Private Security Partnership
By Maxwell Pereira
A Bill passed quietly through the portals of Parliament earlier
this month without much fanfare or debate, thanks to the ‘boycott
of Parliament’ the county’s Opposition indulged in.
This was a legislation that was first discussed at a police science
congress in 1974, then worked on by the mandarins in the Ministry
for a Bill over ten years ago and drafted in 1994 – The
Private Security Agency (Regulation) Bill 2005, that aims to regulate
the Rs 1,500-crore security business in the country.
the advent of terrorism, even the ordinary citizen in our country
had become security conscious. That’s when realisation dawned
that society’s primary security provider – the police,
was not in a position to give protection to all people, individually,
at all times. This, mainly due to paucity of resources including
funds and manpower. The spreading terrorist activities, bomb culture
introduced by extremists’ vandalism, and rowdyism of anti
social elements and unruly mobs, soon necessitated deployment
of private security in many industrial/ commercial establishments.
led to mushrooming of security agencies, particularly in the era
of liberalisation of the economy. The unprecedented growth changed
the security scenario with its estimated strength in deployed
manpower currently far exceeding the total number of police persons
in the whole country. The haphazard growth led to chaos, and the
need to streamline the functioning of security agencies, to bring
them within the ambit of law.
private security are employed in most organizations for: preventing
pilferage, theft, robbery or dacoity, preventing breach of peace;
preventing attack by anti social elements; and for ensuring safety
and security of the employers, employees and the property. Lately,
also for escorting treasure and bullion.
without proper regulation of this “service-soon-turned-industry”,
grey areas surfaced. Security guards for one, cannot really replace
the police. Then the inadequacy in education qualifications and
training. The designation ‘Security Guard’ not attracting
many people, nor motivating enough to apply for the post. Consequently
no qualified person available. The non-availability of organized
training, no organized induction and on the job training. Reliance
only on the knowledge and understanding of the particular security
most, a security job being only a second source of income - so
inadequate enthusiasm and involvement. Difficulty in motivating.
Then ignorance of law. Security guard, sometimes even the security
officer, not knowing the exact legal boundaries within which to
function. Though CrPC gives certain powers to ordinary citizens
on certain occasions and IPC gives protection for certain acts,
there are other actions which invite legal consequences. If awareness
on these is lacking, there is possibility of overstepping.
screening: For a security service agency the basic requirement
is manpower. Agencies are often vulnerable to recruiting persons
even with past criminal records. No continuous screening of guards’
conduct, leading to introduction and fostering of criminal elements
in the system. When a security person is caught, rarely blacklisted
but only chucked out.
matter of subservience to the boss. Expectedly noted to become
servants to bosses, leading to carrying out chores at the cost
of security alertness. Professionalism relegated and sycophancy
emerges. Over a period of time, vested interests develop and security
guards are known to have been used for ulterior motives. Often
the less qualified semi literate and less motivated is vulnerable
also to enticement.
mushrooming growth follows unhealthy competition and unfair trade
practices. This leading to lowering of standards, recruiting of
criminal elements, providing security guards for illegal purposes
like forcible occupation/ eviction of plots or houses and deterring
bona fide occupant/ owner. Also, starting of security agencies
by unscrupulous persons for ulterior motives as in the case of
property dealers, to threaten the genuine purchases.
the sheer ease with which any one or everyone could start this
industry, with no capital or infrastructure. Easier than opening
a shop. From retired service personnel, policemen or home guards,
anyone can register a security agency under the municipal body’s
Shops and Establishments Act. Despite this, not all agencies listed,
or operating with licences. Thousands of guards illegally employed
and exploited by the so called security agencies.
To obviate these problems, the Bill was a dying need, and quite
overdue. Industry needed regulation, since security is first about
saving lives and property and then about making money.
across the board, the passing of this Bill has been welcomed by
most, there are nurmerings. Everything will depend on how the
bill is implemented, many feel. Despite several flaws, the Bill
will benefit the user, as it aims to standardise services and
protect the employee by ensuring better working conditions and
minimum wages. However, rather than a national standard for licensing,
the new Bill requires agencies to be licensed at the district
and state levels, mainly because of the Centre’s stand that
law and order is a State subject.
is no doubt that the Bill intends well. Even so the ride for the
accountability that is sought to be introduced into what has till
now remained totally in the unorganized and the unregulated private
sector, is bound to be bumpy. An estinmated 20 to 50 lakh said
to be emplyed across the country in this industry are bound to
there is dire need for owners of private security services to
have thorough knowledge of their field of activities, limitations
imposed by law and legal requirements or employ experts to advise
them on these aspects. Verification of antecedents and continuous
watch is needed, and no involvement in a criminal offence. Constant
touch and interaction with the police of that area is advised.
words: dated 16.05.2005: Copy Right © Maxwell Pereira: 3725
Sec-23, Gurgaon-122002. You can interact with the author at http://
www.maxwellperira.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
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