Govt to monitor private security firms

Karnataka Security Service Association says regulation will ensure quality service

 
The move follows the government’s decision to regulate and monitor the functioning of private security agencies. The regulations cover a gamut of issues ranging from issuance of licence to private security agencies, checking the antecedents of private security guards and supervisors and providing security training, besides specifying the standard of physical fitness for security guards.

The Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act passed by the Centre in 2005 empowers states to regulate private security agencies. However, the State government had so far not framed the rules required to implement the same. The rules were notified last month.
Home Minister V S Acharya said the Deputy Inspector and General of Police (Internal Security Division) will be appointed as the ‘controlling authority’ and will be responsible for implementing the regulations.

“The move will help in making security agencies accountable, as the State government will monitor their functioning. Security guards too need specialised training to handle emergencies. We propose to provide training by utilising the services of various police training schools at the state and district levels,” Acharya said.

According to an estimate, there are 600 private security agencies in the state. The new rules make it mandatory for the agencies to meet several criteria to get a licence, which needs to be renewed once in every five years. Police verification to ascertain the character and antecedent of every private security guard is also compulsory. Besides, the guard should meet the basic fitness standards stipulated by the government.

If the terms are violated, the government can impose a fine of Rs 25,000 or one-year imprisonment. Offenses can even lead to suspension or cancellation of licence.
Acharya said he will convene a meeting of top police officers and representatives of private security agencies next week to discuss the modalities of implementing the regulations.

The training would include a minimum of 100 hours of classroom instruction, and 60 hours of field training, spread over at least 20 working days. The Karnataka Security Service Association has welcomed the government’s decision. Association President Vishwanath Katti said regulations will help in ensuring quality service to customers.

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