Reining in Private Security Firms

The National Assembly passed the bill on December 4, 2014.

Known as the Bill to Amend and Supplement Some Provisions of Law No. 9721 of 10 September 1997 on Private Security Companies, the legislation, which is now before the Senate, was passed by the National Assembly on December 4, 2014. According to government, the implementation of the law over time has led to a misinterpretation of the recommendations of the commission in charge of studying the applications of would-be security firms and monitoring their activities.

Rationale

The bill seeks to formally establish the above-mentioned commission which hitherto operated without any legal basis and specify the essentially aisory nature of the recommendations made by the said commission. This entails giving the Head of State the freedom to exercise his discretionary powers in the issuance of approval to private security companies, which guarantee the security of persons and property. The other objective is to establish criminal sanctions against any person running a private security establishment or company without approval or operating under cover of a commercial activity.

Procedure

Before carrying out their activities, security establishments and companies must obtain approval granted by decree of the Head of State upon the recommendation of the commission in charge of studying the applications of would-be security firms and monitoring their activities.

Proposed Sanctions

Any person carrying out the activities referred to in Section 2, under cover of a different commercial activity, shall be punished, among others, with imprisonment ranging from six months to two years and fined from FCFA 2 million to FCFA 10 million. Such penalties shall be doubled in the event of a further offence.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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