With rising crimes involving guards, police stopped issuing licences to security agencies

With an increasing number of security guards being involved in heinous crimes and the Pune police having stopped issuing licences to security agencies in January last year, your safety may be in the wrong hands

In the backdrop of a rising number of cases in which security guards have been found involved in heinous crimes — including the gang-rape of a woman in Baner on Sunday — mid-day has found that many of the security agencies working in the city may not be registered with the Pune police. Your security, therefore, may be in the hands of the wrong men.

security guards arrested
Case in point: Three security guards were arrested for gang-raping a woman in Baner on Sunday. Pic/Mohan Patil

mid-day has learnt that the Pune Police  have stopped issuing licences to security guard service providers, with the last one being granted in January 2013. And it doesn’t end there. Recent scrutiny by police officials has revealed that most of the security agencies were granted licences leniently, due to which they do not follow norms.

security guard
Breaking the rules: In a spot survey yesterday, mid-day found that security guards are not physically fit, and don’t wear their uniforms properly, as mandated by government rules. Pics/Mohan Patil

The Pune police had started issuing licences to private security agencies in  December 2007. The first agency to get the licence was Poona Security Investigation and Consultancy Services, while the last licence was issued on January 4, 2013, to Group 1 Security Force.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Jayant Naiknavare said, “289 security agencies have obtained licences from the Pune police but, as per instructions from Mumbai, the process of granting new licences has been stopped temporarily.”

“We have observed that when they are appointing a security agency, most housing societies don’t cross-check whether the agency is registered with us. Even if they do, most citizens demand that the security guards do some of their household work too. This affects the confidence of the guard. Many people also  offended if they are asked why they are visiting a society or for an ID. This mindset needs to change,” he added.

“The agencies which were registered earlier with us were granted licences leniently. Most of these agencies are seen flouting norms and while many of them are registered under the names of ex-servicemen or police officers, their daily operations are handled by someone else,” said a senior police officer.

“This leniency has led to most of the problems we are seeing today, including the surge in crime involving security guards. Licences are no longer being issued and we are pushing for stricter implementation of laws,”  he added.

Ravindra Poman, CEO and director of Unique Delta Force Security, said,“The main problem is seen in the residential sectors. Society members are reluctant to pay security guards enough. There are also many instances of members delegating household work to security guards. Many security agencies, thus, don’t find it feasible to provide security guards to residential complexes and tend to flout norms.”

What the law says

The state notified the Maharashtra Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Rules on March 14, 2007. These rules made it mandatory for the verification of antecedents of applicants seeking a licence for their security agency. The rules also prescribe verification of character and antecedents of security guards and supervisors.

The rules stipulate that the training for security guards must include a minimum of one hundred hours of classroom instruction and sixty hours of field training, spread over at least twenty working days. Ex-servicemen and former police personnel, however, are required to attend a condensed version of the course.

The training includes conduct in public and correct wearing of uniform, physical fitness training, firefighting, crowd control, examining identification papers including identity cards, passports and smart cards; ability to read and understand English alphabets, first-aid and crisis response and disaster management. Handling and operation of non-prohibited weapons and firearms and a rudimentary knowledge of the IPC and CrPC.

Recent cases
18 may 2014
A 40-year-old was allegedly gang-raped by three security guards in Baner — off the Mumbai-Bangalore highway 

06 April 2014
Dhananjay Namdev Rokade (29), a security guard of Wadgaon Sheri crematorium had raped a 19-year-old student when she had gone there to pay her respects to her mother, who had died eight months ago. Rokade had a criminal past and the security agency which had employed him had failed to conduct a police verification of him

24 feb 2014
An eight-year-old boy from Ganga Paritosh society off Sinhagad Road was kidnapped by his society’s watchman Pavan Patil. The security agency which had employed him was not registered with the Pune police.

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