China: Security Guard Free-for-All No More

By Matthew Harwood

The Chinese government will begin to regulate the country's security service, made up of more than 2,500 security companies and 3 million employees, says the Ministry of Public Security.

While the Chinese government says the companies and their guards are critical to maintaining law and order, reports that the government also says there are still too many problems, especially a lack of training.

The Chinese government only recognizes those companies run by the police, yet the illegal security industry thrives.

But quite a number of security guards are working for property management offices instead of security companies. And there are also "illegal" security companies that are not registered at the police.

An earlier report of Beijing News quoted the Beijing municipal police as saying that about 35,000 security guards are estimated to work for illegal security companies in Beijing.

According to a report compiled by the Beijing Municipal People's Congress Standing Committee, of the city's 200,000 security guards, about 80,000 are working for the police's security companies, 40,000 are hired by companies and organizations for their own security service, 50,000 for property management offices and the rest for "illegal" security companies.

A recent slew of security guards mixed up with murders has made a regulatory response all the more pressing. In the latest incident, an 18-year-old security guard murdered a woman during the course of a robbery.

The ministry expects the new regulation to open the guarding industry in China to a more competitive marketplace.

The ministry said earlier that it plans to open the security service to private operators once the regulation is issued.

 A licensing system will be imposed on both security companies and guards, the ministry said.

 A security company must get approval from the provincial police departments and be registered at the commerce and industry administrations while a guard must meet requirements set by the regulation to get a certificate, it said.


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