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The National and International History of the Private Security Industry

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The National and International History of the Private Security Industry



In this assignment I will be discussing the international history and evolution of security, the role of private security in Ireland and describing in detail the background to legislation and regulation in the security sector and lastly will be outlining the rights and responsibilities of security guards, employers, and clients.

International history and evolution of security

The term ‘security’ dates back to as far as Ancient Egypt and Ancient Roman times. The Pharaohs of Egypt would have hired security to keep them safe, the same method was used by the emperors of Rome they hired armed security to keep their families and valuables safe from harm. As the centuries went on the improvement and building of society required more security measures, for example with the time of the Industrial Revolution a private security agency known as the Pinkerton Agency began as there was an increasing crime rate. Now In Modern times the advancement of ways crime can be committed more security methods are needed, technology and improving security techniques and studies make it easier to combat all the different ways security may be breached.

Publisher: Barton_Secure https://www.copsecuritycorp.com/the-history-of-private-security/ date accessed 14th November 2018

Private Security in Ireland

Ireland had its first commercial security company set up in the 1960s by Bill Kavanagh it was inspired by Britain as they had security companies of their own from 1930 onwards. The world of security has been forever evolving thanks to the technology of which most improvements come from different countries but its Irish man Dan O Leary who came up with the design process and installation of a number of devices used for detection and alarms to alert someone of an intruder in the 1960s.

Background to Legislation & Regulation

The Private Security Act of 2004 which was introduced to the country by Minister for Justice at the time Michael McDowell and this broke down the security sector into four main categories the Guarding Security Services, Technology Sector, Hardware Sector, and the Specialist sector. The Private Security Authorities(PSA) was set up to regulate and license the Irish Security Sector The PSA includes these primary functions amongst others, control over the employee working the security services, making sure the standards are kept or improved where necessary, the renewal, giving out suspensions on licenses or even revoking the license completely and another primary function keeping track of all licenses, the two types of licenses being a contractor’s license and employee license.

Regulation: Roles and responsibilities of the PSA28:2013

With the two licenses included in the PSA28:2013 there is important documentation that is needed, to apply for a contractor’s license some of these documents that are needed would include a fully completed application form, valid tax report information and proof of having obtained PSA2013. For the employee license, you need to be vetted a completed application and the evidence you have received the adequate training to qualify for a job in security.  PSA will not entertain any of the applications they receive from the company who isn’t of the standard they require.  The main regulations in Ireland are EN50131 who install the alarms, IS228 who is the monitoring center standard and finally the PSA28:2013 that cover guarding security.

Key Features of legislation and regulation

For a contractor to obtain a PSA license they must fall under the following six section standards of the PSA act, Scope, Definitions, Company Organisation, Staffing, Training, and operations. Scope lays out the aspects of a guarding security services company. Definitions outline all the different aspects and sectors in security, for example, the definition of Event Security or the definition of the type of staff you would encounter in the company. Company organizations go through who owns the company, what its finances are like if the premises are suitable etc. Staffing deals with the different forms of staff in the company. In the training section, the company’s training policies should be clearly explained and authorized at board level and once a new employee is taken on make sure they are receiving the training regime of the company. Training courses provided by FETAC also fall into training. The final section is operations this includes the control and command of the system and all involved inside the specific company and keeping records of confidential information.

Rights and responsibilities

Security Guards:

Security is hired to prevent people from intruding, trespassing and vandalizing property they have no admittance to. They are tasked with preventing theft and guarding people against being harmed, they must always follow company rules and not break laws they have no right in breaking, a security guard who is caught not following the rules can be subject to fines and having licenses provoked or suspended. A security guard should always carry a notebook to document incidents it’s also important they have one to provide evidence in court if needed.


Employment legislation exists to protect the rights of employees.  The employer must present and agree on a legal contract before an employee can begin working. This contract will include the following, how many hours you work, how much you will be paid, holiday entitlements etc. The employer can not dismiss an employee unless they have continuously for thirteen weeks, the employee has to be handed a notice before any dismissal can occur. The employment equality act makes sure discrimination is dealt with and that equality is promoted strongly.


The client is majorly important. A client should always be listened to their needs are important, make sure they are surrounded by comfortable surroundings and that the business image is presented in a good light. Building a relationship with the client is one of the main aims to ensure the customer’s loyalty. A security officer needs to make sure the area where they work is free of hazards for the client’s safety.


In the assignment I learned about the history of security stemming back as far as ancient Egyptian times and how it has evolved, as I continued on throughout the assignment I got to terms with the legislation and regulations of the Private security authority for example that it is them who provide the contractors and employees with security licenses, the entirety has been full of useful information I did not previously know.



Websites Used

  • Publisher: Barton_Secure, ‘https://www.copsecuritycorp.com/the-history-of-private-security/ , Date accessed 14th November 2018
  • Title: Security Skills Manual, 6th Edition, Editors: John Fitzmaurice BA, F.Sec. I.I,               Peter Keegan BA, F.Sec.I.I, Joseph A. Maloney P.C., F.Sec.I.I, Larry Quinn F.Sec.I.I, Publisher: Security Institute of Ireland, Year of Publication: August 2007


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