personnel to come within the remit of the act, and under the scope of the Private Security Authority.

 “This act generally involves the regulation and oversight of security staff. For example Section 29 and 30 of the Private Security Services Act 2004 are explicit in stating that all operating with the sector must identify themselves clearly, and show ID to anyone who requests it.

“There are significant fines for those who breach that.

“If we expect door staff, and people who are doing security in shops in our high street to be subject to regulation, yet People involved in the most intrusive, hard edged, and indeed potentially violent security work are not subject to any regulation.

“It is incredibly, unacceptable, and we intend to resolve this.

“This is a simple Bill and could be progressed quite quickly with Government support.

“The lack of accountability is shocking, and those who are forcing evictions, and who are acting in a violent or abusive way must be held accountable, must be subject to regulation and must be capable of having a complaint made against them.

“Our Bill would rectify that. It would ensure that anyone involved in an eviction would be subject to standards, oversight, licensing and carry ID.

“They could also be the subject of complaint to, and investigation by, the PSA.”

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