Licensees need to be aware of changes to the Security Providers
Act 1993 (Security Act) that came into force on 1 July 2008 in
From 1 July the Security Act will be amended to include the
following classes of security providers that must be licensed:
in-house security guards;
security equipment installers;
electronic surveillance providers;
dog handlers; and
The second reading speech in the Queensland Parliament stated
that the purpose of the amendment to the Security Act was to:
"...expand the current licensing categories to capture
security equipment installers, electronic surveillance operators,
dog handlers, in-house security guards and security advisors as
well as broadening the definition of security officer so as to
capture a broader range of persons and firms who work in security
along with other duties."
So what does that mean for Licensees?
Many Licensees in the Brisbane City Council area (BCC Area)
engage the services of crowd controllers for their busy periods
from Thursday to Sunday, in order to comply with the provisions of
the Liquor Act 1992 (Liquor Act). As the Licensees would know, it
is compulsory under the Liquor Act to provide crowd controllers
after 1:00am if a licensed premises is located in the BCC Area.
Those licensed premises not in the BCC Area must also carefully
monitor their use of crowd controllers, as the Liquor Act contains
positive obligations on all licensed premises to ensure that
persons entering or leaving licensed premises are not causing any
annoyance, disturbance or causing disorderly conduct. This
invariably requires the licensed premises to engage crowd
Those crowd controllers are generally provided by contract
security firms that take care of the licensing arrangements for
crowd controllers under the Security Act.
Security during the "quiet" trading hours has
traditionally been provided by "in-house" security
personnel. Bar or management staff generally stand in as
"quasi crowd controllers" to ensure that the Liquor Act
is not breached. It is generally not worth the cost of engaging
crowd controllers during those quiet trading hours.
In the past these "in-house" crowd controllers were
not required to be licensed under the Security Act.
From 1 July 2008, any person principally engaged as a crowd
controller for keeping order in licensed premises must be licensed
under the Security Act. The "key" to determine whether
your "in-house" crowd controlling staff member is engaged
principally for keeping order in the licensed premises is to
determine whether that staff member is:
screening the entry of persons into the premises;
monitoring or controlling the behaviour in the premises;
removing persons from the premises.
[Please note that these are examples only. It is possible that
the Office of Fair Trading will determine other indicators of who
is "principally" engaged.]
If your "in-house" crowd controller is engaging
"principally" in this capacity then he or she must be
licensed under the Security Act.
So what do Licensees need to do to satisfy the requirements of
the Security Act?
From 1 July 2008, the Security Act will also provide for
"restricted" security licences. A restricted security
licence can be issued to a person who wants to work as a crowd
controller but has not yet satisfied the training requirements
under the Security Act.
The standard probity checks will still be undertaken, which
ensures that only crowd controllers that are fit and proper are
Please note that a restricted crowd controller may only provide
security services if he or she is supervised by an unrestricted
licensed crowd controller. Licensees may need to engage additional
security staff until such time as the "in-house"
personnel receive their unrestricted licences.
Please contact Deacons if you have any questions regarding the
Security Act changes or other issues that affect your licensed
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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