Monday, April 7, 2008

Regulate Private Security Operations

By Edmund Mingle
Saturday, 05 April 2008

There are currently more than 350 private security firms across the country, but only 40 are members of the Association of Private Security Organisations of Ghana (APSOG).
"All manner of people, including foreigners are setting up private security firms but it should not be so," Nana Edu Agyeman, chairman of the association, said during an interaction with journalists in Accra on Thursday, as part of the asso-ciation’s 10th anniversary celebrations.
Describing the upsurge in private security firms as a threat to the country, he pointed out that security was critical to the country and, therefore, there should be strict regulation of the industry which is booming.
Among other things, he suggested that the background of owners of such firms should be scrutinised before they are granted licences to ensure that they do not have any ulterior motives.
He also called for a review of the Legislative Instrument governing the industry to prevent foreigners from operating security firms in the country. He added that owners of such firms must belong to one association for easy monitoring and control.
"The LI which was passed in 1970 is outmoded and must be reviewed," he said.
Nana Agyeman said although the Constitution guarantees freedom of association, APSOG believes that security is a critical issue which should be controlled.
Asked what could be the reason some security firms do not want to join the association, he said the strict regulations requiring all members to abide by standards in the charging of fees and the welfare of their personnel, could be a factor.
He called for more collaboration between the association and state security agencies to enhance harmony in the country, adding that APSOG was ready to cooperate in areas including the December elections.
The association’s month-long tenth anniversary celebration has the theme: "Safe and sound security."
Kwadwo Aboagye-Akyea, Chairman of the anniversary planning committee, explained that the celebration was being used to educate the public on the need to appreciate security, as well as to promote the contribution of private security to national development.

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