“We want to incorporate the role of the private security industry into the national security apparatus. We are no longer going to be calling these people watchmen, they will be private security officers recognised by the law and they will be part and parcel of the security infrastructure in the country. At times, we will also be going for joint trainings with the national security organs as well as collaborating in other areas.”
These were the words of Fazul Mahamed, the Private Security Regulatory Authority C.E.O, speaking as he presided over a pass-out parade of 30 Securex security officers at the Skills Academy training school on Tuesday. The Securex Chairman Kishorilal Sahni and C.E.O Tony Sahni were also among distinguished guests in attendance for the ceremony.
The new recruits were passing out after an intensive two-week basic induction course which covered physical drills, basic self-defence, first aid, fire-fighting, incident reporting, counter terrorism and surveillance.
While delivering his keynote address the P.S.R.A C.E.O outlined his vision for a more professional, motivated and progressive private security industry in the coming months.
“The government is recognising the work that the private security industry is doing, and the sheer numbers alone mean that this sector can no longer be ignored. Later this week, we will be publishing the Private Security General Regulations 2019 and call for public views on the same. These regulations will address key areas such as Training, kitting, tools of trade and welfare, among others,” Mr. Fazul announced.
Mr. Fazul also provided updates regarding the development of a standardized curriculum for the security industry, noting the importance of segmenting the officers to allow for sector-specific training and licensing.
“We are finalizing a standard curriculum that everyone within the industry will be required to undergo. We are also liaising with the relevant government bodies to come up with sector-specific courses; such that an officer manning a gate in Kileleshwa for example will not then be allowed to switch over to secure a Cash-In-Transit vehicle. All officers will receive training specific to their assignments, be it aviation security, maritime security or V.I.P protection. Even I will undergo the training myself.”
The remuneration and welfare of private security officers has at times been a thorny issue, and Mr. Fazul was firm in his rebuke of any firms that were yet to comply to the minimum wage policy prescribed by the government.
“The era of paying a guard five thousand shillings will be a long gone case. And I can assure you, within six months of the gazettement of the regulations, any company found contravening these guidelines will not be allowed to operate.”
In closing, Mr. Fazul noted that the inclusion of the private security sector will free up more officers within the National Police Service, in effect enhancing national security.
“The National Security organs have been stretched to provide services that are not part of their core mandate such as V.I.P protection and cash-in-transit services. These are all functions that should only be handled by private security services. This will allow us to free up thousands of police officers to focus on serving the larger public,” he commented.
“Within the next few months, we will have a totally different face of the security industry.”
Also speaking during the event, the Securex C.E.O Tony Sahni was quick to laud the new recruits for their efforts and welcome them into the Securex fold.
“My hearty congratulations go to you all for the passing our training. I know that this is a big day for you and for your friends and family also in attendance. You have done us proud.”
The Securex Chairman, Kishorilal Sahni, also lauded the recruits while heaping praise on the training team that took the officers through the two-week course.
“You have all done a stellar job to make it this far. It gives me great pleasure today to see the fruit of the seed I sowed 50 years ago.”
Turning to Mr. Fazul Mahamed, Mr. Sahni quipped that the firm’s training methods were beyond the industry standard.
“We were reading some time ago that all security guards will need some special kind of training in the near future, but I feel that we are probably one step ahead and our officers are already undergoing that standard of training.”