Regulating private security companies in the Caribbean

June 03, 2016
Ahmed K. Rashid

As governments and businesses around the world struggle to guarantee the safety of their citizens and employees, many are turning to private security companies (PSCs). In the English-speaking Caribbean, PSCs now employ more people than the police forces. However, regulating such firms remains inconsistent.

Research supported by IDRC examined the role and practices of PSCs in the Caribbean. The study was undertaken by the Canadian NGO Project Ploughshares in collaboration with the University of the West Indies’ Institute of International Relations. 

The research, based on case studies in St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica, calls for establishing national regulations, standards, and monitoring bodies in the Caribbean to regulate the private security industry. Among the report’s other recommendations: establishing specific guidelines for monitoring firearms in the sector, and providing ongoing training of PSC personnel.

The study is particularly timely as several Caribbean states are considering legislation and debating new laws or modifying existing regulatory regimes for the private security sector.

Read the policy brief, Modernizing Regulatory Regimes to Enhance Human Security and Economic Prosperity (PDF, 163 KB)

Read the study’s Final Technical Report (PDF, 98 KB)