Private Security Companies: Zero Tolerance For Lawlessness

Implementation of the new legal framework takes effect from September 15, 2016.


Proprietors of private security companies nationwide have been reminded that administrative tolerance of the state of disorder and lawlessness prevailing in the sector, will end in two weeks. The one-year grace period given security companies to comply with the September 16, 2015 presidential decree laying down modalities for the application of the September 10, 1997 law governing activities of private security companies, as amended by the December 23, 2014 law, expires on September 15, 2016.

Private security companies were expected to comply with the new legal framework by obtaining a license from the Head of State and authorisation to operate from the Minister of Territorial Administration. More so, the companies have to provide decent working conditions for their workers, issue job contracts, ensure health and social insurance coverage, use homologated communication equipment, change to bright yellow uniform and use dogs with medical certificates, amongst others.

During a sensitization workshop on August 31, 2016, in Yaounde for Senior Divisional Officers and private security company proprietors from the Centre, South and East Regions, it was revealed that only nine private security companies had licences to operate. The over 100 firms in illegal activity were urged to stop operating and comply with the new law. Four members of the Inter-ministerial Adhoc Committee for Studying Licensing Applications and Monitoring Private Security Companies lectured participants on innovations contained in the new legal instruments as well as penal and administrative sanctions for recalcitrant companies.

Moderating the workshop, the representative of the Presidency on the Committee, Nganko Firmin Daniel, emphasised that the Head of State, Paul Biya, who is the sole guarantor of security in the country wanted order in the sector, given the context of insecurity. The participants received copies of the legal instruments for further understanding. Douala, Bamenda and Garoua will host the next three workshops by September 3, 2016.

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