Private Security Guards Could Be Given Power of Search and Arrest
Spain’s congressional interior committee have approved a bill which would grant authorized private security personnel greater ‘policing’ powers than ever before.
The bill, which will now have to be approved in Spain’s Senate, would allow security guards to detain and identify suspects at public events and at crime ‘hotspots’ like ATM machines.
It will also permit private security personnel to go after “delinquents caught in the act of committing a crime even in cases where it has nothing to do with the people or goods that they are watching over and protecting.”
Spain’s ruling conservative Popular Party has backed the new legislation along with Catalan and Basque nationalist parties CIU and PNV.
Their claim is that the current law relating to private security in public places is “excessively rigid and has made more difficult or impeded the necessary authorization of services to the benefit of the public.”
Spain’s socialist PSOE party and left-wing IU are vehemently against the move.
In a statement released on Wednesday, PSOE referred to the private security bill as “another attack by the government on Spain’s welfare state” and congratulated private security companies for the money they are likely to make from the move.
A spokesperson for Spain’s National Society of Lawyers told The Local “the bill will further decrease Spaniards’ civil rights.
“It should only be public authorities carrying out arrests so that arrests and complaints can be processed through the appropriate legal channels.”
The move comes in the wake of the government’s highly criticized Citizen Security Law, which will see Spaniards slapped with hefty fines for everything from carrying out unauthorized protests to disrupting traffic by playing football in the street.
Security Guards Brutally Assualt Tourists in Front of Their 2 Young Children
A couple holidaying in Spain with their 2 young children were assaulted by security guards at a busy Torrevieja Shopping Center it has been alleged. The family, from France, had spent the day shopping in the mall. After making, and paying for purchases in one shop the family left and the security alarm sounded. The family were then taken by 2 security guards to a private area to be searched where the situation escalated and the alleged assault took place, in front of the 2 young children. One of the 2 children filmed the incident on a mobile phone. In the video, one security guard restrains the male, while the other violently struggles with the screaming female, as the youngest of the children around 5 years of age hides behind the other sibling. The security guard can clearly be seen punching the female from behind as he restrains her. A Denuncia has been submitted to the Guardia Civil alleging assault, and the mobile phone footage has been submitted as part of that evidence.
Having also reported this month that Spain plans to give power of search and arrest to security guards, this incident seems to perfectly highlight why such a decision would be a dangerous idea. The question s raised are: Would the situation have escalated in the same way had it been the police dealing with the situation? What training and skills do security guards receive when being placed in a position of power over the public? What safeguards do we the public have to ensure that this power is not abused? Is it right that we should live in a society where Private Security Guards, who are essentially members of the public, in alow wage, dead end jobs, but with a uniform have right to stop, search and detain us, for any reason?
Watch the video and judge for yourself: http://www.laopiniondemurcia.es/sucesos/2014/01/08/vigilantes-agreden-forma-brutal-pareja/526336.html