The federal government is working on new rules for private security companies. It should "security considerations" become more important than before, it says in a response of the Federal Government to a small request from the FDP parliamentary group, the ZEIT ONLINE is available. In future, therefore, apparently the Federal Ministry of the Interior for the security industry to be responsible, not the Ministry of Economics. According to the Federal Government, this would be a good idea for the new regulation, as both ministries are currently exchanging views.
On request, the Federal Ministry of the Interior did not want to comment on what exactly meant by a stronger role of "security considerations" and referred to the ongoing negotiations. A timetable for new legislation is not yet known.
For a long time, private security companies no longer guard only company premises. They perform tasks that contribute to public safety: they are used in demonstrations or major events, guard stations and make security checks at the airport or protect refugee homes. "Private security companies make an important contribution to security," said the coalition agreement for the first time in 2017.
In eleven states there are cooperation agreements between police and security companies. In Brandenburg, for example, the country with the most recent agreement, private security services are included in police searches under certain conditions. According to the Federal Association of the Security Industry (BDSW), about 6,500 private security service providers in Germany now employ around 260,000 people. Between 2008 and 2018, sales in the industry doubled to almost nine billion euros. The privatization of security has become big business.
Industry wants even harsher rules
Guards are still considered low-skilled and low-paid forces. The lowest level of access to the profession is a 40-hour training course at the IHK. If again cases of violence by security personnel become known, such as in 2014 in a refugee home in Burbach in North Rhine-Westphalia, the partially bad image is confirmed for the public, says Berthold Stoppelkamp, who heads the BDSW-Capital Office.
The industry association wants companies to have higher levels of security skills to increase their reputation and prices. "We are certainly one of the few associations that want more regulation," says Stoppelkamp. For years, the BDSW has been promoting politics for its own sectoral law, as the Federal Government is now planning.
That soon the Ministry of the Interior should be responsible for private security services, also advocates the opposition. "In the long term, the quality in the security industry can increase, if security aspects play a stronger role," says the FDP economic politician Reinhard Houben. "First, however, the federal government must solve the current problems of the industry, which has caused them."
The quality in the industry should actually have increased in recent years. In 2016, the federal government tightened the requirements for security companies, especially for their work in asylum accommodation and major events - so that cases such as security violence on refugees as in Burbach no longer happen. Since then, security companies have, inter alia, to provide an examination of their knowledge and prove their reliability regularly.
To query the new evidence quickly and easily, should create a central guard register. The companies should be able to register their employees, the competent authorities in the countries - usually regulatory or commercial offices in the communities - the information and confirm. An interface with the constitutional protection agencies should guarantee that no security workers with radical views are used.