ATM security: The critical need to train the personnel

ATM security: The critical need to train the personnel

ATM security: The critical need  to train the personnel

Security of ATM kiosks is a 24/7 job. Typically, security staff in Bangalore, like everywhere else, work in three shifts, each shift putting in eight hours. The guards may not have any training in self-defence to safeguard themselves and the ATM. Even if training is imparted, age is a consideration. Only the younger lot can be trained and absorb rigorous training. 

Older security personnel wouldn’t be able to adapt themselves to rigorous exercises and self-defence training. How will the security agencies and banks be able to handle the age factor is a moot question. What do security guards themselves say? Premkumar, a security guard at an ATM at Vijayanagar says: “We have been given basic training in screening people with a device as they come in. The device lights up when it comes across any hard object a person may be carrying. We haven’t yet been given the device though.”

The guards were also told to allow only two people at once inside the ATM. “We haven’t been trained in self-defence and karate and older people can’t learn it. The security agencies should begin a self-defence programme for youngsters. The other need for security guards is a gun. One gun can be used across three shifts. Overall there is no training in the way police personnel are trained.”

Darshan, a younger security guard from Rajajinagar says he would welcome training in self-defence. “So far, the training we have been imparted is about how many people to allow inside the ATM at any given time, to ensure a queue if there are many customers and to maintain a semblance of order around the ATM. We would welcome any form of self-defence training. With a few drills that we go through, there is nothing we can do against machette and gun wielding burglars. We would also like the provision of a gun.”

Govindaraj, a fairly older security person on Church street, says he can’t do much against burglars as his age won’t allow it. “The maximum I can do is to ensure some sense of order and be alert that no person disturbs another person while a transaction is on. This is our livelihood even if we are paid very low. At my age I cannot be expected to learn karate and other self-defence forms. I would not be even able to handle a gun.”

He says he could conduct people inside and outside and ensure that the ATM doesn’t get crowded. “These basic things I am confident about. If you go in for martial arts and gun, only the younger generation can do that. This is a specific problem of the banks and the security agencies. If we have to keep our jobs we can’t be expected to what the younger lot can do. Its not fair. But what else can be done?”

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