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General News of Saturday, 19 June 2021


Contract private security firms to escort bullion vans not police – Banks told

Police officers are not to provide security to banking institutions or escort bullion vans Police officers are not to provide security to banking institutions or escort bullion vans

International Diplomatic Expert, Farouk Al-Wahab, has disclosed that per international best practices, police officers are not expected to provide security to banking institutions or escort bullion vans.

According to him, the police is primarily expected to ensure community safety and provide security support to private security firms who are subcontracted by banks to undertake the above duties.

“No serious nation should have police officers following money from one bank branch to another. It is not the practice worldwide. You will only see a police officer escorting valuables only when they are being moved to the National Treasury. Either than that, you have every country ensuring banks use private security firms.”

Addressing the recent bullion van robbery in Jamestown that resulted in the death of a police officer and bystander, Farouk Al-Wahab shared that banks themselves must go to the “security market” and find for themselves a security firm to safeguard their banking halls and transport their monies.

“After giving out these contracts, the security firms will transport the cash from these banks in their own bullion vans. In cases where the bank has its approved bullion vans, the security firm then provides them with armed guards. The police will then be notified of the deal so it does a background check on the company,” he stated on Happy98.9FM’s Epa Hoa Daben political talk show with Don Kwabena Prah.

He noted that banks do not necessarily have to own bullion vans but the private security companies they contract should. “Even if the bank can afford one, it is not the duty of the police to escort it. Private Security firms can escort these monies and other valuables with precision and the police will engage in community policing and only supervise their work.”

The security expert believes that police officers are rather exposed and put in harm’s way whenever they escort these makeshift bullion vans “which are secured with just padlocks.”

Attacks on bullion vans have become rampant in Ghana with the most recent one leading to the death a police officer and an eyewitness on Monday, June 14, 2021.

According to another eyewitness, the police officer was providing security to the van while the young lady was a bystander who witnessed the incident.

The driver of the van also sustained severe injuries and is receiving treatment at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. The dead have been taken to the Police Hospital for preservation and autopsy.

Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), has directed the Director-General, Criminal Investigation Department to take over investigations into the killings.