KAMPALA – The Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola has directed the Police department of firearms to vet all private security firms in the country in a bid to stem the rising gun misuse by guards.
“Lack of enough vigilance in security companies has cost us. For that matter, the IGP has ordered the responsible department to intensify supervision, on the performance of private security firms,” said Mr Fred Enanga on Monday during the weekly press briefing at Naguru Police headquarters.
“On the internal organisation of these security companies, most of them are hinged are cutting costs, reduced pay and they are caring more about profit margins than public safety which has caused the public to come out with lots of questions on the competency of private security firms,” he added.
His remarks come hardly a week after a private security guard shot and killed a businessman at Quality Shopping Mall, Naalya.
According to Mr Enanga, there has been a loophole in the way security companies execute their work which has caused loss of lives.
According to the police chief, much emphasis will be put on a thorough inspection of pre-employment checks, training, supervision, customer service and how they are integrating with the new technology.
Mr Enanga noted that the directive has already taken effect and the responsible department has started work.
“We know there is a challenge in PSOs, and Police has kept on telling them to avoid deployment of the alone guard, at least to have a minimum of two but since they are profit-oriented they have not listened,” he said.
He added that some guards are placed in dangerous locations yet they don’t have guns.
According to records from the department of firearms, they are 202 private security firms where only 110 are armed while the 98 only use batons
In March this year about 45 PSOs failed to meet the required standards and their licences were cancelled.
According to Enanga any company which will be found not following the standards set will be closed and it’s licence cancelled.