New law gives police more powers over private security providers

The Lower Chamber of Parliament last week passed tougher laws geared towards streamlining the operations of private security firms.

The new law seeks to weed out security companies that are deemed unprofessional and unable to invest the resources required to provide services considered to be of high standard.

 

Among the new guidelines, before being granted a licence, an applicant will have to submit details of senior employees, with the legal representative or their deputy required to hold Rwandan nationality.

 

Investors of private security companies will be required to prove their wealth is equal or more than the amount set to be determined by the state, through a Ministerial Order.

 

Earlier this year, the proposal was that any individual interested in establishing a private security company must have at least Rwf700m as value in assets.

At least Rwf200 million of that value is supposed to be cash deposited in a local bank.

There are five other notable requirements in the new law.

Strict vetting of new recruits

Prior to training of new recruits, the security companies will be required to submit their identities to the Rwanda National Police for background checks.

Any private security firm found in violation by employing a security guard that has not passed vetting procedures, is liable for administrative fine between Rwf2-3 million.

Certification of guards

Any security guard who completes initial security training is awarded a certificate by the Rwanda National Police. This certificate can be presented to any private security service company in case one is seeking a job.

Use of firearms

Only one private security company, ISCO, had the license to arm its guards with guns. Under the new law, other private security companies may be granted the license to have armed guards. The new law recommends that the National Police sign contracts with private security companies to hire out or purchase arms on their behalf.

Reporting on/off duty security guard

A private security service provider keeps a daily log indicating the deployment of their guards. The company will, in writing, inform the National Police of any security guard whose contract has been terminated, including reasons for termination or resignation, within seven days from the date of termination of service.

Hefty fines

Any individual or company that operates without a license to provide private security services issued by Rwanda National Police will be liable to a fine of up to Rwf10 million.

While the Parliament has passed the law, it will only come into effect after it has been gazetted.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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