The establishment of an agency offering general or special security services

The provision of security services constitutes a regulated activity that can only be carried on by persons licensed to this end by the Cyprus Police, which is the supervisory authority. That said, in order for a license to be issued, the interested person must submit an application to this end the competent department of the Cyprus Police, which (application) must be accompanied by all material information and documentation.

In the course and for the purpose of the application for the issue of a license, the applicant must specifically indicate the security services that he is interested in providing. In this respect, it is worth-noting that a security services provider may offer all (private agency providing general security services) or some (private agency providing special security services) of the following services:

(a)    Surveillance, safeguard, custody of movable or immovable property or installations;

(b)   Protection of natural persons (individuals)

(c)    protection for smooth operation of spectacles, exhibitions, conferences, competitions or sport or other events;

(d)   safe transport and custody of money, securities and precious items;

(e)   instalment, maintenance and monitoring of the operation of alarm systems, fire detection systems, fire safety systems, fire fighting systems, closed circuit TV and access control, anti-theft and protection of merchandise systems;

(f)     installation and management of centre of receipt, check and transmission of alarm signals;

(g)    check of passengers and luggage within airports and ports using special machinery;

(h)   preparation of studies and design of electronic and physical security system;

(i)      control or regulation of the movement of the public with the use of vehicles or other means within private property or an area the entry to which is restricted to the public in order for such property or area to be protected;

(j)     private investigation services;

(k)    facilities for the secure storage of movable property;

(l)      the provision of armoured vehicles for the transfer of money or other items;

(m) operation and custody of places for the confinement of illegal immigrants or places for the reception of asylum seekers or refugees;

(n)   any other services so determined by an order of the Minister of Justice and Public Order.

In addition to the above, it is worth to stress that, pursuant to a recent Order of the Minister of Minister of Justice & Public Order issued on 11/06/2021, the check of passengers, luggage and objects in areas of governmental buildings and buildings of governmental organizations, departments and services, with the use of special machinery, may also be provided by provided by provided security service providers (provided that these are duly licensed).

Of course, an application must be well supported and sufficiently documented while all the criteria, set forth in the Law, must be met. One of the core criteria is the existence and staffing of the provider’s premises / offices. In particular, the provider must have premises / officers which must be adequately staffed; especially in cases where the private agency is interested in providing security services with guards, a head-office must operate 24/7, which must be able to contact and cooperate with the Cyprus Police in case of emergency. In this respect, it is worth to note that the staff to be employed by the provider must be qualified (age and origin criterion, physical and mental fitness, no connection with serious criminal offense or disciplinary offenses involving dishonesty or moral depravity, narcotic drugs or other psychotropic substances, weapons, ammunition or explosives etc.) and trained (attendance of training course organized under the auspices of the Cyprus Police at a college/facility designated by the Police Commissioner) in accordance with the provisions of the Law.

Provided that everything is line and before the approval of the application, the competent authority examines the trademark (logo) to be used for trading purposes as well as the uniform which the provider’s staff (and guards) shall use since these must be approved by the Chief of the Cyprus Police. In this regards, it is recommended for the uniform to consist of trousers (in black, brown, beige or blue), shirt (short sleeve and long sleeve), t-shirt (short sleeve and long sleeve) that may even be a hoodie/ pullover, sweater, jacket and tie. On the front left or right side of the shirt, t-shirt, hoodie/ pullover, sweater, jacket, the words “ΙΔΙΩΤΙΚΕΣ ΥΠΗΡΕΣΙΕΣ ΑΣΦΑΛΕΙΑΣ” and “PRIVATE SECURITY SERVICES” MUST be printed along with the trademark (logo) of the provider.

Moreover, as a general rule, the possession of guns and/or weapons is restricted; however, the proper and licensed possession, use, acquisition or transfer of firearms falling within Category D of Law 113(I)/2004, is exempted from the restriction.

Lastly, it is quite important to note that an entity, which is willing to proceed with the provision of security services, must make sure that the specific purpose is explicitly provided for in its Memorandum of Association; otherwise, a Court Application may have to be submitted in order for the Memorandum of Association to be adjusted accordingly.