07/12/2009

Clampdown Targets 'Rogue' Security Firms

All firms providing private security for the Scottish Government will now have to have earned the 'approved contractor' kitemark.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill made the announcement ahead of a meeting on Tuesday of the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce.

Any contract requiring private security in the Scottish Government will now require those providing the service to belong to the Security Industry Authority's Approved Contractor Scheme. This will ensure that the provider has met a clearly defined set of quality standards.

Mr MacAskill said: "Serious organised crime causes devastating harm to our communities. Serious organised crime groups make money at the expense of hard-working, law abiding people - undermining our legitimate businesses while lining the pockets of thugs and crooks.

"I am determined to ensure that public money does not make its way into the criminals coffers. That means ensuring that our contracts go only to legitimate businesses and that taxpayers' money is not siphoned off to fund organised crime.

"Only companies that meet the Security Industry Authority's standards will get contracts that we let.

"The Serious Organised Crime Taskforce is working to help ensure that this is the case for all public contracts in Scotland."

Bill Butler, Chief Executive of the Security Industry Authority, welcomed the move saying it will provide reassurance to the public.

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is an independent organisation established under the terms of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. It was set up to help protect society by working in collaboration to develop and attain high standards of professionalism and service throughout the private security industry.

(GK/BMCC)

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