Security ''cowboys'' face public contracts ban in Scotland

21 January 2011
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21 January 2011 | Lindsay Clark

The Scottish government has promised to ban “cowboy” security firms bidding for work in the social housing sector.

Housing and communities minister in Scotland Alex Neil said deals to guard building sites would only be awarded to firms that are members of the UK Security IndustryAuthority approved contractors' scheme.

The new rule extends the ban, already in place on Scottish government building projects, to those of housing associations and other recipients of affordable housing grants. This year the Scottish government is providing £502 million to the social housing construction sector.

"We are slamming the door on rogue security firms,” Neil said in a statement. "We want them off our building sites and off our streets. Police tell us that some firms providing 'security' are no more than fronts for organised crime. They use cash from these contracts to bankroll their trails of misery of drug dealing and violence.

"They should have no hiding place in Scotland - least of all siphoning from budgets which help the most vulnerable people who need social housing. More often than not, they are the main victims of these criminals."

Justice secretary Kenny McAskill said: "Each and every one of us can play a part in the fight against series and organised crime. For those of us in Government, that means ensuring that the contracts we award go only to bone fide companies.”

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