YOUR SECURITY VERSUS THE COST
The risk and vetting manager explains that it is high time individuals stopped looking at the cost rather than the professionalism of the security guard, warning that a professional guard can only be found at a security firm.
“If I can give you a security guard for Sh12,000, how much will I pay him? Sh5,000? Is that amount a motivation enough for the guard to diligently watch over your property? Our investigations have revealed that some of the guards who collude with criminals are the lowest-paid ones,” he observes.
Mr Musau says that a person should recruit a security guard from a professional company, one that has been vetted by the Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSRA) and is widely recognised for its professionalism and reputation.
He advises that an individual who wants to engage a guard should carry out a background check on the firm that he intends to get the guard from.
Further, he recommends that one should not only have the name of the company but also the physical address and more details about the firm.
The information, he explains, can be obtained from the Internet to know the physical location and the faces behind the company like the owners and directors by even checking with the Registrar of Companies.
Mr Clinton Obong’o, a background checks officer with the Private Security Training Academy (PSTA), adds that one should check whether the company is registered with the Attorney-General and is allowed to offer private security services.
He explains that besides knowing the reputation and the faces behind the company, one should also make sure that the firm is a member of a professional association in the industry and adheres to the regulations governing the sector.
“The company should have physical offices and a training school, so be wary of those briefcase companies that simply buy uniforms and then tell guards that they will train on the job,” says Mr Obong’o.
Mr Obong’o also advises that even after getting the guard, one should carry out an aptitude test, which can be done through surveillance or observation, to gauge the suitability of the person.
“Get somebody with a high IQ, one who can make quick decisions without any assistance, an individual capable of handling a challenging situation at any particular time, one who needs minimum supervision and has a clean record,” he says.
On his part, Byron Adera, a security consultant, explains that psychological disposition is more important than physical attributes.
He points out that security is about proportionality, advising that if people know their worth, they would be keen to get somebody closer to that worth. “I have seen people who understand the value of good security but at the end of the day, they opt for that next-door neighbour or a son of so and so, which is not professional at all,” he says.
Mr Adera also advises that people carry out a risk assessment regarding the person they want to engage and what they want guarded, adding that “you better go for someone who will charge you an arm and a leg rather than any Tom, Dick and Harry who will only lead to losses and misery”.
“You can smell a professional or a quack from a mile away. If you see any form of, or hint of irresponsibility during the time you are carrying out your due diligence then it means engaging such a person can lead to destruction, loss of lives or property,” he states.
He summarises the steps thus: do due diligence to get the right company, carry out risk assessment, pay for your worth then do operational security.
He also warns that one should be able to determine how much information the guard should know about the family or the property he is guarding.