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Why Police suspended over 39 private security companies

The development comes amid increased cases relating to gun violence in the recent weeks, many of which have involved guards attached to private security firms. 

KAMPALA, UGANDA: Police has announced that the operating licenses of 39 private security companies have been revoked for allegedly failing to meet the minimum standard requirements set as per the private security and firearms regulation act of police.

The Tuesday statement comes amid increased cases relating to gun violence that has marred the country in the recent weeks, many of which have involved guards attached to private security firms. 

“These companies failed to fulfill some or all of the necessary conditions for license renewal last year (2022) as per Regulation 14(d) of the Police (Control of Private Security Organisations) Regulations 2013,” the deputy police spokesperson, CP Polly Namaye said in a police statement.

Some of the conditions listed that the affected companies failed to fulfil include; obtaining an NSSF certificate of clearance, evidence of payment of gun licensing fees/ gun rental fees, and evidence of annual inspection of the company, among others.

“A detailed list of these companies can be found at all Police Stations and Regional Police headquarters. All regional Police Commanders have been instructed to ensure that these companies halt their operations and ensure compliance to the suspension,” Ms Namaye added.

According to the deputy police publicist, officers from Private Security and Firearms department have been instructed to conduct the withdrawal/ recovery of firearms from the respective PSOs.

“Uganda Police Force continues to receive requests for license reinstatement from PSOs whose licenses were previously suspended,” she said adding that the suspension will be lifted depending on whether the necessary conditions for renewal of the license have been fulfilled.

She added that “The Directorate of Operations has developed Standard Operating Procedures for all Private Security Companies. Each PSO has been supplied a copy of the SOPs for compliance. Important to note is that each Private Security Guard shall receive mandatory training based on a standard training curriculum. Deployment of security guards shall depend on their successful accomplishment of this mandatory training.”

Ms Namaye’s statement came barely a day after her senior, SCP Fred Enanga Monday said police had registered three shooting incidents last week, two of which involved a police officer in Mbarara who shot a UPDF officer dead and a Saracen security guard who shot a colleague dead in Tororo Municipality.

The third shooting according to Enanga was by a police officer in Mukono Municipality who in a case of mistaken identity shot and injured a female student of Uganda Christian University in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

According to Enanga, the “slight increase in such reckless type shootings” in the last two months over petty conflicts/disputes shows that people are getting desperate.

“Other shootings are often the result of domestic violence, personal disputes/arguments, poverty, rage and anger, jealousy, and mental health among others, which all contribute to crime. What the public should know is that suppressing the aggressive conduct of an officer or security guard remains a priority,” SCP Enanga said.

“We are working with other security agencies and partners like private security organisations to ensure we have the right policies, intelligence, detection and enforcement. As you are all aware, gun violence had reduced greatly in the past due to intensive policing and a strict gun policy,” he added.

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