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Robberies orchestrated by private security guards on the rise – Police

Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Police have expressed concern over the systematic increase of robberies and thefts perpetrated by private security guards. Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga says that police have of recent registered several cases of robberies and thefts planned and executed by private security guards providing security to business or company premises.

According to Enanga, last week alone, police registered three incidents where private security guards robbed money and valuables at the work stations. This includes the robbery at a pump fuel station construction site in Kyengera town council in Wakiso district.

Police allege that a private guard identified as Ronald Olweny put his colleagues and workers at gunpoint and robbed several items. According to police, Olweny who is attached to Dom Security Company connived with Fred Okecho and Muzamiru Mungu Jakisa to commit the crime.

In Mukono, a private security guard identified as Moses Balinda allegedly connived with thugs and robbed Shillings 17 million from the NARO office. The group also varnished with a Nikon and CCTV cameras. “Balinda Moses is attached to Sencurian security company. They tied Balinda’s colleague Odong Alex and robbed UGX 17M and other valuables. We have one suspect identified as Watwati Ronald. Efforts are also in place to arrest Balinda,” Enanga said.

Another incident involved the break-in at Nakawa division a few days ago where Ronald Ochen, a private guard from G-Unit is the prime suspect. Ochen and his group allegedly stole Shillings 2.9million and other assorted items. The group allegedly loaded the stolen items in a motor vehicle registration number UAS 700F belonging to Charles Kasozi.

Enanga blames this on the procurement of guards from unrecognized security companies.

Grace Matsiko, the chairperson of Private Security Associations, says that many people are described as guards yet they lack basic training. Matsiko admits that there are isolated incidents where guards from unrecognized security firms are involved in crime. He says that most of the people who commit crimes are just improvised by the companies such as hotels, factories, bars and homes.

“We call on police to stop private entities from employing unregistered personnel to guard them, yet passing as private security guards, they don’t belong to private security companies distorting our work. The reason behind this practice is they pay very little to the guards as opposed to hiring a registered company,” Matsiko said.

Adding that, “The reduction in crime by our officers is due to enhanced training, improved welfare of the officers, for example, paying salaries on time by our member companies despite financial challenges caused by COVID-19 and we have enhanced a strict regime during recruitment to ensure people with criminal record don’t enter our sector.”

But Enanga insists that some of the guards are not given weapons to match the premises they are guarding, which exposes them to danger in case of armed attacks. Police have also warned people against keeping huge sums of money in their offices or homes, saying it is risky.

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