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Security Companies (Departmental Hire)

Volume 955: debated on Thursday 3 August 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those private security companies hired by his Department in the last five years and explain their responsibilities; what has been the expenditure on each and the total for each year since 1973; and what criteria his Department take into account in choosing which company to hire.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has employed private security firms in this country to control access to some buildings in the past and still does use their services to take cash receipts to the bank. Firms which have been employed are Securicor, Security Express and Burns. As commercial confidences are involved, my right hon. Friend would prefer to give the aggregate figures for expenditure. These are as follows:

Abroad, guards have been obtained through one private firm—KMS Limited—to protect ambassadors at a very few particularly exposed posts. In addition, some missions have hired watchmen from local security firms but details of these arrangements are not readily available.The Department looks for reputable firms able to provide a good and consistent standard of service.