Despite the economic challenges in the country, a spokesperson for private security companies says there has been no drop in business. In fact, Oral Reid, chairman of the Barbados chapter of the Caribbean Association of Security Professionals, said there appeared to be more of a need for their services.
The association was launched over the weekend at the Errol Barrow Centre For Creative Imagination, UWI, Cave Hill.
Reid said the demand for private security guards underscored the need for established standards and uniformed training of those in the industry.
“Our training programmes will be focused on the occupational standards established by the TVET Council of Barbados,” he explained.
“We believe these occupational standards to be critical to moving safety and security practice in Barbados, and to some extent, the Caribbean region forward. The appeal of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification is not only as an occupational standard and qualification but also the fact that it supports the CSME movement of labour throughout the region,” Reid added.
During the meeting, the association chairman disclosed plans to roll out a suite of benefits for registered members, including relating to public liability insurance.
“We have established working relationships with various organizations, including insurance companies and banks and so on, with a view to delivering to private security guard agencies certain services, which we think will be important to them.
“Public liability insurance is a considerable sum for a single agency to underwrite the cost. If, however, they are members of the Caribbean Association of Security Professionals, we will have a blanket policy to be able to supply our members with the level of coverage within a reasonable budgeted figure and we believe that approaches such as these will also be help as it relates to training.”
There are about 50 registered private security companies, but Reid believes it could be as many as 100.
He further suggested that consideration should be given to self-regulation, with the insurance industry used as a model.
“They have established a body, which looks after the regulation of companies that are associated with insurance delivery in Barbados, and we believe that a similar model could be utilized for private security agencies. All that is needed is for us to be able to engage across the table with them, so that we can look to see how we can develop such a model. We don’t have to reinven the wheel,” he said.