Rwanda: Police Cracks Down on Illegal Private Security Companies

5 November 2017

Rwanda National Police (RNP) has said security is a sensitive area, and as such vowed to crackdown on any companies or individuals offering private security services illegally.

RNP spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Theos Badege, said although the government provided for private security services as a business venture, it also set out proper rules and guidelines that should be followed to ensure quality services and professionalism.

The warning follows the indefinite suspension of two private security firms mid this week, which were found operating without license.

The said closed companies are Security Company Against Robbery (SCAR) and Indatemwa Security Company.

In May this year, police also suspended Delta Limited, Wide Vision Company Limited, Guard Marks and DICEL Security, which were also operating unlawfully.

"It is very clear and laid out under the rules and regulations; any private security company to operate should first acquire a licence offered by Rwanda National Police after passing an inspection on offices and training facilities, and clean criminal record of its personnel, among others, " ACP Badege said.

"Currently, operations are still ongoing to crackdown on any unlicenced operating private security firm," he added.

"Police is also carrying out inspection in licensed companies to see if they are complying with the law, including the welfare of their personnel, which can cause temptation if not given attention. The issue of gender at search points is also being looked into; under no circumstance should a male search a female or female search a male, and that should be respected," the spokesperson said.

"A person, who is not vetted could be a criminal, and might exploit the opportunity to commit crimes since they now have unlimited access to premises without being checked," he noted.

ACP Badege said: "RNP as a licensing institution, will continue to ensure that private security firms and their personnel are empowered to ensure they effectively complement the security duty, and to ensure safety of their clients."

He explained that the procedures were devised to further boost the sector's operations and supplement security efforts in the country.

ACP Badege further advised potential clients to make sure that they hire private security personnel from licensed firms, and to report any malpractices conducted by hires personnel.

Licensing procedure

The license is issued by RNP basing on a report submitted by a security vetting committee. The same committee is also in charge of inspection of the operations and conduct of the licensed companies.

The company has also to be registered in Rwanda Development Board (RDB).

"There are also other professional and ethical standards a firm has to observe even when they are registered and licensed, like continuous capacity building, discipline and customer care," he said.

Other conditions to secure a license include having training ground, syllabus and qualified trainers, internal rules and regulations, and standard operating procedures, among others.

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