‘Sharp rise’ in incidents involving private security firms prompts meeting with police officials

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When regulated and accountable, the private security sector can make a valuable contribution to security provision. However, the activities of an unchecked or poorly regulated private security sector can present unique governance issues and can inhibit development.

The Guyana Police Force (GPF) encourages collaboration through structured and developmental approaches, in line with the Force’s Strategic Plan, and to this end, KM the meeting this morning (Saturday August 6, 2022), which was held at the Police Officers’ Training Centre in Georgetown, was organized to identify issues and concerns and offer suggestions related to security needs.

Deputy Commissioner ‘Operations’ (ag) Mr. Ravindradat Budhram, told the representatives of private security firms that recently there has been a sharp rise in incidents involving private services performing their tasks, which has also required the attention of the Criminal Investigation Department and has prompted this meeting.

According to Mr. Budhram, while it is the responsibility of private firms to provide quality service to their clients, it is also critical to improve training in their organization in order to improve the quality of service provided.

Mr. Budhram pointed out that whenever persons are on duty or when they are being relieved of their duties, the actions taken to secure firearms oftentimes are not in keeping with the procedures or the SOPs that need to be followed. This, he said, needs to be corrected.

Mr. Budhram encouraged the proprietors and chief security officers of the private security firms to conduct frequent training within their organizations to enhance efficiency and further noted that, apart from the standard training, his office “will coordinate refresher training for members of the security sector.”

Traffic Chief, Superintendent Dennis Stephen, reiterated that the use of sirens and flashing lights on security vehicles is not in compliance with the laws of Guyana.

According to Mr. Stephen, security vehicles are not considered “emergency vehicles” like those used by the police, fire and ambulatory. Private security services must therefore adhere to all applicable laws and regulations regarding traffic and refrain from operating vehicles with sirens and/or flashing lights.

The issuance of precepts, accountability with armory, security posture, roles and responsibilities of the security firm; among other pressing issues, were highlighted and addressed.

The attentive and much appreciative representatives during the discourse made suggestions to improve the quality of security personnel by incorporating statement writing, concealing carrying of firearms, observation skills and techniques, the ability to lead and work in or with a team, communications skills, honesty and integrity into the training programme.

A suggestion to have a constructive comprehensive training programme established for chief security officers was also welcomed by the Deputy Commissioner, who noted that there is sufficient military and paramilitary experience in the respective security firms that can collaborate and contribute to the development of such a programme.

During his brief remarks, the Officer-in-Charge of the Tactical Services Unit, Mr. Brian Lowenfield, stated that recommendations are usually forwarded to the respective security firms at the end of each training. He further emphasized that these recommendations should not be taken lightly.

In closing, Mr. Budhram thanked the representatives from the various security services for attending the meeting and also noted that he is looking forward to strengthening the partnership and having more collaborative efforts between the private security services and the Guyana Police Force.

Deputy Superintendent Rovin Das and Deputy Superintendent Ronald Ali were also present at this morning’s discourse. (Guyana Police Force press release)

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