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Police arrest private security personnel for violating Security Regulation

By Lydia
Asamoah, GNA

Accra, Aug. 3, GNA – The Ghana Police Service has
arrested 23 private security officers from 11 Private Security Organisations
(PSOs) within the Greater Accra Region for operating in violation of the
Regulation that established these organisations.

The arrests were carried out in a recent operation
undertaken by the Police Security and Operations Directorate (PSOD) within the
Osu, Labone, Cantonments and East Legon areas.

Various prohibited items including unapproved
uniforms and riot control gears were retrieved from the PSOs, Deputy
Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Paul Manly Awini, the Director-General of PSOD of
the Ghana Police Service, announced on Thursday. 

There were 158 PSOs in Good Standing, which has
currently increased to 216. 

Addressing a press conference in Accra, Mr Manly
Awini said the arrests, which would be extended to all the regions, formed part
of measures by the Police Service and the Ministry of the Interior to sanitise
the operations of the private securities.

He said investigations were on-going to check the
status regarding other provisions in the Regulation after which those arrested
would be arraigned for prosecution.

The Police Service Regulation 1992 (LI1571) which
derives its powers from section 38 of the Police Service Act 1970 (350) state,
among other things, that no person licensed or granted a permit under the
Legislation shall bear or possess any fire arm or ammunition in the course of
his or her duties.

The Regulation states that no person shall
establish an organisation to perform services of watching, guarding, patrolling
or carriage for providing protection against crime, unless granted a license
for that purpose by the Minister of the Interior. 

The Regulation also provided that no person shall
engage an organisation for an investigation or service unless that organisation
has a valid licensed under the law.

However, Mr Awini said in spite of those clear
provisions in the Regulation, some PSOs were operating without licenses,
engaging employees without permits, using unapproved uniforms and articles
while others defiantly armed their security guards with weapons.

“All these are blatant violations of the Regulation
and posing serious threats to management of internal security.

“As a result of these violations, there is the
likelihood for criminals to take advantage of the situation to engage in
various criminal activities such as robbery, stealing, and virtually
terrorizing law abiding citizens using weapons, uniforms and other articles,”
he said.

Mr Awini, therefore, cautioned all PSOs who were
using uniforms that have resemblance with those being used by the State
security agencies to withdraw them and submit them to the Police with immediate
effect.

All PSOs whose uniforms have not been vetted by the
Police were also being asked to immediately submit them for vetting.

DCOP Awini said PSOs that were operating without
licenses were to take immediate steps to obtain licenses from the Ministry of
the Interior.

He advised businesses and individuals who wanted to
engage the services of any PSO to check with the Police to ensure that such PSO
was duly registered and operating within the law before contracting them.

“This is because they will be violating the law by
engaging the services of such unlicensed PSOs, not to mention the security risk
of using the services of such PSOs,” Mr Awini noted.

Mr Awini said the Police and Ministry of the
Interior Joint Taskforce would sustain the monitoring and enforcement in all
the regions including private security guards of assemblies and academic
institutions to ensure that all PSOs complied with the law.

Meanwhile, Mr Awini said the Police would continue
to engage members of the Association of Security Organisations, Ghana, to
educate them on the regulations and the need to practice within the confines of
the law.  

GNA

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