The Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, T.D. has announced that, with effect from 1 November 2015, contractors providing security services as a private investigator will require a license from the Private Security Authority (PSA).

The extension of licensing to private investigators is a major milestone for the PSA, an independent statutory body under the aegis of the Department of Justice and Equality with responsibility for licensing and regulating the private security industry. The Authority has to date licensed contractors in the cash-in-transit, event security, door supervisor, security guarding, installer of security equipment and alarm and cctv monitoring sectors. 

Announcing the Regulations which were signed recently, Minister Fitzgerald said

“The licensing of Private Investigators follows two years of development work by the Private Security Authority, including consultation with the industry. During that period, a number of successful prosecutions against Private Investigators have been achieved by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner following investigation into the activities of Private Investigators. Some of the more undesirable activities and practices of the sector have been highlighted by these investigations and the need for regulation is evident. I am confident that the introduction of these Regulations will raise standards in the sector.” 

The Minister, together with the Chairman of the PSA Board and the Chief Executive of the PSA, recently co-signed the necessary Regulation to introduce licensing of private investigators, i.e. S.I. No.195 of 2015. The Minister also signed the necessary Commencement Order, S.I. No. 194 of 2015, which means that it will be an offence for any contractor to offer a service as a Private Investigator without a licence after 1 November 2015. 

In addition, only those licensed by the PSA will be able to advertise or represent themselves as a Licensed Private Investigator. It will also be an offence for a person to engage or employ an unlicensed Private Investigator. The Authority maintains a register of both contractor and individual licence holders on its website, www.psa.gov.ie. The registers are a useful tool for business and the public who can ensure that their security provider is licensed by checking the details on the register.