HC Deb 05 July 1988 vol 136 cc527-8W
Mr. George

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many private security companies are employed in the protection of Ministry of Defence and military installations; and what the annual value of these contracts has been for each of the last five years.

Mr. Sainsbury

Nine companies have been employed to provide security guarding services and the approximate total value of contracts placed in each year was:

Year £
1983–84 250,000
1984–85 350,000
1985–86 600,000
1986–87 1,100,000
1987–88 1,350,000

Mr. Churchill

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the practice of employing unarmed civilians, through private security firms to guard military bases within the United Kingdom began; what is the extent of the practice; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Sainsbury

It is MOD policy to employ unarmed civilian security guards through private security firms on routine guarding tasks at military establishments to relieve trained service men for other more appropriate duties.

Current records show that the first contract was placed in 1978; such contracts are placed only when appropriate security criteria can be satisfied. At present there are 21 military establishments normally guarded in this way.