Ireland’s private security industry posted record turnover of €963m in 2022, driven largely by increased demand for security guards and electronic security features, according to new figures from the sector’s regulator.
The latest annual report from the Private Security Authority (PSA), a body under the aegis of the Department of Justice, shows the industry pulled in some €962.9m last year, a 7% rise on the €902m made in 2021, with more than half of it paid out for the provision of 27,300 security guards to the private sector.
Other security guard roles, for the monitoring of alarm systems and CCTV feeds, turned over €61.8m and €20 m respectively. A further €4.6m was pulled in by 46 contractors for the provision of security at individual events, per the authority’s statistics. All told, measured by turnover, the private security industry is 23% larger now than it was in 2019, when its income was €781.6 m.
Some €302.4m was paid out by clients for the provision of electronic security services, including the installation of access control devices, CCTV, and intruder alarm systems.
Bouncers for licenced premises, a sector employing 10,852 individuals and 49 contracting firms, earned €7.7m all told in 2022.
Meanwhile, four cash-in-transit operators, employing 1,017, earned €52.9m in turnover over the year. Separately, 215 locksmith operators earned €20.8m in 2022, an average of €96,700 in turnover per firm.
The private investigations sector — consisting of 62 individuals and 96 contracting firms — was paid €8.2m over the 12 months, 2022 being the first year in which individuals working in the field, as opposed to investigation firms, together with event security companies, were required by the PSA to hold State licences.
The regulator said it had completed five successful prosecutions in 2022, four of which involved individuals providing security apparatus without a licence, with the last involving a buyer of such security equipment from an unlicensed contractor. Last year, the Government approved plans to require all licenced late-night bars and nightclubs to have CCTV on the premises and full PSA accreditation for all security staff.