Guests must now surrender IDs at Airbnbs

Tuesday, January 16th, 2024 08:00 | By
Airbnb makes AI gamble in quest to prevent house parties
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All visitors checking into residential apartments, lodgings, and hospitality establishments must identify themselves and have their identification documents temporarily retained.

The Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSRA), in response to the alarming increase in reported incidences of crime including murder cases, happening within residential apartments and hotels, issued the directive to all private security providers yesterday.

“The directive is aimed at addressing the emerging trends of insecurity with a view to deterring criminal activities within these premises and to further safeguard the safety of residents and guests,” PSRA Director General Fazul Mohammed said.

“Section 48 of the Private Security Regulation Act empowers security service providers, security guard or officer shall require a person to identify themselves, register the time of entrance and exit of the person and retain temporarily the identification document of such person,” he added.

PSRA is a government agency tasked with regulating the private security industry.

The directive is issued to all directors of private security companies, all private security providers and individual security guards offering private security services in residential apartments, lodging, and hospitality establishments.

“The security guards must ensure the identification details of all individuals accessing such premises are recorded in a register in an accurate and timely manner, documenting the time of entry and exit for each person,” the DG added.

They are also expected to maintain a current and accurate log of all vehicles, rickshaws, and motorcycles entering and/or departing from the facilities; maintain a register of all private security officers working in such premises for both day and night shift; and ensure that the CCTV and security cameras are in proper working condition and recording of footage is up-to-date.

Further, the security providers are required to maintain an updated Access Control Policy, a copy of which should be strategically displayed at the point of entry and exit; and maintain a security occurrence book to record daily significant incidents.

The identification documents surrendered at the point of entry shall be kept in safe custody, returned to the person at the point of exit, and not be used for any other purpose save for identification.

Criminal incidents

The law prohibits private security service providers from using identification documents and details surrendered by individuals at the entry of any premises or property for any other purpose.

Such a violation amounts to an offence and shall in addition to cancellation of licence.

According to the National Police Service, there has been a surge in criminal incidents in such premises and investigating such cases have been a challenge, especially where the details of the visitors were not captured.

On Sunday morning, the dismembered body of a middle-aged woman was found at the garbage collection point of an apartment in a suspected ritual killing in Roysambu, Nairobi.

It was later established that the suspects name was not captured and the premise did not have CCTV cameras. The deceased checked into the Airbnb with a man on Saturday at around 3pm but the man is said to have returned the key on Sunday morning and left for an unknown destination.

The killing took place just a week after another woman, socialite Starlet Wahu, was also brutally murdered inside another Airbnb in South B.

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