The Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola has directed the Police department of firearms and Private Security Organisation to conduct a special vetting of all Private Security Organisations (PSOs) in the country.
Ochola’s directive follows an increase in gun violence by private security guards.
According to the Police spokesman Fred Enanga, there has been a loophole in the way security companies execute their work which has caused loss of lives.
“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 PSOs,” said Enanga on Monday at Naguru Police headquarters during the weekly press briefing.
He added that several reports have been received complaining of violent and abusive behaviour by private security guards and poorly trained staff.
“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 PSOs,” he added.
Last week, a private security guard shot and killed a customer at Quality Shopping Mall, Nalya.
According to Ochola, as PSOs are being vetted, much emphasis is going to be put on a thorough inspection of pre-employment checks, training, supervision, customer service and how they are integrating with the new technology.
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,” said Enanga.
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 PSOs 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.