Private Security Companies and Local Populations

Submitted by myraidgoups on April 8, 2008 - 9:27am.

Compulsory reading for anybody who has to deal with PSCs (and not only in your own organisation).

This paper looks at how local populations perceive Private Security Companies (PSCs) and what the impact of their activities may be on peoples’ every day lives, examining the two country cases, Afghanistan and Angola. The role and effects of PSCs have been discussed from various angles in the past but little attention has been paid to the perspectives of the local population. The goal of this exploratory study is to provide some tentative insights into the perceived positive and negative, direct and indirect impact of PSCs on the local population. One of the central findings from the two cases is the overall negative view of those interviewed towards PSCs. The study suggests that PSCs contribute to a sense of distrust and insecurity. Among the main reasons for this are an overall lack of transparency regarding PSCs, with respect to hiring practices, mandates, identification, accountability, and supervision; the heavy armament of PSCs; and lacking regulation (respectively lacking implementation) of security companies. The paper offers some recommendations, how the concerns of the local population could be better addressed.

http://www.swisspeace.ch/typo3/fileadmin/user_upload/pdf/Working_Paper/WP_1_2008.pdf

Tags: Security