Raise licensing of pvt security agencies: Shah

New Delhi:  Emphasizing the need to increase the number of licensed private security agencies, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said the move would enhance their “trustworthiness” as they have vital importance for the safe and secure business environment, and achieve Prime Minister’s vision of $5 trillion economy by providing employment as well as guarding vital corporations and financial hubs in the country.

Shah made the remarks on the occasion of ‘National launch of private security agency licensing portal’ here.

Addressing the gathering, Shah praised the private security sector as one with huge potential and stressed the need to increase “trustworthiness of the sector by increasing the number of agencies with licences”.

“The private security agency sector is of vital importance for the safe and secure business environment and achieve Prime Minister’s vision of $5 trillion economy by providing employment as well as guarding vital corporations and financial hubs in the country.”

Noting that the online portal would be useful in ensuring transparency in licensing in the sector and would give a boost to its credibility, Shah said: “With the online availability of credentials, it would become easier for an agency registered in one state to expand its operations in another state.”

He said the portal will be available in all official Indian languages in next 90 days and said that such facilitation would give a pan-India profile to the online licensing process.

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Shah observed that as majority of police stations across the country are connected online, the online police verification of security guards would become very easy by accessing the criminal records online from across the country.

He appealed to the private security industry to join the government and start awareness campaigns to make people aware in encouraging only licence holder agencies in the sector.

Shah also said that retired paramilitary and military personnel represent the untapped potential of the sector and agencies should try to recruit people who have undergone at least National Cadet Corps (NCC) training. “This would ensure basic discipline among the employees. This assumes importance because private security personnel are the first line of responders against criminals in the society.”

Thus, Shah said, there is a need to impart Indian Penal Code (IPC) related knowledge to the private security guards during their training itself.

He added that private security personnel must maintain regular contact with the nearest police station and act as a connector between police and public.

Shah noted that through proper use of the portal, creative competition in the sector will increase and that all states have accepted the portal and are going to be connected to it. “The portal will impart multi-dimensional boost to the sector and should be part of the sector’s business expansion strategy.”

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Recalling the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack, Shah said it was private guards who had first confronted the terrorists.

It was their prompt action that contained the damage. He said the universal utilization of private security guards to protect ATMs shows the amount of trust and faith the society puts in the sector.

He stressed sensitization and welfare of security guards and said that various welfare measures like insurance, pension for security guards must be provided by the agencies under various financial inclusion schemes of the government.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy said the portal is an example of Digital India and would bring about transparency and efficiency in the sector.

Calling it a step towards ensuring ‘Ease of Living’ for citizens, Reddy noted that some security agencies are still operating without a license and hence a public awareness campaign was needed.

He said only licensed agencies should be allowed to operate and stressed the need to educate potential clients such as schools, industries and corporate on the importance of hiring only licensed agencies.

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