Interior Ministry to license private security personnel

Mr Ambrose Dery, Minister of Interior

Mr Ambrose Dery, Minister of Interior

The Ministry of the Interior has initiated a process to license all private security personnel working for the various private security companies in the country.

The exercise, the first since operations of private security companies were subjected to regulation in 1992 under Legislative Instrument (L.I) 1571, is to enhance supervision and ensure optimal safety of patrons.

Hitherto, only the private security companies were licensed while security background checks were conducted on their personnel in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service.

However, the Deputy Director at the Ministry in charge of Private Security Organisations, Shadrach Mensah, told the Ghanaian Times last Friday that the conduct of some private security personnel, amongst other factors, had prompted the decision to license personnel too.

He said some companies had been dragged to court for the some criminal activities allegedly masterminded by the personnel, a situation that required stiffer supervision.

As part of the process, he disclosed that the ministry had approved for use, a manual developed by the Ghana Police Service to train the personnel after which successful trainees would be licensed by the ministry.

“The license would be renewed every year,” Mr Mensah stated, adding that personnel who did not meet the requirement for renewal of licenses would be turned down.

On the licensing of the private security companies, he said the ministry had started renewal of licenses and fresh registration for 2019, revealing that 80 out of 265 existing companies had submitted their documents.

He said the list of companies in good standing would be published in February, and urged companies that needed the services of private security companies to verify the record of companies from the ministry before engaging them.

“It is dangerous to engage unlicensed companies. Doing so is like opening your doors to thieves,” he said, adding that it was an offence, according to the L.I 1571, to engage the services of unaccredited companies.

Mr Mensah cautioned unaccredited companies offering private security to either apply for accreditation or be dealt with when the law caught up with them.

He said the ministry in collaboration with the Police department in charge of private security would pursue them and would let the law deal squarely with them when caught.

According to Mr Mensah, new law to regulate the operations of private security companies had been put together by the Ghana Police Service and was currently being perused by the Attorney General’s department office.

When passed into law, he said it would augment regulation of operations of private security companies as well as cater for some lapses in the L.I 1571 that had governed their activities for over two decades.

Amongst the new changes expected was the carrying of guns by some private security personnel such as those who accompanied billion vans due to the nature of the work.

He indicated the dedication of the ministry and the police to prioritise the security of Ghanaians and while calling for public cooperation, advised citizenry to be security conscious.

By Jonathan Donkor


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