Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Legislature adopts ‘Private Security Bill 2011’

G4S is one of many private Security Companies in Banjul
The National Assembly, the lawmaking Arm of Government in The Gambia on 5th April 2011 adopted the “Private Security Guard Company Bill 2011”.
The Bill was put before the lawmakers by the Minister of Interior Hon. Ousman Sonko on Tuesday at the National Assembly building in Banjul.
“The Bill seeks to establish a legal framework to regulate the Private Security Industry and establish Minimum Standards of Behaviour on the part of both private security companies and the guards employed by them,” our Parliamentary Reporter said.
“With the recent increase in the number of private security guard companies, it is deemed necessary to establish a regulatory framework under which these companies can be managed and monitored. It can also ensure that their practices be in line with the government regulations,” the Minister of Interior Hon. Ousman Sonko told National Assembly Members (NAMs).
The Bill is also aimed at ensuring a reduction of crime in the private security industry and the quality of services in the industry in line with international standards.
He admitted that the security services, particularly the Gambia Police Force (GPF) cannot provide 24 hours security to households, private companies, international organizations or businesses and multi-national companies.
This, he said gave the need for the establishment of private security companies, however, he stressed that they must operate in a well regulated environment, in as much as bridging the security gap.
According to him, the mere presence of private security guards personnel at their guard posts have been serving as a deterrent for criminals to commit crimes, such as house breaking and stealing, helping to reduce crime rate in the country.
He added that this is a priority to his Ministry and to the Government of The Gambia.
Nonetheless, he said the Bill is necessary to continue creating an enabling environment, safeguard government’s high level commitment to the maintenance of professionalism at all levels, whether private or public.
“The introduction of this Bill will be a prelude to an authority that will be responsible for the licensing and administration of private security guard companies. The authority will also ensure that no-one works in licensable sectors of the industry without undergoing the necessary background scrutiny and training,” he explained. Source – The Voice Newspaper

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