39 private security companies banned from operations - Police

39 private security companies banned from operations - Police

Police have announced they have revoked licences of 39 private security companies for failing to meet the required standards.

This was contained in an order by the Inspector of Police, John Martins Okoth Ochola to all Divisional/ District Police Commanders, Regional Police Commanders and all units in the police.

The IGP consequently directed that the guns owned by these private security companies be withdrawn with immediate effect.

“You are required to withdraw firearms from them and inform their clients operating under your area of command to seek security services from other licences private security organisations,” Ochola directed.

He subsequently directed that a team of officers from the private security and firearms department of police go to various police stations and divisions to conduct the withdrawal of the firearms from the various private security companies and their armories.

The development comes on the backdrop of the rising cases of gun violence in different parts of the country.

The killing of State Minister for Labour, Col(Rtd) Charles Engola at the start of the month triggered a debate on the rising cases of gun violence in the country.

This was exacerbated by the recent spate of separate shootings in various parts of the country which have seen over 10 people killed and other injured by both Police officers and private security guards.

In some of the incidents of gun violence which have raised concern from members of the public, private security guards have used their guns to not only participate in robberies but also in senseless killings.

For example last week, a security guard attached to Saracen shot dead his colleague for failure to return a simcard a company sacco membership card.

Police on Monday said they are soon taking measures to address the loopholes in the use of guns to address such reckless types of shootings by ensuring the right gun policies, intelligence, detection and enforcement.

According to the latest directive, the affected companies had violated police regulations in regards the handling of firearms.

Deputy police spokesperson, Polly Namaye said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon that the companies whose licences were cancelled had violated several conditions necessary for renewal of their licences last year.

“Some of the conditions include NSSF certificate clearance, evidence of payment of gun licensing fees/ gun rental fees and eidence of annual inspection of the company.”

She noted that police continues to  receive requests for license reinstatement from private security companies whose licenses were previously suspended and that this will depend on whether the necessary conditions for renewal of the license have been fulfilled.

“The Directorate of Operations has developed Standard Operating Procedures for all private security companies and each has been supplied with a copy for compliance.”

“It is important to note is that each private security guard shall receive mandatory training based on a standard training curriculum. Deployment of security guards shall depend on their successful accomplishment of this mandatory training.”