For the first time, privately-run security agencies are being held responsible for the incidents of burglary, snatching and vehicle theft reported in the colonies or premises under their control.
Gurgaon police on Thursday announced they had blacklisted one security agency operating in Palam Vihar on account of the increasing rate of crime during the last 12 months, and issued warning to another handling security in DLF Cybercity and malls on MG Road and the Gurgaon Expressway.
More such security agencies could also be blacklisted as the crime data of other regions was under scrutiny, Gurgaon Police Commissioner SS Deswal said.
However, the association of security agencies has charged the police of passing the buck.
Deswal said that a careful analysis of the crime data of sectors 21, 22, 23 and Palam Vihar, DLF Cybercity, DLF Phase II,
Sector 29, Sahara Mall and DLF City Center Mall over the last 12 months — March 1, 2008 to February 28, 2009 — suggested
that the crime rate was very high as compared to other localities and locations.
“We were shocked to discover that the localities or the premises, including residential and commercial towers and malls that were under the security contract of select private security agencies reported more incidents of theft, snatching and burglary than others. For example, the number of such incidents recorded during the last 12 months in Palam Vihar police station area was the highest at 242. We have blacklisted the security firm that had been operating in this area,” the police commissioner said.
Deswal said that another security company that had been manning a number of posh localities such as DLF as well as malls, was issued warning as the incidents of snatching, burglary and theft that were recorded there stood at 94 during the last 12 months.
“We would issue an advisory to the residents and traders welfare associations, the owners of the malls, commercial complexes and market places not to hire the blacklisted security agencies, as such agencies did not hire professional guards and had failed to deliver security and safety to their clients,” Deswal said.
However, since Haryana is yet to enact the Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act, the police can not legally bar the slack security agencies from operating and cancel their licences. “But Haryana would enact the Act and licences of such agencies would be cancelled,” he added.
Harshwardhan of the security agency that was blacklisted by the police termed the police act as autocratic, as the agency was not given a chance to explain its side of the story.
He said, “We were not served a show cause notice before blacklisting. Moreover, we took over the security charge of Palam Vihar from the prior companies on February 12 and cannot be held responsible for the incidents of the past.”
GB Singh, Chairman (India operations) of global security agencies association ASIS International said the Gurgaon police were passing the buck to the security agencies. “Guards employed by agencies are poorly paid and they cannot jeopardise their lives for a meagre salary,” Singh added.