Benn warns against improper use of firearms during meeting with private security firms

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Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn

Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn on Monday warned of the improper use of firearms by employees attached to private security firms.

The minister made specific mention of private security workers who unnecessarily brandish their weapons in public as well as instances where these workers would misplace or lose their firearms.

He made the remarks during a meeting between private security firms and the Guyana Police Force (GPF) which was held at the Officers’ Training Centre.

According to a press release from the GPF, the minister noted that there has been a “dramatic increase” in the demand for private security services.

He noted too that private security will help to bolster the country’s “security architecture”.

“We do not want what is seemingly a militarized country, and I want us to be reminded of the risk and the danger the improper use of a firearm represents; we do not want a posture that is aggressive and intimidating,” Minister Benn said.

The GPF said the minister was alluding to the instances where security firms would have their ranks on duty exposing large arms. Minister Benn said these situations create a hostile atmosphere which can have negative implications for Guyana’s tourism.

Minister Benn further highlighted the importance of professionalism. “We don’t want weapons lost.”

The Minister said firms whose employees have lost weapons may be suspended pending the outcome of an investigation. “The bottom line is that they must be well trained, the bottom line is that they must be properly looked after to be alert to the do the job which earns money for you.”

“I believe that many of you who are running security services are professionals in the area. I believe that many of you have the knowledge and expertise with respect to training, behavior and culture with respect to the use of firearms; I want you all to impart that knowledge to the persons you have under your employ, the duty and responsibility resides with you to ensure that you run your services professionally and to make sure that the persons you employ do so in a professional manner so as to mitigate risks,” he added.