Security `cowboys' face law

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The Independent Online
The Home Office indicated for the first time last night that it may be willing to introduce new laws to prevent criminals becoming private security guards.

David Maclean, the Home Office minister, told a committee of MPs that the security industry was at a "watershed" and that there was growing evidence of a problem in some parts of the private sector.

Mr Maclean said among the schemes currently being considered by the Home Office was one for a special records vetting agency which could check the criminal convictions of any would-be security guards. He said he was "open minded" about the possibility ofstatutory control.

It was the first time that the Government has hinted it would be prepared to take legislative action against cowboy operators. The Home Office has previously strongly argued that the industry should be self-regulating. The shift came during a sitting of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee which is investigating private security firms.

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