Posts Tagged license

Maritime Security: Germany Plans To License And Regulate Anti-piracy Security Firms

“We are breaking new ground here,” Otto said. “We mainly have foreign companies that operate in international waters.” The German government estimates that British and US companies in particular could apply for a license.

This is interesting and I really liked the quote up top. To have a German ‘Letter of Marque’ or a license would be pretty cool. Although on the down side, I did not like the limitations that the Germans were putting on weapons use.

Weapons for the private ship protectors will have to be registered separately. The law stipulates that no heavy military weapons can be employed. Semi-automatic weapons, though, could be permitted.

So the pirates can operate heavy military weapons for attacks, but armed security defending these boats are not allowed too have them?  And what exactly is the German definition of ‘heavy military weapons’?

The other point that was kind of interesting is the license fees and process.

The Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) will most likely be the office in charge of the procedure. It will be able to call in the Federal Police for consultation. Security firms will have to pay between 8,000 euros ($9,800) and 16,000 euros for the licenses, which will be valid for two years.

This is peculiar to me and I was wondering how the fee schedule works?  Do you pay less for a license if you are only defending small vessels, or what?  Or do you pay more if you are a foreign security company versus a national one? We will see…

The last part of this article also mentioned some key statistics. Like ‘German shipping companies operate the third largest merchant fleet in the world’! Specifically, they mentioned these numbers.

German shipping companies operate the third largest merchant fleet in the world. However, only a small proportion flies under the German flag. The country’s black-red-gold flag only flies on 492 ships. This makes the vessels German territory. Criminal offences on board, for example, are tried before German courts.
On the other hand, 3,161 ships operated by German shipping companies sail under foreign flags. Shipowners, unions and the government are aiming to bring a total of 600 ships under the German flag. But to date, this goal has shown little success.

492 ships flying the flag of Germany is a significant number of vessels to protect under this scheme. No telling how many of them transit through dangerous waters. But increasing that to 600 ships will only increase the odds of more work for security firms. Not to mention the 3,161 vessels out there operated by German shipping companies. Perhaps these security measures will bring more vessels back under their flag? –Matt

 

Germany plans to regulate anti-piracy security firms
July 19, 2012
Sea piracy off the coast of Somalia has dropped dramatically, in part as the result of private security forces accompanying the ships. The German government now wants to regulate their certification.
The German Cabinet has agreed on legislation to introduce a licensing procedure for security companies on board ships. The draft bill determines which requirements these firms have to fulfill if they are protecting German-registered vessels. The government coordinator for the maritime industry, Hans-Joachim Otto, welcomed the decision.

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Industry Talk: Indian PSC’s To Shop For Arms With Government Approval

The AK-47 kind of weapons — automatic and semi-automatic — are still out of bounds for the private agencies. The government fears misuse of sophisticated weapons.
“But there are other weapons: pistols, revolvers and other rifles that we can buy once the changes come into effect,” said Kunwar Vikram Singh, chairman of Central Association of Private Security Industry.
He anticipates a demand for about 12,000 gunmen for the cash and transit business — transferring cash by financial institutions to ATMS or bank branches alone.

This is another bit of news from around the world about the PSC market in India. This is great news that they are finally allowing companies to legally buy firearms so guards have a means to defend property, clients, and self. But my question is what took you guys so long? Especially with all of the high profile attacks that India has suffered, you would have thought that this would have been a no brainer awhile back?

The other thing that gets me with this, is the limitation on the types of weapons.  Shotguns and pistols are a nice start, but the enemies of India carry AK-47’s and various other high power modern fire arms. To me, you must at least match or exceed the firepower of your potential threats. If the terrorists in the Mumbai attack were all carrying AK-47’s, then maybe that might be a clue?

This news might also impact the shipping security dilemma that India is trying to overcome. That getting armed guards on boats is a logical step for the security of vessels. But like I mentioned up top, shotguns and pistols are no match against an extremely desperate criminal armed with AK’s, PKM’s, and RPG’s.

My last thoughts on this is that world wide, security for cash transits is going to be big. There is so much financial instability right now, and the global economic woes will produce an increase in crime. So PSC’s will be pretty active in cash transits and other financial related security services, as we see things get worse. This will be particularly true as certain regions are no longer able to pay for sufficient police forces, and unemployment rates are high. If you look at places like Mexico, PSC’s are definitely on the rise. –Matt

 

Pvt security firms to shop for arms?
Aloke Tikku
August 08, 2011
The government is set to allow private security agencies to buy firearms and arm guards to protect high-value assets.
The move comes more than two years after the 26/11 attacks that prompted companies such as software major Infosys to seek permission for guards with automated weapons.
The home ministry’s proposal to allow state governments to issue bulk arms licences to registered private agencies was in final stages, sources said.
In the absence of such a provision, security companies depend on individuals with licensed firearm. This is illegal but the police look the other way as they can’t fill the vacuum.

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Training: SIA Close Protection Officer Course, Pennsylvania

    Check it out. You can get credits with Bucks New University, some excellent close protection training, and the SIA license–and all in the US. This is a great opportunity for those guys in the US that wanted to get this license via a course like this.

     The other thing to mention though is that I have no clue if the SIA program will be around much longer? My guess is that it will stick around for a bit, and the license will still continue to be required by companies in Europe or in the war zones. A big hat tip to Steven Collins and his crew over at BIS for getting the word out on this. –Matt

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(from Black Ice Security)

S.I.A. Close Protection Officer Course

Description:

BRTC and Globe Risk are offering the only Close Protection training program in North America that is approved by the Security Industry Authority (S.I.A.) in the UK. This program also has the distinction of being accredited by Bucks New University, UK, an internationally recognized academic institution.  The course will end with the S.I.A. licensing examination.

Recognized internationally as the security industry’s benchmark for training in Close Protection, the S.I.A. certification is available to those who successfully complete the training course and pass practical and written exams. The SIA course will also provide 15 points towards a degree in Protective services from Bucks New University.  SIA is the U.K. authority for security specialists and licensing which will likely be necessary for security agents who provide protective services during the 2012 Olympic Games.

Course Content:

(Knowledge and practical skills 150 hours minimum)

–          Role and Responsibilities of the Close Protection Operative

–          Threats and Risk Assessment

–          Surveillance Awareness

–          Operational Planning

–          Law and Legislation

–          Interpersonal Skills

–          Close Protection Teamwork and Briefing

–          Conduct Reconnaissance’s

–          Close Protection Foot Drills

–          Route Selections

–          Close Protection Journey Management

–          Search Procedures

–          Incident Management

–          Venue Security

–          Communication and Conflict Management

–          Final Examination

–          Tactical Medical Care

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Call To Action: Vehicle Decals And Licenses In Iraq

     Hey folks, get the word out on this.  If you are having problems getting your vehicles credentialed for work in Iraq, then tell your company that traveling outside the wire is a no go.  The reason for that is if you are pulled over by the Iraqis and you do not have that stuff, you could get in some trouble.  The kind of trouble that could get you arrested or heavily fined by the Iraqis.  This is especially important now that Iraq is kind of in limbo with the government crap right now, and the police and military might not feel like playing nice with contractors.

     Hopefully in the case of DynCorp, they will get this squared away before they force their teams to travel without those credentials.  If any other contractors are running into the same issues with their company, or have any input, I am all ears. Bravo to this contractor who contacted Marc Ambinder and got the word out about this.  As the war winds down, and the military pulls out, these types of things will be more common and very important to hash out.  Definitely demand that your company does the right thing out there.

     This also goes to the US government and their relationship with Iraq.  This is some basic diplomatic stuff here.  I realize that we are trying to get the Iraqis to take charge of their country and get responsible, but we also have a responsibility to our contractor force. To do all we can to protect them from these Iraqi growing pains is in our best interest.  After all, contractors are putting their lives on the line in defense of government property and personnel–I would think that would count for something?-Matt

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Contractors Pressured to Perform in Iraq Without Valid Credentials

August 4, 2010

By Marc Ambinder

The United States is rapidly drawing down troops in Iraq, and contractors are picking up the slack. DynCorp International, in particular, employs hundreds of ex-soldiers and cops to act as bodyguards and shepherds for State Department personnel across the country. The company also trains Iraqi police forces.

DynCorp is under intense pressure to perform without blemish. Private security companies and their employees are under scrutiny from both the U.S. and Iraqi governments more than ever before because of a string of incidents. Within the military, soldiers who quit to join these companies are derided as “mercs.” The culture among DynCorp’s ranks is similar to that of elite military units — what happens out there stays out there. It’s dangerous. Contractors get killed and injured with regularity. The pay is OK — it starts at $90,000 a year — and the working conditions — living in tents, eating MREs — are harsh. State Department officials have told me that the U.S. is generally pleased with DynCorp’s performance so far … but DynCorp is pretty much the only company that can do what State needs it to do.

But one member of an elite unit, a former Army Ranger who asked not to be identified, is concerned that DynCorp and the U.S. government are cutting corners unnecessarily.

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