The Ghana Police Service is to license all private security guards to ensure that only people without criminal records are engaged by the security companies.
The Director General in charge of the Private Security Organisations Directorate of the Police Service, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr Edward Tabiri, said the licensing was also to ensure the effective monitoring of the operations of private security guards.
He was speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting with members of the Association of Private Security Organisations, Ghana (APSOG) in Accra on Tuesday.
The meeting was to update the members of the association on actions being taken by the Ministry of the Interior, in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service, to improve the operations of private security organisations (PSOs).
Mr Tabiri also urged APSOG to rebrand to enable some of its members to take over escorts, should some very important persons seek the services of private security guards.
He said the security guards would be vetted, after which the approved ones would be given unique identification numbers.
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He said owners and directors of the PSOs would also be vetted and given licences, saying the aim was to have a database of all PSOs to aid identification and monitoring.
He said a tripartite committee had approved three sets of uniforms for all PSOs, adding that the organisations were supposed to initiate processes to comply with all the regulations governing their operations, including the registration of members, purchase of the new approved uniforms and proper handling of security gadgets.
Mr Tabiri said beginning from November 1, 2018, the Police Service would embark on inspection tours of all PSOs to ensure compliance with the regulations.
He cautioned that failure by the PSOs to comply with the regulations would be met with sanctions, including the revocation of operating licences by the Ministry of the Interior.
He said the Police Service would organise training programmes for security guards to improve their professionalism.
He said if the government approved the policy of withdrawing police escorts for some very important persons, the affected persons would hire the services of highly professional PSOs.
Ministry of the Interior
A Deputy Director and Desk Officer for PSOs at the Ministry of the Interior, Mr Shadrack Mensah, said the decision to enforce the regulations was born out of the desire by the ministry to make PSOs vibrant to complement the work of the police.
He urged PSOs to position themselves strategically to improve the country’s security environment, saying: “The way you package yourselves will help the work of the government.”
The Vice-Chairman of APSOG, Mr Alfred Essienne, said PSOs were supposed to use 40 per cent of their contract sums for the payment of the salaries of security guards.
He cautioned that PSOs that paid their security guards less than 40 per cent of their contract sums would be suspended from the association.
Again, he said, the association would report the offending companies to the Ministry of the Interior for the necessary sanctions to be applied against the companies.