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Rules for security agencies

You live in a posh society in one of the many sectors in Gurgaon. Your society has hired services of private security agencies to protect your family and your home from every possible danger. But what happens when your guard himself becomes a threat? Sanjeev K Ahuja reports.

india Updated: Oct 05, 2009 00:36 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja

You live in a posh society in one of the many sectors in Gurgaon. Your society has hired services of private security agencies to protect your family and your home from every possible danger. But what happens when your guard himself becomes a threat?

An answer to this nagging question is the new licence scheme the Haryana government is going to implement.

In a recent notification, the state has made it mandatory for private security agencies in Haryana to get a licence. October 31 is their deadline.

The additional director-general of police (Law and Order) would issue these licences to agencies that fulfill a set of criteria according to the Haryana Private Security Agencies Rules, 2009.

The department of home would now be empowered to bar any private security agency from operating in Haryana and may even cancel its licence if found violating the rules.

With this Haryana becomes the country’s 13th state to form rules on the basis of the Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act 2005.

Gurgaon Police Commissioner S.S. Deswal said: “As of now, none of the private security agencies, including multinational ones, have a valid licence from our department to operate in Haryana. They work in their own spelt-out set of rules.”

The police have no check on the kind of guards they employ, he added.

“But now all agencies would have to acquire a licence to operate.”

Gurgaon has about 300 small and big private security agencies including companies such as Group4, Securitas, Tops, SIS, Skylark and Peregrine.

Roughly, 2 lakh security guards are employed in residential, commercial and industrial sectors in Gurgaon and Manesar.

GB Singh, chairman (India operations) of global security agencies association ASIS International, said Haryana has done the right thing by opting for this rule.

“In many cases, security guards have been found to be involved in criminal acts. This will check mushrooming of fake security agencies,” he added.

In March this year Gurgaon Police had blacklisted two private sector security agencies functioning in Palam Vihar.

The police had also issued an advisory to resident and trader bodies asking them not hire their services as the crime rate in the areas under their control had witnessed a sharp increase.

The Gurgaon police commissioner added, “The idea is to make privates security agencies accountable for their services. In the absence of regulatory powers, we had no option but to issue an advisory against the erring agencies and blacklist them socially.”

“But with the Rules 2009 in place, we have legal powers to regulate their functioning and stop their operation by cancelling their licence.”