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Calls to rein in private security firms

Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf and cantonal authorities have criticised investigation activities by private security firms.

There are at least two known cases in which an employee of a private security company infiltrated leftwing groups ahead of a summit of leading industrial nations near Geneva in 2003.

Widmer-Schlumpf said it was the task of police to ensure security. She added that the federal government could consider nationwide rules although cantons have wide-ranging autonomy in police matters.

Cantonal police directors said they seek to impose a ban on political investigation by private firms.

However, the industry association rejected allegations of undermining law and public service.

An inquiry is underway in canton Vaud against the company Securitas, which allegedly infiltrated a project by an anti-globalisation group against the food multinational, Nestlé.

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