Rwanda National Police (RNP), yesterday, held a meeting with managing directors of local Private Security Service Providers (PSSPs), which mainly focused on addressing concerns of unprofessionalism and improving standards.
The meeting came on the heels of unprofessional conduct of some private security firm or their personnel, which are contrary to the standard operating procedures set by laws as well as internal rules and regulations.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Jean Nepomuscene Mbonyumuvunyi, the Commissioner for PSSP in RNP, observed that although the overall services provided by private security companies have greatly improved in terms of professionalism, some of them violate the set standards.
“Generally, the current operation status of PSSP is good, however, during our inspections we observed issues that need to be addressed, and as a result we have warned eight private security companies that were found to be operating below the set standards to ensure that the specified issues are corrected,” ACP Mbonyumuvunyi said.
Currently, there are 16 licensed private security companies operating in Rwanda, but Mbonyumuvunyi disclosed that there are 24 others that have also applied for an operational license, which he said will have to go through the usual approval process.
Some of the violated standards as discussed during the meeting include lack of proper training ground and security equipment, ineffective supervision and recklessness in searches.
Other include deploying only one staff to search both male and female, poor welfare of their staff and employing people without going the usual vetting process as a prerequisite.
The license is issued by RNP basing a report submitted by a joint security vetting committee. The same committee is also in charge of inspection on the operations and conduct of the licensed companies. The company has also to be registered in Rwanda Development Board (RDB) or in Rwanda Cooperatives Agencies (RCA).
“To guarantee safety of the people and their property depends on your readiness and professional conduct… people should feel secure wherever you are deployed as a force multiplier,” ACP Mbonyumuvunyi said.
According to Andrew Nkurunziza, the chairman of the of Rwanda Private Security Industry Association (RPSIA), an umbrella for private security companies, most challenges faced by their members are based on “operating capital.”
“It’s true some of the companies don’t comply with the Standard Operating Procedures and we all understand that security is everything without which we can’t even market our country, so we have come up with effective measures to ensure that all the raised concerns are efficiently addressed,” Nkurunziza said.
“When you analyze all the challenges they are based on operating capital, so as an association, we have proposed that each company should at least have working capital of Rwf50 million or Rwf100 for both working capital and assets”, he said.
“We also have a project of establishing a training centre; hopefully it will be operational early next year. This centre will be training people who wish to join private security companies and it is here that every private security firm will be getting trained personnel to employ; we will be having well trained personnel,” Nkurunziza said.
The private security companies also raised the issue of clients, who don’t pay them, but resolved that no private security service will be provided to any institution or company that owe any of their members.
They also commended the RNP support to professionalize their security service business.