Private Security Companies Under Fresh Scrutiny

Comments 5766 Views Kampala, Uganda
Poor Security guidelines and the dangers posed by a disgruntled guard is increasingly pushing the police to review the operations of private security companies in Uganda. There are 73 private security companies operating in Uganda, providing security to both individual and public firms. Some contract guards permanently stationed at a residence or business premise believe they have a better understanding of a site's security threats than police officers who make infrequent patrols. This has resulted into complacency and pride hence resulting into insecurity triggered off by the private security firms. Now, Police has directed all private security companies operating in Uganda to re-screen their guards. The screening exercise will involve taking fingerprints of all the guards, capturing the photographs and creating files for each guard. Security companies are also required to store all vital information pertaining to their workers in electronic form. This is intended to help speed up the process of accessing information by the special investigation bureau. Makmot Okello, the Commissioner of Police, Private Security Organizations, says the re-screening process is part of the on-going police strategy to mop up the mess in the private security business. Okello says that many private security companies recruit their staff haphazardly and lack proper documentation for their guards. Many guards have been involved in various crimes ranging from robbery to murder. Last week a security guard shot dead a manager of a bar in Makindye after suspecting that he was backbiting him. He fled the scene and has not been cited anywhere. Tracing a criminal guard has however proved difficult due to the absence of proper information regarding the identity of the suspect. Makmot says that some private companies have been disarmed, while others have been recommended for de-licensing. //Cue in: "I as the commissioner... Cue out: ...supported."// Snow-white Security Company, linked to the Late Joseph Behakanira has been disarmed of 54 rifles. The disarmament stems from an incident in March in which a guard linked to the company shot and killed three students of Makerere University. Police has also withdrawn 70 firearms from Nile Guards Security Company. Also affected by the latest police crackdown is Star Security Company, which has been forced to surrender 18 rifles. Currently, some private security companies have resorted to carrying out joint guard duties with the police. Okello says phasing out guns from security companies is crucial for the safety and security of the people. //Cue in: "Somebody who... Cue out: ...dismissed."// Okello explained that currently new companies are being discouraged from use of firearms to provide security services. //Cue in: "Somebody who... Cue out: ...dismissed."// Okello explained that currently new companies are being discouraged from use of firearms to provide security services.


Tagged with: security guards