The security industry should review its current techniques which are no longer applicable

Dear Editor,

Training, supervision and trust are the keys to high quality service and professionalism in the security industry, and the building blocks for integrating safety, security and process control for enhanced productivity.

The guard industry is huge, and with the current crime situation in Guyana it promises to become arguably one of the biggest growth industries that this country has seen in the last two decades. Police statistics have revealed that armed robbery tops the list of serious criminal acts.

But can the current state of guarding practice meet the rapidly growing need to safeguard assets? There is general acknowledgement that the current modus operandi has many shortfalls. Foremost among these is the human element; no matter how sophisticated the system, it can be nullified by the officer who goes to sleep while on duty, or who takes shortcuts on the designated patrol route. Equally bad is the practice of leaving officers at their duty point without any means of communicating with their base station. And possibly the worst practice in an industry that should be based on the principle of pro-activeness, is the fact that most guarding audits appear to take place after the fact.

It is an indictment of the industry that there are so many shortfalls in guarding management, given the large amount of cash which is generated  by the industry annually. It is particularly unfortunate that it is still plagued by management problems which have long been solved by other industries with similar incomes. Many of the shortcomings can be attributed to the fact that systems design has not kept up with the demands of guarding practice. The result is guarding management that concentrates on the logistics of duty rosters and staff scheduling, but neglects aspects of supervision and communication which are crucial for productivity and effectiveness.

With crime against both residential and industrial properties reaching epidemic proportions, the time has come to review current practices and look beyond the techniques that have been employed in the past that from all indications are no longer applicable. A security provider could be vicariously liable for acts of negligence and criminal incursion.

Yours faithfully,
Clairmont Featherstone

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