Police Raise Red Flag Over Private Guards Crimes

The UPF is concerned about a number of troubling incidents posed and faced by private security guards and organizations. These include; attacks against each other at work, violence against their clients at guard places including petrol stations, sports betting companies, factories, residential homes and illegal road blocks to mention a few. The concerning behaviours have inflicted trauma, agony, and anger, among those persons and clients victimized by some indisciplined private security guards.

In addition, to the above, we continue to observe a number of private security guards, handling, carrying or transporting their guns carelessly, which not only jeopardizes their safety and security, but that of the public, once the guns are stolen or robbed from them. Others loiter aimlessly with their guns, or use bodabodas, which are all risky methods.

In our efforts to stem the flow of gun violence by private security guards and violent attacks against them, their clients and the community, the UPF, has come up with several initiatives to prevent such tragedies indicated above. We have directed all our territorial commanders to arrest errant security guards in breach of the guidelines, confiscation of mishandled guns, suspension of non-compliant PSOs in liaison with Police Headquarters. At the headquarter level, we have adopted the non-renewal of operating licenses of errant PSOs (Since January 2024, 20 PSOs have been recommended for suspension on various reasons, while 7 others, are recommended for cancellation of their operating licences).

The Directorate of Operations is also working closely with the PSOs, on initiatives aimed at providing greater awareness on priority threats (both internal and external), compiling and sharing data on concerning behaviours, disqualification/cancellation of PSOs from possessing or receiving firearms, better auditing processes/features at the Department of PSOs/civilian firearms, safe transportation and custody of firearms initiatives. In addition, the Directorate of Crime Intelligence is conducting background checks, re-vetting and obtaining actionable tips and leads for misuse of private firearms from the public. We have also developed a standard PSO training curriculum, with standard tactical trainings, that will be conducted by the Directorate of Human Resource Development.

As the UPF, we continue to share more information with the Association of PSOs as partners. Our partnerships, are strong and we are continually assessing, what can be done better and making changes where possible.


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