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Security firms laud Govt for introducing guard force numbers

Private security companies have welcomed a move by the government to introduce guard force numbers, saying that it would help tame rogue guards.

According to Thomas Kimari, the Director of Gratom Babz Security Company, the force number will help in monitoring and tracking security guards for accountability purposes.

“The guard force will help when hiring new guards as it will be able to show the history of a guard, the reasons they left the previous security firm, and also show their success and progress, ensuring only qualified and trustworthy guards are hired,” Kimari said.

Kimari said there has been concern that rogue security guards would commit an offence, then relocate to another area and get employed without the employing firm knowing the past activities of the guard.

In August this year, Interior Principal Secretary Dr. Raymond Omollo made an announcement about the mandatory registration of private security guards, saying that the move was an essential step to foster a higher level of professionalism within the industry.

He said mandatory registration of private security officers would also provide a structured framework for monitoring and regulating their activities while on duty.

Talking to KNA, Mathew Wekesa, an Operations’ Manager at a security firm located in Kiambu town, said that the force number would help enforce accountability and professionalism by ensuring guards are monitored.

“We are happy the government is helping bring order to this industry, which has been forgotten for a long time… tracking the guards; this will help them take their job seriously and also instill discipline in the industry as well,” said Wekesa.

The guards, however, expressed their concerns over their safety, saying they were not appropriately armed, and called on the government to come up with more stringent measures to ensure that they are properly armed.

Gladys Chemboi, a guard, said that the move would help the genuine guards to operate easily, separating them from the rogue guards whose agenda is to ruin the profession.

“Security guarding is a profession just like any other and should be regulated like all the other professions and also taken seriously. The security guard profession should therefore not be used as a profession where criminals hide in a uniform,” said Chemboi.

She further cited that there were more challenges for women who practice the profession because of the risks associated with their daily duties as security guards.

“Since we are not properly armed, most of us women prefer working during the day since there are fewer hostile situations during the day, unlike at night. This puts our male counterparts at an advantage since working at night mostly attracts a better salary,” she said.

Kimari, however, stated that security companies have been working hand in hand with the government and the Kenya Police Service to ensure they are all registered under the Protective Security Industry Association (PSIA), which is a government body meant to regulate security firms in the county.

By Grace Naishoo

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