Letter: Security services ‘madness’ in Guyana

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

Dear Editor,

It is with great concern that I write on the above caption as to the ‘madness’ prevailing in Guyana as it relates to the registration, the licensing, armoring, and procedures to govern security services in this country. It is obvious that security services are not treated by the Government, the authorities, and laws as they should be. Security services should be as specialised and difficult to open as a commercial bank, and not anyone who adds security service to the end of their name, or pay the “Clandestine fees”, should be allowed to operate a security service.

What seems to be the case here in Guyana is that any “willy-nilly” person wants to open and operate a security service without any formal training in security, the Police or the military, obviously without any training in the rules or codes of operating a security service. The service of “Security Intelligence” takes time to learn well, over a number of years, and by studies.

So, I am asking the President, the Vice President, the Minister of Home Affairs (who is the minister responsible for law enforcement) and the entire Cabinet to please look into the issue of the operations of security services here in Guyana with the intension to draft a proper security service policy and end the clutter.

Security services laws of operations and prerequisites need to be strengthened, as I have said above, “like a Bank!” I will now elucidate further hereunder: It is obvious that it is easier to get a security services licence than to apply for a regular firearm licence. It has become the norm here in Guyana that persons tend to add “Security Services” to any name and then guns galore follows!

The laws governing the operation of security services need to be overhauled to make it more rigorous for security services to acquire a licence. Action and attention are needed now. Indeed, the issue of untrained security persons, who are not supernumerary constables, being in possession of firearms and causing serious injury to the public is of grave concern, and does require an in-depth look at the operation protocols of security services here in Guyana. Just imagine if the person Mohan Motto of C. Mohan’s Security Services had an AR rifle what would have happened? (the tragedy that would have taken place in a crowded market area – as reported in the local media on 19th January, 2023).

As for ourselves, we have been in the security service industry for about four and a half decades and have only used shotguns and .32 revolvers (concealed). This is more than useful for most services in Guyana. I am still of the belief that powerful weapons such as AR rifles are unnecessary. The ranks entrusted with them and posted at business places in the name of offering protection are not properly trained to use them. They are cumbersome and difficult to manoeuvre in confined places such as stores, boutiques, supermarkets etc, even shotguns are not advised due to the fact that the pellets cone out and numerous innocent persons could be injured or killed.

This scenario with these high-powered weapons makes our country look like a combat zone. Guyana is a peaceful country and does not need this show of force in supermarkets, stores, and boutiques etc. where the elderly and ordinary citizens frequent.

I join to appeal to Ministry of Home Affairs and Cabinet to call for a comprehensive audit of all private security companies. Having been in the industry for decades, we are shocked to see the madness that prevails in Guyana as it relates to the operation of security services – that there are even now more security vehicles on the road than taxis.

Sincerely,Roshan Khan (Snr)