TL;DR – Respect security officers, they stay vigilant so that you can sleep in peace.
The photo of the bleeding mouth was rather uncomfortable to look at. But yet, I could not help myself but to click on the link to read the news in full. I was worried.
Another day, another security officer abused?
Thankfully, this wasn’t the case. This is an old incident that happened earlier in January, but the court case was just two days ago.
The accused has been found guilty of voluntarily causing hurt to others and been slapped with a $6,000 fine. So what happened?
The accused, Osman (48), used to run a car dealership business at North Spring BizHub in Yishun. In the afternoon of 18th January this year, Osman had gotten into a row with the building’s property manager over a blackout incident. During the process, Osman was so angry that he had punched the property manager once in the chest and also hurled vulgarities. Seeing that Osman was so worked out, someone had alerted security.
When Osman walked out of the office, 24-year-old security officer Raja was standing by the doorway. Agitated, Osman asked what Raja was looking at. Thereafter, he started raining blows on Raja’s face.
Yes, a total of seven punches.
73% of security officers reported suffering from abuse while in the line of duty
The Union of Security Employees (USE) had conducted a quick poll covering 52 security officers in April this year. A whopping 73 per cent of respondents reported suffering from either verbal or physical abuse while in the line of duty.
Why am i not surprised?
The Security Industry Council (SIC) believes the numbers are larger, but officers do not want to report them for fear of losing their livelihoods. Also, security officers may not even be aware of where they can go for help, or what recourse is available to them.
Respect security officers, they stay vigilant so that you can sleep in peace
Based on the requirements of the Private Security Industry Act, security officers are often at the frontline, advising residents, visitors or the public of whatever rules the building or managing agent may have. This exposes them to the risk of abuse if the residents or visitors are unwilling to comply.
Surely, more must be done to protect them from abuse.
SIC launches new initiatives to support private security officers
With immediate effect, security officers can write in to email@example.com to report any abuse they encounter while performing their duties.
Cases received will be routed to USE’s existing mediation service at its Customer Service Centre for further assessment and follow-up.
Depending on the cases, assistance will be rendered to the affected officers – this could be in terms of mediation, providing legal advice or supporting officers to apply for medical leave, medical claims or even change of site or roles.
USE would also work with industry stakeholders where the need arises, such as escalating cases to the Police Licensing & Regulatory Department, or helping the officers lodge police reports.
USE General Secretary Raymond Chin said,
“USE is pleased to extend our mediation services to help officers deal with any unfair abuse they face when executing their duties as prescribed by the law. We stand united with our officers and will not hesitate to do our utmost to protect their welfare and dignity.”
SIC will also actively distribute its “Hormat Security” posters at all sites to advocate against abuse. These posters serve as a visual reminder for everyone to respect security officers who are performing their duties.
In addition, SIC will also carry out outreach activities to recognise the work of security officers in upholding a safe and secure environment.
SIC calls for support in the transformation of the security industry
SIC calls for all stakeholders of the security industry, including service buyers, to support the transformation of the industry.
One key point about the transformation is for buyers of security services to use an outcome-based model instead of the traditional manpower-based model. Buyers of security services typically refer to the landlords or a building’s appointed managing agent.
The SIC suggested for adoption of technology and to deploy trained security manpower that has been trained to use the technology.
- Adopt Outcome Based Contracting
- Use the Threat, Vulnerability and Risk Assessment (TVRA) to identify and analyse risks to the critical assets of a site
- Plan and install the right security technology to harden the site according to the TVRA analysis
- Deploy trained manpower to leverage the technology that has been installed
This will minimise the risk of abuse, and also nullify the practice of using liquidated damages to compel security agencies and their officers to enforce poorly devised rules, as is the common practice today.
The Security Industry Council (SIC) comprises the Union of Security Employees (USE), the Security Association Singapore (SAS) and the Association of Certified Security Agencies (ACSA). USE is an NTUC affiliate.
This industry body was formed in 2017 to raise productivity in the security sector. The SIC also works on providing guidelines for welfare provisions by security agencies. Among other things, security agencies are to ensure officers get adequate rest, including three breaks for 12 hour shifts, and display signage to deter violence against officers.
(Featured image via)