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Recent Inquiries Into the Private Security Industry in Australia: Implications for Regulation

NCJ Number
Security Journal Volume: 25 Issue: 4 Dated: October 2012 Pages: 342-355
Tim Prenzler; Alastair Milroy
Date Published
October 2012
14 pages
This article examines the need for regulation of the private security industry in Australia.
The private security industry has come under increasing scrutiny in line with growth in the number of security providers and increasing dependence on private providers for crime prevention, including at critical infrastructure sites. Inquiries and research have shown the industry is vulnerable to misconduct and many jurisdictions have enlarged licensing requirements to guard against abuses. This article reports on recent inquiries into the industry in Australia, conducted by the Australian Crime Commission, the New South Wales Independent Commission against Corruption and the Fair Work Ombudsman. Using a variety of novel investigative techniques, the inquiries revealed a diverse range of problems, including criminal activity and infiltration by organized crime, corruption in security guard training and the exploitation of security staff through under-award payments. The extent of the misconduct obliges an upwards revision of the risk profile for the industry and demonstrates the importance of a more proactive and complex approach to regulation. (Published Abstract)