Interior Affairs Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, gazetted regulations allowing private security guards to carry firearms.

The new regulations will also see security guards taking up formal police jobs such as quelling riots and getting involved in security work during elections.

Private security guards will be allowed to ride in armored and rapid response vehicles. 

The move to allow the guards to operate rapid response vehicles specifically is in line with the Government’s intention to remove police officers in Cash In Transit (CIT) work. 

Private security guards allowed to carry firearms
Private security guards allowed to carry firearms

They will also be allowed to blare sirens and flash warning lights on highways, a hitherto preserve of police and emergency service providers.

Security guards privileges

According to the Gazette notice published on Friday, the private guards will enjoy these privileges under the guidance of the Inspector General of Police (IG).

All private security firms that employ the guards must be freshly registered with the Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSRA) headed by Fazul Mohamed within the first six months.

PSRA will ensure that the guards undergo vetting and put on uniforms that do not resemble those worn by State security personnel.

Private security guards allowed to carry firearms
Private security guards allowed to carry firearms

The regulations have come in force in order to maintain law and order, handle national disasters and provide general expertise in the entire security sub-sector, according to the government.

Additionally, guards will be allowed to arrest a person who is suspected to have committed an offence and hand over that person to the nearest police station or post.