Section 53 of the act clearly forbids the use of firearms by
This provision of the act will have to be
revised and this can only happen by way of an amendment through
In my opinion, while the act in itself gives powers to the
Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSRA), the regulations
need to be clear and enforceable.
There has been quite a bit of public participation within the
industry, but there are still sections that continue to feign
This legislation could not have come at a better time for our
We need to be more professional, we need to pay our security
officers appropriately and only then can we take our proper
place as important players in the provision of safety in Kenya.
We must strive to provide our security officers with the
necessary tools of trade required to protect themselves while
providing safety to others.
In some cases, this may include guns at some assignments.
However, one cannot overemphasize that, should an amendment
be passed, not every security officer will be armed.
What is most important about the act is actually not the move
to arming of security officers who will primarily guard banks,
cash in transit, VIPs, government buildings and vital
installations but rather the number of police officers that can
be freed up from these routine and mundane duties to carry out
their core function; that of maintaining law and order and
Some estimates have this number close to 40,000.
We can only imagine the impact of redeploying even half of
this number in high crime areas.
The regulations have put in place structures, reports, and
requirements that will allow the strict monitoring of all
The authority will know which company employs which security
officers and where they are deployed.
Each officer will be required to undergo stringent vetting,
training, and regular refresher training.
Using a gun is not simply about pointing it and pulling the
There is significant training that prepares one to work under
pressure, while real bullets are flying towards them, how to
take cover, identify vantage points and how to expose themselves
and others to the most minimal risk.
Most importantly there must be constant training, monitoring,
and retraining on the use of firearms.
Given the above, we are unlikely to see officers without
previous disciplined force training being employed as armed
private security officers.
The Act outlines clearly that security officers must undergo
adequate training before they are deployed on assignment.
This is non-negotiable and all private security companies
must embrace it.
In the absence of the regulation, companies have had to
develop their own curriculum for the services they offer.
Currently, different companies offered varied training, while
some do not train at all.
However, with the new law, there will be a standardized
curriculum and assessment as well as oversight will be done by
Every private security company is now required by the law to
carry out a vetting exercise prior to training and employing a
Securex, for the last 49 years, has had a very stringent and
comprehensive recruitment process.
This process has made us the preferred supplier to clients
like the World Bank, the European Union, the largest malls, the
best hotels and a number of embassies in Kenya.
Lack of oversight for so many years has created an influx of
ill-equipped firms that do not have the capacity to effectively
The implementation of this Act will force these firms to
bolster their service or have their licenses revoked.
This will greatly improve the quality of service we offer and
level the playing field as companies that offered no training
and supervision would be forced to spend money to comply.
Previously you would find private security companies that
have been known to conduct their recruitment and training in a
completely unprofessional manner.
You would find them conducting recruitment on Monday,
training on Tuesday and Wednesday, then deploy the officers on
By so doing the company ends up not only endangering the
lives of these officers but putting at risk the property and
lives of clients.
Such practices have now been nipped in the bud by the new
The new law does not aim to replace police officers with
private security officers in all areas but only where the duties
are mundane or simple in nature.
Taxpayer shillings will be effectively used to maintain law
and order and fight crime, leaving the work of securing private
individuals and guarding businesses to the private sector.
With professional private security officers, it will be
easier to enhance collaboration between the Industry and the
Police, which in turn will lead to lower crime rates to the
benefit of the public.