Business Owners Warned on Turning Guards Into Handbag Carriers

As various parts of Kampala metropolitan decry robberies and other gruesome crimes, police have warned business owners as well as principals against diverting guards and escorts to duties they are not meant for.

Police agencies such as Crime Intelligence (CI), Flying Squad Unit (FSU) and Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) have listed diversion of guards as one of the loophole criminals are exploiting to execute their robberies in day and night hours.

Some of the incidents which police say were successfully executed by armed thugs because the guards had been diverted is the robbery at Spice Supermarket in Mukono which happened on June 24. Investigators have since established the criminals took time, studied the place and realised that the guard would often be assigned to help clients carry their stuff to their cars.

Through Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga, security said premises that usually huge amounts of cash should tighten security but also ensure the guards are vigilant at all times.

Grace Matsiko, The Uganda Private Security Association (TUPSA) Chairman, says sometimes clients argue with guards who tell them that helping clients or going shopping are not part of their duties.

Matsiko explains that there are clients who have gone as far terminating contracts because guards refused to carry bags, go shopping or offload merchandize on vehicles. He adds that before any guard is deployed, they are informed of their duties, the dos and don’ts.

Edward Ochom, the director of police operations, earlier warned police escorts against being turned into handbag handlers, house boys or maids. Ochom said every police escort should know his or her duties and reject anything that is outside their mandate. He wonders why would a police officer accept to be turned into a herdsman.

Matsiko added that diverting escorts or guards shows that the public has not known the importance of such people being vigilant and attentive at all time. Matsiko explained that once a guard is used to being diverted, robbers study the patterns and strikes with confidence.