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Thread: Employment of Control Guards (porteros)

  1. #1
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    Default Employment of Control Guards (porteros)

    We are about to have a Community AGM, with one proposal being to hire a local company as "control guards (porteros). Our Administrator is opposed to this proposal so we would like some advice on where we stand.

    We have a local Company which do not operate as a fully fledge security company but as "Control Guards" or "Porteros". The reason for this is one of cost - if they employ fully fledge security guards, they will have to double the hourly costs. In our case the costs to the Community would then be prohibitive.

    While we appreciate that fully fledge guards are able to have powers of arrest, like the Police and carry batons and handcuffs, the Community believes that we do not need this type of cover. We just need to have people looking out for the interests of the owners and Visitors. This particular Company is employed by 20 other urbanisations and has an excellent reputation, working closely with the local Police and GuardiaCivil.

    We have seen their Insurance policy and all seemed OK ; however our Administrator has also seen the insurance and he has found a clause that said the cover only covered the Company if they operated in a "legal way". His interpretation of this is that they are not doing this as, by patrolling, they are pretending to be a security company. I find this hard to believe, especially as 20 other urbanisations employ them - what do you think ?

    He also says that as long as nothing happens then all is ok but if one of the guards injured someone and they took them to court we could also be in trouble as we employ the company. Is this true ?

    The Company strongly maintain that they are not vigilantes and do not go around looking for trouble. If they did see someone breaking into a property, their brief is to call the police and if need be restrain the person using "Citizens power of arrest". I understand this is the same in Spain as the UK - can you confirm this ?.

    Our Community believes that, according to what we have been told, we are allowed to employ Porteros or control guards. They are allowed to walk around urbanisations to act as Janitors, making sure that nothing untoward is going on and that urbanisation laws are being complied with. Are we right ?

    We can all see where our Administrator is coming from but we feel his role is to give us advice on issues like this but no more.

    Any other advice regarding this matter would be most appreciated.

    Regards
    Patrick O'Connell

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    Default Employment of Control Guards (porteros)

    Addendum:

    In case I didn't make it clear. The Company in question are NOT employed as security guards as they do not have the official clearance to be a fully fledged security firm in the eyes of Spanish law. They are employed on urbanisations as Porters (Portero) or Caretakers.

    Pat O'Connell

  3. #3
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    Dear Mr O'Connell,

    We use in my urbanisation a portero, he is not a licenced security guard and does just about what you are describing in your post.

    Nowadays cutting down overheads and keeping costs under control is key for developments.

    Many developements use a "portero" and there is absolutely no need for them to be licenced security personel. The law does not require it. Naturally a portero cannot walk around with a gun and a baton. They act disuasively as janitors.

    Yours faithfully,
    Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt

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    Smile Porteros

    Raymundo

    Thank you for your swift reply ; very helpful.

    Kind regards
    Patrick O'Connell

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    You're welcome Patrick.

    Regards,

  6. #6
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    Default Employment of "Porteros" - more developments !

    Raymundo,

    Some quick developments on this subject. The President of an adjoining urbanisation who I have been speaking to, had a Meeting with the Administrator today ( the same one that looks after our urbanisation) and the subject of employing "porteros" came up again. He passed on what you had said and received the following responses.

    The Adminisrator said that in Spain it is illegal to have anybody patrolling the urbanisation pretending to be Security guards when they are not. The President explained that they were not security guards but purely there for assisting the owners etc. He said this is not the case and any judge would say they are acting as security guards and therefore illegal.
    Can this be true ? What is the difference between "patrolling" and just walking around for example ? How can he define "pretending" ?

    The Administrator went on to say that a Portero is for blocks of Apartments not properties like ours (we have a mix of Apartment blocks, town houses and villas), as a Portero can ONLY be on private land. In our case they would have to walk on the main pavements/roads which are public and therefore have to be licenced by the town hall and Government. Again I find this hard to believe withn so many urbanisations using Companies like this - any comments?

    The Administrator said the only way we can have security is by a national security firm which are, as we know, twice the price. From local feedback the local Companies are also totally useless.

    From what you have been Raymundo, a portero does not have to be licenced as a security Company. Is our Administrator correct in saying that as long as they are on Private land then it is ok but not if they have to walk on public roads (which they mustb in our urbanisations). If so is their any other licence / permission needed from the Town Hall ?

    He also says that a a similar urbanisation to ours employed a similar "portero" company Pratorian and were fined 30,000 euros for using an unlicensed security company, and reminded us of the liabilities of the President. Do you think this can be true, and if so what were they likely to be fined for ?

    I keep coming back to the fact that 20 other urbanisations employ this Company with 100% satisfaction and no problems - do you thing the Administrator is being over cautious ?Might he be scare mongering?

    Again any assistance you can give, particularly on HOW we should engage such a Company, would be very much appreciated on this important issue ..... many, many owners want to see a cost effective solution put in place but the Administrator seems dead against it.

    Regards

    Patrick O'Connell

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by patoc View Post

    I keep coming back to the fact that 20 other urbanisations employ this Company with 100% satisfaction and no problems - do you thing the Administrator is being over cautious? Might he be scare mongering?
    The cynic in me would say he may be being offered an "incentive" by a sec company but he's probably just being overcautious.

    I really do not see what he's rambling on. The people who you hire to patrol the grounds cannot have any type of weapon such as a gun or a baton. To bear a gun in a holster you need to have a special licence. i.e. a proper licenced security guard

    Thre is no problem in you hiring porteros to do surveillance and janitor duties so long as its clear they cannot detain anyone nor carry any type of weapon.
    If all developments had to hire state-of-that-art security then setting up a security company would be a fantastic business.

    Regards,

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    Default Porteros

    Raymundo

    Many thanks again for your quick, helpful response

    Regards
    Patrick O'Connell

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    Raymundo

    One final question to be absolutely clear - in my previous note I said that if this Company did see someone breaking into a property, their brief is to call the police and if need be restrain the person using "Citizens power of arrest". I understand "Citizens power of arrest" is the same in Spain as the UK - can you confirm exactly what they can / cannot do in these circumstances please ?

    Many thanks again
    Patrick O'Connell

  10. #10
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    Dear Patrick,

    You're welcome.

    In my last post above I've written they cannot detain anyone.

    Your portero has no "citizen power of arrest". What he must do is act as a deterrant and if he happens to catch someone red handed he must phone the police so that they deal with the intruder.

    Only licenced security guards could arrest for example a thief. They carry handcuffs with them for this purpose.

    Regards,
    Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt

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