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Private security organisations cautioned against wearing State security uniforms

By Lydia
Asamoah, GNA

Accra, Aug 3, GNA – The Ghana Police Service(GPS),
has warned private security organisations (PSOs), using uniforms that have
resemblance with that of the State security agencies to withdraw them with
immediate effect and submit them to the GPS.

All PSOs whose uniforms have not been vetted by the
Police are also being asked to immediately submit them for vetting, Deputy
Commissioner Of Police (DCOP) Paul Manly-Awini, Director-General of Private
Security Operations Directorate (PSOD) of the Police Service gave the warning
on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference in Accra, DCOP Awini
said PSOs that were operating without licenses were to take immediate steps to
obtain license from the Ministry of the Interior.

He said all businesses and individuals who want to
engage the services of any PSOs were being advised to check with the Police to
ensure that such organisations were 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 said.

He said the Service was taking the measures,
because many of the PSOs were disregarding the Regulations of the Police that
set them up.

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

The regulations also provided that no person shall
engage an organisation for an investigations of service unless that
organisation has a valid licensed under the law.

DCOP Awini noted that in spite of the clear
provisions in the Regulations, some PSOs were operating without licenses,
engaging employees without permits, using unapproved uniforms and articles
while others defiantly arm 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
terrorising law abiding citizens using weapons, uniforms and other articles,”
he said.

DCOP Awini said following the current developments,
the Police Service had embarked on an operation to arrest those violating the
law, and had consequently, arrested 23 employees from 11 PSOs operating in violations
of the law within the Greater Accra Region.

Various prohibited items including unapproved
uniforms, riot control gears, and other articles were retrieved from the PSOs
who operated within the Osu, Labone, Cantonments and East Legon areas. 

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

He however acknowledged the fact that while the
PSOs had the potential to complement the efforts of the Police Service in
discharging its mandate of protecting lives and property, they also could
greatly undermine the internal security of the country.

He said the Service, established the PSOD in
February, to collaborate with the Minister of the Interior and other
stakeholders to bring sanity to the private security industry.

It was also to ensure that PSOs contributed more
effectively towards the management of internal security.

DCOP Awini said the Police and Ministry of Interior
Joint Taskforce would sustain the monitoring and enforcement operation in all
the 10 regions including private security guards of Assemblies and academic
institutions to ensure that all PSOs complied with the law.

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

GNA

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