One of the goals of the Ministry of Public Security (MSP) this year has been to ensure greater control of private security companies and agents who currently operate in the country.
Last Thursday, September 13th, the Minister of Public Security, Mario Zamora Cordero, and the Director of Private Security Services of the MSP, Andres Olsen Villegas, presented a report about the actions that have been implemented this year to regulate private security operations.
The Minister said that the MSP has put great emphasis on ensuring that private security companies operate in compliance with Article 19 of the Private Security Services Act, which states that the number of agents to provide private security services must not exceed 1258.
Similarly, the MSP has been making sure that private security companies operate in compliance with Article 74 of the Costa Rican Social Security Administration Law and pay their corresponding fees.
Moreover, Olsen indicated that coordination has been made with the Police Force to execute control operations on private security companies, especially to regulate the use of firearms.
An article published last week in La Nacion mentions some of the irregularities found private security companies regarding gun use. For instance, an investigation carried by the MSP showed that private a lot of agents carry unregistered guns, while others have guns that are registered under someone else’s name. Some agents do not even have a permit to carry fire arms.
In addition, the article mentions that there are currently 1800 private security companies registered in the country, out of which 839 have been operating with an invalid license.
Meanwhile, 22453 private security agents are carrying operations with an invalid work permit.
All these irregularities have lead people to file complaints against different companies and agents that provide private security services.
According to MSP’s Directorate of Private Security Services, 227 complaints were filed in 2011, but that number increased to 387 this year.
In this regard, Olsen indicated that all complaints are investigated by the Directorate, and disciplinary action is taken once suitable evidence has been gathered.
Agents who violate MSP regulations maybe suspended for a period of time, while companies may get their licensed revoked.
If you wish to file a complaint or get information about private security services please visit http://www.seguridadpublica.go.cr/dirección/seguridadprivada/ or call the Private Security Office at 2586-4515.
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica