The Inspector General of Police(IGP), Mr David Asante-Apeatu, on Wednesday launched approved uniforms for Private Security Organisations(PSO) operating in the country, in Accra.
While newly formed PSOs are to comply immediately with the new regulation, existing security companies have been given up to a year to do so.
The IGP, who also opened a two-day orientation course for Regional Private Security Operations Liaison Officers during the event, said the use of unapproved uniforms by some PSOs, was of great concern to the Ghana Police Service.
He said although the laws of the country stated that any uniform, cap, badge, accoutrements or any other identification mark worn by any member of a private security company, had to be first approved by the IGP in writing, some PSOs still flouted the rule.
The IGP said if these violations were not checked, criminals could take advantage of the situation and engage in robbery, stealing, and other crimes, using unapproved weapons, uniforms and other forms of apparatus.
He said to address this, the Police Service, working in close collaboration with the Association of Private Security Organisations, Ghana (APSOG), approved three sets of uniforms to be used as official uniforms for all PSOs in the country.
“What this means is that from today, October 25th, 2017, every new Private Security Organisation shall be required to submit these sets of uniforms to the Police Headquarters for vetting and approval,” said the IGP.
He said for already existing private security companies, the Police Administration had factored a one-year transition period into the implementation strategy, to allow them to conveniently phase out the existing uniforms and introduce the new approved ones.
“Consequently by October 25th, 2018, we expect all private security organizations to phase out all their old uniforms and transition into the new approved uniforms,” said the IGP.
He said the Ghana Police service saw the private security industry as partners in maintaining law and order adding, “if the private security industry is reformed, structured and positioned well to take its rightful place in the national security structure, the job of the Ghana Police Service would be greatly enhanced.”
The IGP, touching on the two-day orientation course for Regional Private Security Operations Liaison Officers, said the emergence of the Private Security Industry(PSI) in the country about two and a half decades ago, was a welcome development, to complement the work of the Ghana Police Service.
He said for the PSI to realise its full potential in helping to ensure safety and security, challenges confronting the industry had to be addressed.
The IGP said the Police Administration therefore established the Private Security Operations Directorate earlier this year, and charged it to streamline operations of PSOs and ensure that they were well aligned with the national system.
He said the Directorate was also to ensure that operations of PSOs conformed to the country’s laws, and also contributed more effectively towards ensuring internal security, adding that the Directorate had chalked some successes since its establishment.
The IGP said the Police Administration had appointed Regional Private Security Operations Liaison Officers, who were responsible for all private security related activities in their respective regions, working under the direct supervision of their regional police commanders.
He said this was to make the work of the Directorate sustainable nation-wide. The course is to build the capacities of the participants, to effectively handle issues of private security in the regions, the IGP said.