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News 01 Apr 15

Boom in Private Security Causes Concern in Montenegro

Interior Ministry report voices concern over growth of private security companies undertaking services once provided by the police - often without much supervision.

Dusica Tomovic
BIRN
Podgorica

 

Nearly half of all security guards in Montenegro work in the grey - unofficial - economy, were trained using outdated procedures and are unsufficiently monitored, a new report says.

About 2,000 security guards work in Montenegro but most work without official permits, the Interior Ministry report, which BIRN has seen, says.

Almost a thousand were licensed in the last year alone, but, so the report suggested, most were trained using outdated procedures and programs.

The Interior Ministry, which has overall control over all security in the country, calls for the adoption of new specialized training programs.

Sixty-five private security companies are registered in Montenegro, 14 of which obtained working permits in 2014.

The report reflects growing concern about the outsourcing of security in Montenegtro to private companies.

Until 2006, police undertook the protection of all state institutions but a change in the law in 2005 allowed private security companies to perform this task as well.

Montenegrin law sets down strict obligations for all state bodies to employ security guards of some form or other, though the report said not all had done so.

The report said the growing number of private security companies was becoming a challenge. 

"The Interior Ministry has increased the number of police officers tasked to supervise private security, but there is a lack of technical capacity for quality control of their work," the report said.

Checks last year revealed that a significant number of security guards have no health insurance or employment contracts and some of their employers do not pay taxes.

More than 400 cases of legal violations on the part of private security companies were registered in 2014, and the state collected about 150,000 euro in fines from them.

 

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