Spotlight on security

Last Updated 22 November 2015, 18:26 IST
It was just a year back that Bengaluru was considered  a safe city for women. But things have changed in the recent past and safety is becoming an unaffordable luxury here.

In light of the gangrape incident in Cubbon Park, the safety provided by the security guards have become questionable. The measures taken by many security agencies have now come under spotlight. With no hard and fast rules laid by the government in providing licences to many of the security agencies, security now lies in the hands of private agencies who say they “are doing their bit to avoid such incidents”.

Balram Corporate Services, a security agency that is functioning in the City from 2006, has ex-servicemen managing the firm with 300 guards training under them. “We might not be a large scale firm. But we are licenced under the Private Security Agency rules and we make sure to conduct thorough background check of the guards we hire,” says Major Prashant Rai, MD of the firm. Bio-data, phone numbers, personal identification cards, finger impressions and most importantly police verification; the guard is scrutinised before he becomes a part of the agency.

“Most of the guards we hire are referred to us by the Army placement agency,” he informs. After the verification process, the guards undergo strict training for 300 hours that include behavioural training, duties on post and physical fitness. Then a certification is submitted by the Captain in charge and the guard, on passing all these tests, is hired only later. “The company should be strict and should instill a fear in the guards on regard to their conduct during work hours,” he opines. He also sheds light on how there are a lot of companies functioning with an expired licence, which he says “needs to be curbed”.

Black Cat Security Services, which has 700 guards under them, provides security to VIPs, corporates, retail stores and industries and have a training centre at Horamavu. The MD of the agency, Bharath says, “The guards are trained in martial arts and other basic security skills. We make sure to conduct thorough background check of the guards through police verification.” 

When asked if the company will take responsibility for the misbehaviour of the guards,he instantly says, “That will not happen with our guards as they are scrutinised thoroughly for their behaviour.” With the motto ‘prevention is better than cure’, they ask their clients frequently for the feedback on their guards.

Terrier Security Services is another agency that has many guards functioning in malls, retail shops and corporates. They too conduct background checks with the police and provide their guards with one month strict training. Says Femiston, Deputy General Manager of the firm, “We have been licenced by the Internal Security Division and all the norms are followed religiously. We are confident about our guards and will take the blame if anything goes wrong.”

The agencies seem confident about their hold in providing safety. Yet, there needs to be stricter regulations laid to curb many mushrooming and not-so-reliable  agencies. When questioned about this, the Additional Director General of Police, Internal Security Division, T Sunil Kumar says, “There are about 1,270 agencies waiting for the issue of licence.

These agencies have to verify the background of the guards, which can be done in three different ways among which one is police verification. They will have to pay a minimum fee for this and contact the District Superintend for Police for an authentic verification. But this is not an obligatory rule.” He however assures of stricter rules to fall in place soon to curb such crimes in the future.  

(Published 22 November 2015, 16:09 IST)

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