Unlicensed firm guards LA

| 16/07/2009

(CNS): The police have issued a reminder to local security companies, technicians and guards to contact the RCIPS Security Licensing Department to make sure they are complying with the law. However, CNS understands that the government itself is being guarded by unlicensed firms. For ten years the security detail at the Legislative Assembly was undertaken by The Security Centre Ltd (TSCL) a firm which is licensed. However, following the General Election in May the firm has been replaced by National Security Services (NSS) which is not a licensed firm.

A spokesperson for The Security Centre said the firm has not yet been officially informed that their services are no longer required. However, following a call to the LA, TSCL was told that staff there had been instructed to contract a different security company. The unlicensed firm, NSS, which has supplied guards for the most recent sessions of the Cayman Islands parliament, was the company for which United Democratic Party George Town candidate Pearlina McGraw-Lumsden was a director before she resigned her position during the election campaign.

Although a number of firms have gained licenses since the police issued a 31 May list in response to an FOI request, NSS is understood not to be one of them.  There are also a number of other government institutions believed to be being guarded by unlicensed firms. There are an estimated 40 or more firms now calling themselves security companies or supply guard services and generating around $300 million per year. The industry has gained a reputation for not only exploiting workers and paying exceptionally low wages but for not complying with employment laws.

The Private Security Services Law (2007) came into effect on 1 September 2008 and it requires security companies, technicians and guards to be licensed with a regulatory body. The law was created to not only protect companies and members of the public but also to enable the regulatory body to ensure that satisfactory employment conditions and rights are implemented and maintained within the industry. It was designed to both regulate the security industry and improve standards of service delivery.

The Security Licensing Department, headed by Chief Inspector George Watson, processes all applications and comprises a security licensing administrator (to whom all queries should be addressed) and a senior police constable. Licenses are provided by the department to companies that comply with all relevant laws, such as the National Pensions Law, the Health Insurance Law, the Labour Law and the Immigration Law. To date, many of the recognized companies in the Cayman Islands have been working with the Security Licensing Department to comply with all the necessary terms and conditions required for licensing.

The department, however, said it would like to remind all security personnel that they need to get in touch as companies which have not complied with the law could face prosecution. This also applies to individuals who have classified themselves as “Loss Prevention Officers”, which are also required to be licensed by the department.

The law states: 1) It is an offence for a person to operate a Security Company, or to hire anyone as a Security Guard or Security Technician without a license. Anyone who breaches the law is liable on conviction for a fine of up to CI$5000.

Police urged anyone operating a security service who has not yet contacted the department should do so immediately by calling 945-4924 ext. 5912. More information can also be found on the RCIPS website.

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Comments (52)

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  1. Enough said says:

  2. anonymous says:

    In response to these two postings…….YOU MUST BE JOKING!! Would someone please wake me up from this nightmare!! Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  3. Anonymous says:

    ‘This same security company supposedly has numerous outstanding labour issues – it is because of this type of illegal behaviour that they can underbid legitimate companies"

    The OCC should investigate who authorised the change.  Was there a tender process?  Who made the decision – was it adminstrative or political?

    I agree – surely there is a legal or administration requirement for a bidding process, can we find the newspaper ad? Do we have a right to know about the other bids? As to who made the decision, must have been the person who is legally held accountable for the expenditures of the Department. Is that the Clerk or the Speaker?



  4. Anonymous says:

    Who in their right mind would support a Caymanian that is doing something illegal?  Oh well, I guess  about half the population… that’s how many voted for UDP after all.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Clearly pirates week had to go because it shows that the right thing is for the people to rise up and throw the pirates out after a short period of time. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    Of course they were no longer needed as the business went to the UDP GT candidate’s sister firm, National Security Services. Typical, typical!!!! I guess that is why they can afford go on world tour this summer!!!!! The law is only for who follows it and the law breakers come out on top.

  7. Anonymous says:

    God! PPM are sooo sancitmonious. They spent four years appointing their cronies (incompetent ones at that) to all the Boards, handing out contracts to whom they pleased, flouting what laws they chose -anyone remember Chuckiegate or the names of the three Ministers who failed to file their declaration of interest forms prior to nomination day as required by LAW because they were too busy running the country.? Running the country! Lmao!

    Patient PPM supporters maybe after twelve years or so of successful Govt. you’ll get back in and your supporters can reap the spoils of a country rebuilt and dragged back from the edge of destruction by Mac!

  8. Anonymous says:

    The only 4 security companies i give any credit to on this island is NATIONAL SECURITY, PSM SECURITY, TITAN SECURITY and K9 SECURITY.  Those are the only 4 companies out of the 40+ on this island that I see the guards actually doing a good job and that I dont hear complaints from about salaries and treatment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where is the list from the FOI stating which security companies are licensed?

      CNS: Got to this page on the RCIPS website and scroll down to the last item. FOI is working on updating it, I’ve been told. I have asked the police if people would have to make an FOI request to get the current listing and am waiting for a response.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for the information.  Please note that NSS and Security Centre as of 31st May 2009 is not on that list among MANY OTHERS!!!!!

        • Anonymous says:

          It speaks volumes about the ethics and morals of a party when its supporters try to defend this kind of conduct by party leaders.

          The "many others" are not employed by the govt. at the L.A. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Please note that if you go into The Security Centre’s main office you will find their security licence on the wall at the front desk.

  9. Dennie Warren Jr. says:

    Section 12 & 13 of The Private Security Services Law, 2007 says, "A person who, not being the holder of a security business licence, carries on a security business commits an offence…"  What say you Commissioner Baines?

  10. Anonymous says:

    So true! Caymanians will never learn to support and be happy for one another… hence is the reason you are in these predictments.

    Go Judy and Pearlina you are good examples for CAYMANIANS to emulate…. TRULY GOOD EXAMPLES…. …

    Caymanians you all should be happy… but then again its not your nature to support and be happy for one another. After all you have two ambitious young caymanians that are trying to succeed in life and all you can do is provide negative comments instead of saying…….. FINALLY …  a caymanian benefiting from their society….

    You people will never learn!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      This is the best news I heard… – Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 07/16/2009 – 12:10.

      So true! Caymanians will… – Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 07/16/2009 – 13:14. 


      Your brain/s must have had a malfunction because you all are not being too bright at all. Sad I say. 

  11. annoymous says:

    Here we go again.  The UDP Government putting all their croonies in places that could cause problems in the future.  Yes this company owes their staff tons of back salaries, overtime, pension, and the majority of them don’t even have medical insurance if there is any in place at all.  The owner is now fighting the DER to avoid all this, and we know it will happen because she is the sister of the GT Candidate who is also an owner or at least was up to when she declared her candidacy, but check those company records again the end of the year and they will probably show her being appointed right back to the company.  All the while the owner drives around in a $60K car and she participates in modern day slavery.  This is a better way forward, ask her how many of them unemployed Caymanians she has hired to work for her?  This country sucks.  I hate all that is happening in it and I am so disgusted with all the governments that have ran this in the past 15 years, they are all a bunch of power seeking, greedy grabbing hands bunch of nobodies….

    I hope the next thing I read in the papers is that this country has turned belly up!!! I want see what they going to do then?

    It sucks to be Caymanian!!!

  12. Mike T Barrel says:

    The OCC should investigate who authorised the change.  Was there a tender process?  Who made the decision – was it adminstrative or political?

    • target says:

      Ranger Security were in court for a laundry list of work permit offences recently, and that’s public knowledge, so it can be published….

      Maybe a more strict regulatory scheme needs to be in place… one that is actually adhered to.

      Most of the security guards here are a joke anyway, just preying on peoples fears and the perceived lack of effectiveness of the police there….. give anyone a uniform, and they get power crazed…


  13. Anonymous says:

    Its  wonderful that despite all of the changes in Cayman some things never change. We can all see that cronyism is alive and well!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Oh no.  It cant be true. UDP is such a paragon of religious virtue.  They would never breach the constitution, appoint a new CIMA chair without informing the present one, change pirates Week without consultation, appoint an unlicensed security firm with genetic links, appoint a Deputy LoGB when there is no such thing in the present constitution, or any thing else like that. (Nor would the minister responsible for INternational FInance no NOTHING about International Finance.  Oh no. )  How about the botched pension holiday?  Less than 2 months, folks, and this is what we have.  Perfection.  Whats next, botched dog licenses (2002) or fishing licenses (also 2002 or so). 

  15. stinkin' badges says:


    We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!


  16. Anonymous says:

    The receipt of money for providing unlawful services amounts to money laundering under the relatively new anti money laundering regs. Accordingly, could it be suggesting that the Cayman Islands Government , by paying fees, may be knowingly assisting in money laundering? Will the AG please investigate? Will Immigration please yank the permits of all those working unlawfully (but help them secure alternative employment at an alternative reputable company – Security Center perhaps?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Let’s see – The Governor will do nothing as he only mumbles about good governance when his intervention will damage Cayman.

    The Public Accounts Committee will say and do nothing – obviously not in their interests to do so.

    The Auditor General is not likely to say and do anything – he is appointed by the Governor.

    The Party district and national councils will do nothing – nuff said – and in any event after the election the Great One doesn’t listen to anyone.

    Some are already saying that the best thing to do is to make all government contracts apply only for the term of the party in power – just like the government wants to do with appointments to government boards which have authority to issue contracts. That way everybody knows where they stand, anybody that wants a contract can pre-bid to get that contract with the party or parties of their choice before the election. Party official get money before the election for their campaigns and their pockets, interested parties get to bid on contracts rather than having them simply given away. Maybe they are right and we should make it all transparent and official. 

  18. Anonymous says:

    What a disgrace!! NSS get your act together, how convenient to replace the existing security service with Pearlina sisters company, shame on you UDP. Mark sort out your party!


  19. anonymous says:

    UDP forgot to tell us that their ‘better way forward’ is way different than the general public’s interpretation of same.  They look out to provide a ‘better way forward’ for themselves at any cost….it’s nothing to do with a ‘better way forward’ for the Country! And this is just a lil example of what they are willing to do and how they operate to create that ‘better way forward’ for themselves. It is ridiculous and shameful….sometimes I actually believe that they do not really understand the meaning of ‘corruption’…..they see a ‘favour’ (with benefits usually) as simply providing a helping hand to a friend or a fellow Caymanian……pathetic!But unna voted them in so now unaa take wha unna get…..

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with "UDP forgot to tell us that their ‘better way forward’ is way different than the general public’s interpretation of same. … But unna voted them in so now unaa take wha unna get…..". Unfortunately the rest of us who did not vote for the UDP, also have to take it too!  Remember this at the next election, those who forget and do not learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them.  We are once again on the slippery slope to becoming a "banana republic". If there are any UDP people left with decency and integrity they had better get their act together with the rest of us for the good of our country.  If they can’t stop them, they can at least stop supporting them and speak out against the wrongs! No Excuses!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Same Old Same Old – a leopard does not change it spots. There is so much corruption in government and has been for so long I cant understand why we are so surprised when it is brought out in the open. We just need the builders board law passed to ensure that this industry is complying with the other relevant laws that benefit employees. Its one thing to pass a law and another to ensure that it is enforced – we will see – we will see

    • Anonymous says:

      This is the best news I heard all day and I am happy to see that the government made the same decision. I am the owner of a fairly size business and currently use the services of NSS after getting rid of a company that over billed me every opportunity they got coupled with the fact that their guards were underpaid just so the owner could live the life of Riley.

      You Caymanians should be proud that you have a security company that was built from the ground up by to very young entrepreneurs as opposed to one that is owned by the "boys club". You complain about locals not being given an opportunity yet complain when they get it albeit via political means.

      What you should have asked yourselves is how much money could the government had saved over the past 10 years by using a less expensive company? Additionally, please note that the same process that is being used to limit the opportunities of small contractors was the same process that was used to limit other security companies. The only question that remains is what sector will be next.

      • Anonymous says:

        Getting the service cheaper is not necessarily the way to go especially when it is at the expense of the poor employee who has been imported from half way around the world at vast expense or indebtedness to himself or his/her family and therefore are at the mercy of unscrupulous employers. This same security company supposedly has numerous outstanding labour issues – it is because of this type of illegal behaviour that they can underbid legitimate companies.

  21. Anonymous says:

    So much for the rule of law in this country under the new regime.

    It’s not the security guards who pay the fee, it is the companies which employ them and make a lot of money off them.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Just for your information:

      It has been clarified by The Legal Dept the employee is responsible for the payment of their security license. 

      • Anonymous says:

        "It has been clarified by The Legal Dept the employee is responsible for the payment of their security license". 

        There are two separate licences: (1) to operate a security firm; (2) to act as a security guard. It is an offence for a security firm to (a) operate without a licence; and (b) employ security guards who do not have licences.  It will not help the security firm to try to blame the individual security guards.  It has committed two offences.   

      • Anonymous says:

        Why in the world would a law be passed that would require the employee to pay for a licence to work for an employer. I could understand if someone wanted to do freelance security work but cannot understand how if you have a work permit to work for a security company you are then responsible to pay for your licence to do so.  These people are paid a pittance at best, and have no form of protection from these unscrupulous employers and now they are expected to pay for their own licence. SLAVERY still abounds in the Cayman Islands.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank Goodness the issue of Security Guards from NS having to pay for their work permit is coming to light. What about the many cases pending and the  security guards are waiting for their over time which in most cases are never paid. .

          Guess those cases will now be put inthe trash bin

  22. noname says:

    So as soon as the UDP gets in power they go right to their old tactics and once again kick out a firm that is qualified and licenses and put in a firm owned by one of thier CANDIDATES sister’s or something of that nature.  Her being a past director of the firm.  If that aint a slap in the face I do not know what else.  As always looking out for just their own. SHAME SHAME Pearlina and Mac.  SHAME SHAME…


  23. Anonymous says:


    So tell me did the Security centre expect to hold on to this Contract for life!!!!!! They have doing it for ten years give another Company a chance.

    • Anonymous says:

      "So tell me did the Security centre expect to hold on to this Contract for life!!!!!! They have doing it for ten years give another Company a chance".

      That is entirely besides the point. But I understand you are doing your best to distract attention from the real issues which are cronyism and a lack of respect for the law.

    • Some People Just need to hush says:

      "So tell me did the Security centre expect to hold on to this Contract for life!!!!!! They have doing it for ten years give another Company a chance."

      If they were qualified to do so why not keep the contract forever? they earned it didnt they? Is it right for a contract to be pulled and handed out simply because someone owes a favour? Wait until you hear who they are filling up the various boards with ! A bunch of self-serving hypocrites out to make a fortune by exploiting Cayman. This counts as treason if you ask me. It makes me sick!


    • Anonymous says:

      ‘So tell me did the Security…’  – Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 07/16/2009 – 00:05.

      I think you misunderstood this article. I guess you’re in support of the guys in ‘GREEN’.. Typical!    

  24. Sam Puk-Puk says:

    A security company not following the law is bad.  Would you trust any of these companies then to protect your property and guard your safety as best as possible?  I would not that’s for sure.  But the bigger picture for me is how the UDP works, maybe all the parties work as such, hiring their supporters and friends.  And guess who is paying for it?  We are that’s who. Shame shame shame.

    Now I’m all for the best service for the best price.  If NSS can give the best possible price while still providing top service, then I would not have a problem or even be commenting on this story.  That is not the case here however.  NSS should be suspended from providing security service until their license is at the very least submitted.  And once approved, Government should then seek the best company at the best possible contracted price and may the victor go the spoils. 1. Favouritism is not good when it comes to managing a country’s affairs.  It becomes suspect and in this case, because of those involved with NSS, I think we have a case.  2. Favouritism should not be tolerated and merit should be the order of the day.

    Let’s see how Mr. Bush spins this one.

    Politics, n:  [Poly "many" + tics "blood-sucking parasites"]  ~Larry Hardiman

    If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.  ~Emma Goldman




    • Anonymous says:

      Why was this list not published from the FOI?  NSS holds numerous government contracts.  I am sure some of them should have been bidded out, but doesn’t look that way.  

      When the new security license law came into effect, itt was published last year in numerous newspaper articles that NO SECURITY COMPANY will be allowed to operate without a security license issued from THE RCIPS.  No government contracts should be given to non compliance companies.  But this is the normal for the Cayman Islands, make laws and do not enforce them.  The law was passed in 2008, almost a year!!!! 



  25. Richard Wadd says:

     Law? Come on people, we are a nation of ‘Pirates’ are we not? 

    …. however, if we ELIMINATE ‘Pirates Week’, maybe no-one will notice?

  26. Anonymous says:

    No one in the Cayman Islands should be surprised by this, this is the way the UDP operates.  Silly things like laws do not apply to them.  On May 20, 2009 the people decided that this was the type of governing that they wanted, so this is the road we’re headed down again. 

    CNS you are going to be very busy over the next four years uncovering contracts like this. Sad.

  27. Concerned Caymanian says:

    Does this company  not belong to the sister of a UDP candidate for GT??? Oh wait they need help paying for the back pension – again breaking the law.

    UDP a better backwards!!! 


    • Anonymous says:

      Poor staff at NS, not only the back pay but the back wages and back overtime that are due them. What about the files that are pending to be dealt with at labour office that NC has been fighting against for months. Many of the staff are still waiting to be paid for all these cases while assistance from places there are guarding are having to assist them to make ends meet and even assisted with lunch.

  28. Anonymous says:

    An "Immunity from Prosecution" Bill which will eliminate any need to comply with any other laws or administrative rules (whether in the future or in the past), is clearly needed to protect those who either;  

    a) run as party candidates,  or

    b) provide financial support to the party, its elected members or its officials,

    Without this clarification of existing practice it seems clear that the petty rules and laws of this country will continue to be a nuisance and a distraction to the government. Cayman has no need for rules and laws imposing limits on our politicians and their associates as long as we have a man of action in control.

    If the Immunity law is insufficient to eliminate all criticism then it will also be necessary to eliminate freedom of the press and freedom of speech to ensure that no person criticises our government.

  29. Anonymous says:

    So what’s new people ? This is the UDP Government…..they don’t believe in complying with laws or our constitution !!! Unfortunately the rule of law went out the window again on the 21st May 2009.


  30. Anonymous says:

    The Security Guards are paid with one cent coins so they cant afford to pay for a Licence.

  31. Anonymous says:

    NSS is owned by Pearlina’s sister, can you say NEPOTISM?!?

    Shame on UDP!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Say it ain’t so. It can’t be true that the UDP would be party to skirting the law. It must be the PPM still trying to slander/

  33. Anonymous says:

    LOL!! True UDP style!