Find Security expertise in Jamaica
- Status of security
The past few decades have witnessed a massive expansion of the security industry in Jamaica. As of 2012, according to the Private Security Regulation Authority (PSRA), there were more than 200 registered private security companies (PSCs) in Jamaica. In terms of the number of registered guards, the largest of these include Guardsman Limited with 2,777, Marksman Limited with 2,653 and Ranger Protection and Security Company Limited with 1,456.
Jamaica’s PSCs provide services in a wide range of contexts and to a wide range of clients, including for specific events (public and private), for residential areas, for banks and for airlines. Services on offer include guarding (for people, premises, goods, cash in transit), security systems design and security management consultancy. Some PSCs, such as Hawkeye Electronic Security Limited, supply a range of electronic security services.
The American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) aims to increase the professional standards of the PSCs of its members. As of 2004, ASIS Jamaica had more than 60 members, comprising security professionals from a range of the island’s PSCs.
The CPP programme is administered by ASIS International. As of 2012, 10,000 professionals worldwide had earned the designation of CPP. According to the ASIS International website, those who achieve the certificate have demonstrated their ‘competency in the areas of security solutions and best-business practices through an intensive qualification and testing program’.
According to information taken from http://gunpolicy.org/, in 2010 there were 52.1 homicides per 100,000 of the population; 39.4 of these were firearm homicides. By comparison, in the same year in the Dominican Republic there were 24.9 homicides per 100,000 of the population, of which 16.3 were firearm homicides. In the USA, in 2009 the rate of homicide was 4.96 per 100,000 people, of which 2.98 were firearm homicides.
Public security and policing services are provided by the Jamaica Constabulary Force. The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report (2012-2013) gives Jamaica a moderate score of 3.7 out of 7, below the world average of 4.3, for reliability of police services where 1 means that police services cannot be relied upon and 7 indicates that they can be completely relied upon. Both organised crime such as racketeering and extortion, and crime and violence seriously affect business in Jamaica scoring 3.2 (below the world average of 5.1) and 2.2 (below the average of 4.7) respectively. In both categories a score of 1 indicates that crime imposes costs on businesses to a great extent and 7, that it imposes no costs on businesses. The business cost of terrorism however was good, scoring high with 5.7 out of 7, above the world average of 5.4 meaning that terrorism only moderately affects businesses’ costs.
The regulations of the private security sector fall under the Private Security Regulation Authority (PSRA) Act and are enforced by the eponymous PSRA. PSCs are required to register with the PRSA; state permission is also required to become a security trainer, private investigator or a private security guard. The Act states that each guard should receive a minimum of 80 hours of basic training over a two week period. Training should be conducted by registered security trainers or by personnel from the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) or the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
The carrying of firearms by private security guards is legal in Jamaica. However, such guards are required to obtain a Firearm User’s (Employees’) Certificate issued under the Firearms Act.