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Private Security Guard firm supervising order in Czech town

Written on August 28, 2011

The Central Bohemian town of Králův Dvůr has hired a private security firm to supervise troubled areas. Security guards are monitoring order in the neighborhoods of playgrounds, schools, and squares. Should their work deliver results during the next half-years, the town will not have to run its own police force, Mayor Petr Vychodil (Civic Democrats – ODS) told the Czech Press Agency. In his view, the town could save money, as the annual operation of a police force is roughly 10 times more expensive than private security services.

Security guards

Security guards have been tasked with watching over four areas in the town several times a day. Complaints are said to come most often regarding problems on Mír Square. “That is, paradoxically, in front of the town hall, and the Romani minority live there. They make use of the sidewalks as a space to gather, they put benches and tables out there and sit outside or play in the road,” Vychodil described the situation. The mayor says another problem is vandals who have destroyed the central monument of the square, necessitating its repair.

Mobile Patrols

The mayor says the patrols should ensure that problems like those in North Bohemia do not start up in the town. “We don’t have such a problem with unemployment, but it’s better to forestall any unrest,” Vychodil said. In addition, the town hall is planning to establish spaces for Romani associations inside a local chateau that is being reconstructed. “Those will be for youth in particular.

“We do have a vision for taking care of them,” Vychodil said.The mayor says that in the event of problems, the security agency will cooperate with police according to the restricted powers it has been granted. The town will evaluate the agency’s work after half a year and decide whether the services should expand, or whether a municipal police force should be established. The town will pay the agency CZK 15 000 a month.

Private Security firm

Vychodil estimates the year-round operation of a police force at CZK 1.2 million. The town would also have to allocate other funds for leasing vehicles and providing training and uniforms. “Why not try the cheaper option for now?” the mayor said.

The village of Janovicíce nad Úhlavou in Plzeň Region has taken a similar approach to maintaining public order. The town hall there also uses the services of a private security firm, as Czech Television recently reported. The security guards are being tested there until the end of the year, when their work will be evaluated by the town councilors. Should their services not prove effective, that town hall will also have to establish its own municipal police force.