General News of Saturday, 5 August 2017
The Ghana Police Service has directed all private security organisations (PSOs) using uniforms that resemble those of the public security agencies to withdraw them immediately and submit same to the police.
It also warned PSOs operating without licence to immediately obtain one from the Ministry of the Interior.
The Director General in charge of Private Security Operations Directorate (PSOD), Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Paul M. Awini, who gave the warning at a press briefing in Accra, said all those whose uniforms had not been vetted by the police must take steps to have them immediately vetted.
He said the police had embarked on an exercise to clamp down on all private security companies whose employees were found wearing uniforms belonging to the security agencies.
He said so far, 23 employees of 11 PSOs had been arrested and were being processed for court on charges of using unapproved uniforms for their operations.
Mr Awini said the emergence of private security industry in the country was to support the efforts of the Ghana Police Service in delivering security services to private homes and businesses.
According to him, the PSOs had the potential to complement the efforts of the police to discharge their mandate of protecting lives and property, if they were well managed.
He said it was against this background that the Police Administration in February this year established the PSOD to collaborate with the Ministry of the Interior and all stakeholders to bring sanity to the private security industry.
Mr Awini mentioned some of the objectives of the department as helping reform and restructure the private security industry with a view to streamlining their operations and integrating them into the national security system and to ensure that their operations were in conformity with the laws governing them.
He said the private security sector had grown phenomenally in the past decade.
According to him, the number of licensed PSOs in good standing with the Ministry of the Interior stood at 158 although it currently had 217 PSOs on its records, while many others remained unregistered.
“To ensure that PSOs operate effectively and efficiently, as well as to contribute meaningfully towards the management of the country’s internal security, the Police Service (Private Security Organisations) Regulations 1992 (LI1571) was enacted,” he said.
He said additionally, the law provided that no person shall engage an organisation for investigations or services unless that organisation had a valid licence issued under the law and added that the regulation also empowered the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to approve the uniform, cap, badge, accoutrements or other identification mark to be used by licensed private security organisations.