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Old 10th April 2017, 11:08   #1
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Default Pros & Cons of security guards

Topic: Are security guards becoming a liability ?

1) Shows unwanted arrogance while manning the gates of tech parks, apartments.

2) Common complaints that some of these guards get involved in cases of theft.

3) This one makes me very upset - In the name of checking (which is a farce) they handle the cars very badly. They do not care whether the car has an electrically operated boot or not. If you say anything to them, standard response is "we are poor". And there will be one supervisor who will come speaking something really illogical and makes the scene worse.

4) Cannot depend on them for security anymore - most of the guards are often weak, having struggle understanding instructions and got language barriers too. When incidents like fights, fire, theft etc. happen in front of their eyes, they try to be mute spectators than doing anything. They don't even report issues on time.

5) In some of the cases, common theme is that the security guard commits a mistake and he disappears. Some gets traced after a while but many not traced.

6) Two child abuse cases committed by the security guard and the victims are very young children. (I know this incident first hand) They got beaten up by other security guards and asked to leave. I heard after some time that they got another job in the same city and working for another security agency - not sure of the veracity of this information but won't be surprised if that happened.

7) They are trained to do speed checks inside IT camps using naked eyes. Twice i had to fight because the security guard stopped me at the gate saying I was overspeeding ? My scooter was not even at 20km per hour as there were speed breakers every few meters so accelerating fast after every speed breaker was impossible - especially on a Honda Activa. They were insisting on me paying fine but i refused and said feel free to complain to the management along with proof of over speeding, the topic ends there. Wastes a lot of time.


The life of a security guard is not easy too. They end up being hired as a security guard and goes through the following:

1) Standing in the sun and watching areas which otherwise can be monitored using cameras.
2) Lift operators
3) In apartment complexes most treat them with disrespect - makes them clean cars, lift heavy items (after shopping, while shifting house)
4) I remember my neighbor asking the security guard to even take care of the kids and accompany them to the park.
5) Very common to see them tired, hungry, sleepy - some work for 2 days continuously.
6) Salary is not credited to them on time.
7) Stays in very poor, unhygienic conditions.


That said, are there any regulations on the mushrooming security guard business ? While there is lot of fancy stuff going around like "background verified" security guards available etc. are they really true ? Do they have powers or mostly vanity in front of apartments etc.? Why can't most of them be replaced by cameras, access controls, bio-metrics etc. ? Why can't we use heat/thermal/infra red sensors for explosive checking etc. while entering a private area ? Like hotels, IT parks, banks etc. ?

I understand the logic of providing employment to the numerous guards and helps them build their life. But I feel its becoming a liability -

1) Not sure if they have any powers
2) Having an untrained, demotivated, poorly paid security guard is a risk than the help he can offer (or expected to offer)

Are there any regulations governing the industry - private security ? Should not they be replaced by electronics and gadgets wherever possible ? Imagine a situation where the guard goes upset (for some reason) and uses his gun to shoot indiscriminately (especially the ones who carries a gun while guarding ATM's, cash delivery vans). Who will take the ownership in such situations ? The company which employed the guard ?


Last edited by sunishsamuel : 10th April 2017 at 11:10.
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Old 10th April 2017, 12:03   #2
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Default re: Pros & Cons of security guards

My society has got three security guards who are on vigil 24*7*365, I do not expect much from them. I have been living in this society for 3 years now, and I am sure they do their job to the best of their capabilities living away from their families, in not so comfortable conditions. At the end, they are humans and they are prone to making mistakes, letting their guards down and things like that, I do not trust them with my safety personally, it is my responsibility and I am liable for that, for everything else I would not want their job to be snatched away by some technology which again can be hacked/tampered with if anyone wants to.
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Old 10th April 2017, 12:26   #3
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Default re: Pros & Cons of security guards

I think it all depends on the rules they are instructed to operate under. Obviously if some dunderhead tells them to stop and check every car that does not have a sticker regardless of whether they know the guy or not, or if they tell them to police folks on speeding just by looking at the car, then obviously you will have some annoying security folks. I have encountered some terrible security personnel in a gated community called Purva Venezia but that I understood is because of the way they are told to carry their job out. I stay in a Sobha gated community and there is a stark contrast here; the security are really pleasant folks and conduct their job extremely well too. All in all, I find that excessive schooling and rules simply generates animosity amongst everyone a setup where basic rules are understood and basic instinct is encouraged due to a certain level of trust, always flourishes. It shows in the turnover rate as well. Places that are super strict with rude security guards see a change in task force almost every annual quater however less strict setups like in the gated community where I stay, very extremely rarely see new guards come in.

I am extremely pleased with the security where I stay but I understand that security guards are quite a nuisance in other setups I have attributed it to the rules they are tasked to operate under, but it could also be the community they are tasked to secure. For example, I always switch to drl mode when entering the gate at night, never honk while approaching the gate (simply just flash lights a couple of times or gently rev the engine a bit), and have always witnessed good service in return. I have never had to get out of my car or off my bike even at 4 in the morning to open the gate, I observe that they always conduct proper rounds at night and I trust them so much that when I am not home I have them receive mail and even products that I have ordered online on my behalf and they have never let me down. They even help me if I have queries and in the event I am suspicious of anything, they don't at all stall me or tell me to wait or go somewhere else and always oblige to show me the security footage and rewind/pause whenever I want, they even speak well; if one guy does not know hindi (I do not know Kannada), he will immediately get someone who understands Hindi to help me out instead of just ignoring or anything like that. I consider the security a huge boon where I stay but I do know of examples where the security is a big nuisance in other setups

Last edited by IshaanIan : 10th April 2017 at 12:40.
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Old 10th April 2017, 12:28   #4
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Default re: Pros & Cons of security guards

Any opinions on tipping security guards at apartment complex to get better 'service'? Perhaps during festivals?
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Old 10th April 2017, 12:37   #5
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Default re: Pros & Cons of security guards

Our apartment security personnel are very good. They do their work promptly as directed by the association. We have no issues with them.
We acknowledge their work during festivals and occasions. This helps us in building a better working relationship.
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Old 10th April 2017, 13:33   #6
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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Any opinions on tipping security guards at apartment complex to get better 'service'? Perhaps during festivals?
While i definitely appreciate these gestures there is a downside to these as good "service" will be provided only to the ones who tip.

However, as part of festivals, its good if we can give them gifts like sweet box, dresses or something like make a wish (school bags, umbrellas) for the entire staff than giving money individually, just my two cents.

Originally Posted by Engine_Roars View Post
.... I do not trust them with my safety personally, it is my responsibility and I am liable for that, for everything else I would not want their job to be snatched away by some technology which again can be hacked/tampered with if anyone wants to.
The intention is not to snatch away their jobs and make their livelihood miserable. Questions are do they any power or authority to enforce discipline, if yes to what extent ? Rather than making their lives miserable by doing work that affects their health and morale, automate monitoring, access control etc. and train the guards to monitor the screens, response protocol, disaster management etc.

Last edited by Aditya : 10th April 2017 at 22:28. Reason: Back to back posts merged
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Old 10th April 2017, 15:00   #7
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Default re: Pros & Cons of security guards

In spite of the lapses listed above, they are very much required and needed.

CCTV is useful only if there is someone to monitor it.

The security guards are the first line of security for any society or office complex.
Have personally seen incidents when they their presence has diffused many untoward incidents like quarrels with house maids, jokers demanding donation, etc.

In our erstwhile society complex, we never misused the security folks for odd jobs, but yes, have seen a few instances in other societies where they wash vehicles (they are paid their due for that though).
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Old 10th April 2017, 16:51   #8
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Default re: Pros & Cons of security guards

I feel security guards are as good as their supervisor. In my office, the security is headed by an ex-army guy who enforces the rules with a strict but fair hand. This shows in the courteous way the security staff performs the security checks even when he is not around.

This is contrasted by the security staff at my previous residence, which was a gated community. The supervisor was pretty lazy and did not listed to anyone (that includes residents). The only person he listed to was the Admin Manager who was equally bad. As a result, there were so many complains of rude behavior, drinking on duty, and outright harassment of maids and other support staff by checking their belonging as they leave, in the name of security checking and taking (stealing!) items that they want. There was even a few thefts reported which were never resolved. Complaining did not help. In fact, this was one of the contributing factors that made me shift residence.

We do need help in maintaining security, but if they are not properly managed, they can become a big liability.
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Old 10th April 2017, 18:36   #9
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Default re: Pros & Cons of security guards

Originally Posted by sunishsamuel View Post

7) They are trained to do speed checks inside IT camps using naked eyes.
Hah. I once encountered a security guard who speed checked me using his ears. It was a basement and I guess my free flow exhaust gave the impression of speeding! I park my car and get out and next thing I know there is a guard telling me to slow down!
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Old 11th April 2017, 13:51   #10
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Default Re: Pros & Cons of security guards

Can't paint all of them with the same brush, but I've seen that you get what you pay for. As an example, Tops Security usually provides top class security guards. However, their charges are triple that of the local / smaller players.

Because one side of my lane is a dead end, and it's a beach, it's relatively isolated. The place is filled with unscrupulous elements at night (mainly, people drinking). I got 24/7 security last year with CCTVs installed all around the building. I view the security guard as a scarecrow - he's not the most skilled or highly trained, yet his presence undeniably acts as a deterrence to troublemakers.

We live in an old building (only 3 floors). It has its own charm. Still, whenever I visit modern residential complexes (the Kalpatarus & Lodhas of the world), I'm envious of the facilities they have (multiple security guards & checks, well-maintained common areas, plumbers / electricians on call etc.). Here, I have to do everything myself, although being a landlord comes with perks (e.g. only my cars are parked in the building and I can easily accommodate 6 - 8, decision making is a one-man show etc.).
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