A working group established by the interior ministry has suggested that security guard training in Finland should be extended from current levels.
Earlier this year, then-interior minister Krista Mikkonen (Green) asked the National Police Board for information about oversight of private security guards after a series of incidents involving security guards using force in their work.
Last week, six former security guards were charged with negligent homicide for their alleged involvement in the death of a woman at the Iso Omena shopping centre in Espoo earlier this year.
Appointed in January, the working group — consisting of representatives from a number of ministries and other agencies — examined the sector's training, management and oversight practices.
The current basic training requirement for security guards that protect property is a minimum of 120 lessons, while training for stewards, event security or door staff is 40 lessons, and eight hours of refresher training.
The interior ministry said in January that there were approximately 17,000 trained property-protection guards and about 36,000 other stewards and guards qualified to work in Finland.
Self-monitoring, more training
The group's roughly 40-page report did not specify how much security training should be extended, but noted that guards need more guidance about the legal prerequisites on the use of physical force.
Some of the recommendations in the report would require legislative changes, while other measures it suggested do not.
The report proposed increased self-monitoring within the security industry, a practice which is not currently regulated. The group noted that current self-monitoring practices within the sector vary.
It further recommended that licensed security firms should have self-monitoring policies in place.
The working group included representatives from the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Police Board, the Finnish National Agency for Education, Suomen Vartioliikkeitten Liitto (association of Finnish security companies) and the Service Union United (Pam), as well as a permanent expert from the Office of the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman.