Top Cop calls for end to security guards carrying ‘big guns’
Commissioner of Police (ag) Clifton Hicken says it is “unprofessional” and “unacceptable” for security guards to carry large weapons and has called for an end to the practice.
Hicken along with Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn and other senior officers of the Guyana Police Force met with private security companies on Tuesday.
The Top Cop comments follow a recent post on social media with a security officer transporting Jamaica Dancehall artiste, Dexta Dapps from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) with a huge gun on display.
“This is unacceptable and unprofessional and this trend needs to stop immediately,” the Top Cop is quoted as saying in a statement by Police Headquarters.
The Police Commissioner believes that when the security officers display huge guns while on duty, it has the potential to create a hostile environment with society.
He further emphasized that it can also have negative implications for Guyana’s tourism sector, as well as the general safety of citizens.
According to the police statement, Hicken, in his remarks, underscored the importance of having private security firms and the crucial role they play in partnering with the Police Force.
He also commended the private firms for their reduction of “accidental discharge” of firearms and urged them to take great care and caution.
The security companies were also told by the Top Cop to have a standardized employment procedure.
“Security firms must do complete background checks when hiring personnel as this will help to ensure you protect and maintain the image of your organization and by extension your clients and our country.”
Meanwhile, according to the release, Traffic Chief, Superintendent Ramesh Ashram, addressed the issue of the use of sirens and flashing lights on security vehicles.
The Traffic Chief made it clear that security vehicles are not categorized as “emergency vehicles” such as those used by the Police Force, Fire Service and Ambulance.
The security companies were told to comply with road rules and regulations and not have sirens or flashing lights on their vehicles. If caught, Ashram said it will result in the revocation of their vehicle fitness.
The security companies were further told that non-compliance with the established rules and guidelines, will result in consequences.
According to the police force, of recent, there has been a significant increase in the demand for private services to bolster Guyana’s security architecture, and this need is expected to be even greater in the context of the myriad security challenges that can arise as a consequence of the expected rapid expansion and infrastructural development of Guyana’s oil and gas economy.
Minister Benn, in his remarks, urged the companies to continue to train their officers.
“We need a safe, secure and democratic Guyana,” Minister Benn said.
Benn also informed the companies that he is prepared to revoke the license of any private security firm that is found in breach of the law.
“Your responsibility is to provide discrete service to your clients and to protect them, not to act outside of the law,” he was quoted as saying in the release.