CAN YOUR SECURITY GUARD REALLY SEE BEYOND HIS FRONT DESK?
We all have that warm, friendly, courteous uniformed security guard seated in the lobby of our buildings with a desk, a register, an intercom and a fan or at times a small TV (nowadays a mobile phone with videos and songs softly playing) near his cosy corner, greeting you when you go out or come in. Many a times he helps you with those heavy bags and at times accompanies you to your flat chatting about the weather or your family, at times cutting you in on the juicy gossip of the other tenants. You are also at ease when you holler out from your balcony to him or call him from the new video phone to look after your child as he goes down to play with the other kids in your complex’s play area. In our ever-friendly and emotional demeanour we call him ‘ bhaiyya’ or brother, or ‘chacha’ or uncle.
But does this warm and friendly person really see beyond his desk?? We use him as a handyman, a water pump operator, a fuse fixer or in many extreme occasions as an errand boy.
Two questions arise from the above situation
Crime Prevention through Environmental Design advocates clear lines of sight and all-round observation for any person to be able to see a threat or activity from afar. If the person is so positioned that he sees that activity only when it is in front of him or upon him then he does not have the time to decide or act which gives the criminal a definitive first hand to make his move.
Security guards are hired for a specific purpose. To deter any criminal elements from trying to cause any harm to the building or its occupants and deny any strangers entry into the building and thereafter the protected space of its occupants.
In maximum cases, the main concern for hiring a security guard is defeated because many of the occupants think that he is just sitting there and therefore ‘is just earning his pay sitting out there as a piece of decoration’.
So, what do we do to ensure that this human asset whom we pay for through our maintenance funds helps us achieve proactive security, during day and at night??
A few things to think about
A security guard is a person whom you hire to secure your building and its surroundings from unauthorised entry and to keep anti-social elements away from your building space. His job is the most monotonous one and that is what kindles empathy in many of the occupants. But to the contrary, his job is the most critical one i.e. to ensure your safety day & night. Any other deviation from his laid-out task can cause a small window of opportunity to be opened for any criminal to take advantage.
Security guards are generally middle-aged men to some even in their early old age. Human efficiency is the highest when it is tasked to do a set of jobs which conform with his profile or job description. Younger the individual more alert he remains, as age progresses he slows down considerably. From looking beyond, the security guard in his early forties starts looking within. He is more comfortable with his small front desk and one round in the day around the premises and one more sweep of the building grounds in the night before he sleeps in the foyer or a designated space for him to rest. As age progresses our mental processing activity slows down so do our physical responses to any hostile situation. We move progressively from ‘fight’ to ‘flight’ which is a natural tendency nobody can deny. But a security guard unfortunately does not have that liberty. He is the first contact person who stands between the crime actually taking place on that property.
The tenants of the building should be aware of this and when employing a security guard should lay down a charter of duties for him which are mainly security based than administrative based. Many buildings form societies for the purpose of maintaining common facilities and also place security in this ambit.
FORTIFY IS HERE TO HOLD YOUR HAND!
Selecting the correct amount and types of security guards;
Drafting a charter of duties that they will be expected to do (according to the place they are employed in);
and, Training them to do these duties in sync with technical security devices that may have been installed by the organisation/housing society/any other institution, requires expert advice.
Well, for starters, the nature of threats and the ability of criminals to outwit security guards, is changing rapidly. The guards need to be two steps ahead of criminal minds to anticipate danger ‘before’ it catches up on unsuspecting residents/employees etc.
Add to that, simply installing technical security devices is not enough. To make optimum use of those devices, it is necessary for security guards to be able to handle and use them properly.
FORTIFY believes in being proactive, rather than reactive.
We believe in catching crime and criminals by their forelocks before they can make a move towards you.
To this end, we offer Customized consultancy services for organisations hiring security guards, to assist them in selecting the right type and amount of guards (depending on a Security Risk Analysis survey).
The consultancy also includes drafting a charter of duties for the guards (depending on the nature and needs of the organisation), and training the guards to perform their duties in sync with technical security devices installed (if any).