Securex Agencies (K) LTD welcomes the long-awaited assent into law of the Private Security Industry Regulation Bill, lauding this as a revolutionary step in the streamlining of all players in the sector. The industry has previously relied heavily on self-regulation and the standards prescribed by associations such as the Kenya Security Industry Association, which we now feel will be further empowered by the enactment of this Bill. The setting of universal standards as will be prescribed by the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority will go a long way towards weeding out suspect firms that have been bringing the honour of the sector into disrepute.
According to the Securex Chief Operating Officer Daniel Lemmer, the Authority will restore order and professionalism to one of the fastest-growing sectors in the country’s economy.
“The guidelines for operation that will be set by the Authority in way of training, employee welfare, equipping of officers and proper remuneration will ensure that we uphold only the highest standards of quality and professionalism. Members of the general public, not just direct clients, will be able to benefit from well-trained, well-equipped security guards who in turn will not only be empowered to work but will also enjoy remuneration that is commensurate with the country’s labour laws.”
As founding members of the Kenya Security Industry Association, we have campaigned for the adoption of proper remuneration of security guards through our Managing Director and former Chairman of the Association, Mr. Tony Sahni. We are therefore pleased to note that the new law will give security guards adequate representation in the board of the Authority, which gives them a voice to better articulate the issues that they face in the line of duty. Beyond this, it also assures guards of their welfare and seeks to achieve standardization of their remuneration and benefits packages.
While some security firms such as ourselves have dedicated training schools with qualified, full-time instructors, many other firms have previously sent officers out into the field without adequate training. Guards will also now be properly trained as the Authority will be mandated to audit and accredit qualified training institutions, as well as withdraw accreditation for any institutions that fall below the required standards.
The Act calls for not only the registration and licensing of private security firms, but also for the registration of all individuals working within the sector, from security guards out in the field to management staff working in the office. This will, in a way, allow for thorough vetting of staff as the Act further prescribes certain conditions that potential candidates have to meet for their recruitment into the sector. Registration of all security firms and employees gives the Authority the power to hold all parties accountable by way of effecting punitive measures such as cautions, suspensions, fines, and in the extreme, revocation of operating licences.
The enactment of the Private Security law will also open doors for more intensive engagement between the Private Security industry and the top national security organs. We have long called for the creation of a platform that will allow for the sharing of crime intelligence and risk management strategy, and this we believe will lead to civilians directly feeling the impact that this sector can have on the country’s security and stability.
“We are mindful of the fact that the legislation, which in itself is a work in progress, is one step in a long journey to effectively regulate the sector. We have faith that continued engagement between the Government and industry stakeholders will see massive reform achieved in the shortest time possible,” Mr. Lemmer concluded.