The lack of proper education and training of thousands of private security guards deployed at various key public and private establishments is jeopardising the safety and security of people, as they fail to act when most needed, according to Deep Chand, a former IPS officer and security expert.
A private security guard posted on night duty in one of the colonies of West Delhi’s Rajouri Garden area said that he has not received any formal training mandatory for private security guards. Speaking to The Sunday Guardian, he said, “Sahaab, what training? I am not even educated enough to understand any training. I had come here with one of my brothers and started working in a security agency; they have been paying me well.”
Asked about what he would do in case of a robbery or any untoward incident, he said, “We only have a stick with us, we cannot do much if people come with guns and weapons. Hum to aapne jaan bachane ke liye bhagengey, nah?” He, however, said that “I would dial 100 and run away to save my life”.
Delhi has around six lakh private security guards, while Gurgaon has about four lakh, working out of 15,000 small and big security agencies in the National Capital. The security guards deployed by the private security agencies need to undergo mandatory training under Section 20 of the Delhi Private Security Agencies (Regulatioan) Rules of 2009, of a minimum of 160 hours spread over at least 20 working days. The training is meant to ascertain their physical fitness, cognitive skills, ability to read and understand English, crisis response, disaster management, among other skills.
Deep Chand, who is also a director of a private security training institute, said that in the past four years, his institute trained only 300 security personnel. Asked about the criterion to obtain a certificate of training, he said: “There are many who come to this institute to ask for certificates without even wanting to train. There might be some institutes who give fake certificates and, thus, people come with such demands.” Deep Chand added: “The lack of training of private guards led to the loss of lives in the AMRI hospital fire in Kolkata in 2011, because the security guards posted there did not know how to act and had shut the door, which led to the suffocation and death of around 90 persons.”