The Thane police have come down heavily on unauthorised security agencies in its jurisdiction. Twenty-nine owners and supervisors were arrested in the past two days and 31 cases were registered in various police stations. Six owners or supervisors are said to be absconding.
“We had been receiving several complaints against illegal agencies. We had also detected theft cases in which security guards were involved,” said SPS Yadav, Thane police commissioner.
“There has been an increase in the number of unauthorised agencies. They do not check the background of the guards they recruit. This poses a danger to housing societies where they may be hired.”
Eighteen of these cases, booked under the Maharashtra Private Security Agencies Regulation Rules 2007, Bombay Police Act and the Indian Penal Code, were on security agencies located on the Ghodb-under Road, an area which has seen a lot of real estate development in the past decade.
“We had formed 12 teams. In most cases we found that either the agencies’ licences had expired or they didn’t have one at all. When we inquired with society members, most of them said the agencies had said they were legitimate,” said Ashok Morale, deputy commissioner of police, zone V.
For instance, Swastik Garden society at Pokhran road No 2 had hired Ex-Army Man Security Services last year. It was only recently that the society came to know that the agency wasn’t authorised. “When we questioned the owner, he said he had written to the police asking for the same. When he couldn’t give us the letter, we got suspicious,” said SV Gholap, treasurer of the society.
“The problem is that Thane has few security agencies that are up to the mark. The next time we hire a security agency we will definitely ask for the permission letter,” he said. According to Yadav, every housing society should ask for the agency’s licence before hiring a security guard.
“They should make it mandatory for the guards to display the name of the agency on their uniforms. Before hiring an agency, they should cross-check with the police about its legitimacy,” he said.