NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 15 – Private security firm G4S has announced plans to redesign its Cash-in-Transit (CIT) vehicles to eliminate the use of chase cars.
Without disclosing the details, G4S Regional Managing Director Adam Miller said they were working in liaison with the police to improve the safety of CIT as well as security personnel.
“Chase cars were put in because of the threat of armed attack but if we can control that in a different way by ensuring the money and staff are safe in the main vehicle the need for the chase car diminishes significantly,” Mr Miller said.
The firm is expected to roll out the first “safe” vehicle in June and present it to the government for approval.
G4S has come into the spotlight in the last two years over increased cases of theft of money under its care. In five recent incidents, more than Sh500 million has been stolen.
The biggest threat has been internal attacks with the latest happening in Mombasa, forcing the firm to introduce a raft of solutions to bring the vice down.
The most radical solution has been integrity testing for all staff members, who are subjected to polygraph tests. So far, seven have been laid off for failing the test with Mr Miller adding the exercise would continue until all staff were re-vetted.
Mr Miller also said they were working closely with clients – mainly banks and other financial institutions – to abide by the contractual limits of money to be ferried by one team per trip to minimise threat levels.
“We are introducing an integrated satellite tracking system to monitor all our cash-in-transit vehicles. We agreed to retrain out staff and the police on CIT operations but this is subject to signing of a memorandum of understanding between the police and the Kenya Security Industry Association,” he said.
Mr Miller said the future of CIT in the country and East Africa was very exciting adding that the firm was looking to build on its market leadership.
G4S’s 75 percent market share in CIT was shaken with a number of clients terminating their contracts opting for other security firms.
Mr Miller was speaking while announcing the firm’s growth strategy where it was looking to grow its business by 50 percent in the next three years.
Mr Miller said the firm plans to introduce a raft of new services as well as venturing into new markets to forge its business forward.
He said compared to the firm’s global service portfolio, the region is still underserved.
“We are not satisfied with our current position. We hold market leadership position with most of our products but we see enormous opportunity to change what we do and how we do it,” he said.
Growth will be driven by venturing into new markets such as Ethiopia, Sudan and Burundi as well as moving into rural areas of the countries they already operate in. He also revealed that the firm would be moving its fire response service into Mombasa following its success in Nairobi.
As the market leader in security services, Mr Miller said the firm would be at the forefront of tapping into government contracts as it looks to offload a number of non-core police functions to private security firms.
“We intend to take full participation in those opportunities and help the authorities maximise their value and improve the security of the country.”
Earlier in the year, G4S had outlined its desire to work closely with the government arguing it will be a sure way of boosting its revenue base.