Security Guards: Licensing

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 21st May 2008.

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Photo of Jeffrey M. Donaldson Jeffrey M. Donaldson Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether a person with a conviction for membership of a proscribed paramilitary organisation in Northern Ireland has been granted a licence to run a private security firm since 1998.

Photo of Paul Goggins Paul Goggins Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

To establish whether a licence has been granted to any individual with a conviction for membership of a proscribed paramilitary organisation would incur disproportionate cost.

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Paul Carlin
Posted on 22 May 2008 12:31 pm (Report this annotation)

Astonishing. This reply from Goggins is on a par in surreality with the fact that the security authorities have no idea how many foreign terrorists are employed airside at our national airports.

In this case, however, they simply don't care! It would "incur disproportionate cost" to have a clerk look at the list of licences granted and check the names against the database of past terrorist membership (A computer database program might concievably be in existence, somewhere, which could help?)

As a former member of an organisation which used to do this as routine, I can tell Goggins that the clerk would be capable of completing the task in, at most, about an hour. At current salary costs, I estimate this to be in the region of £15, including coffee, digestive biscuit and a phone call to the inquirer.

I forget what the parliamentary equivalent of the words "bloody liar" are. Can anyone help on this?