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Police: Private Sector

Home Office written question – answered on 14th January 2020.

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Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Policing)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the powers are of private security firms contracted by public authorities to carry out policing duties; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Home Department

Private security firms do not have police powers. Core police powers like arrest will always be reserved for police constables and other special forces.

While core powers are reserved for police and other special forces, the legislation does permit Chief Constables to establish and maintain “community safety accreditation schemes” in consultation with local authorities. This power also enables Chief Constables to confer upon accredited non-police staff, including security officers employed by accredited firms, a range of powers, including the issuing of fixed penalty notices, in order to help maintain community safety and security.

Any individual private security operative must be licensed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

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