There have been several letters presenting views about the security industry recently.
The Union of Security Employees represents security officers and works closely with security agencies and buyers of security services.
There are 55,000 officers today working for about 240 security agencies. There are many more companies that sell security technology solutions, and even more buyers for private security.
This complex ecosystem means that what our officers do on the ground is often determined by how enlightened the buyer is, and the capabilities their employers have.
If the buyer insists on buying by headcount, and getting the cheapest quote per headcount, there is a greater likelihood that the job on the site is not going to be properly designed or purposeful.
If the agency is unable to conduct proper threat, vulnerability and risk assessments, and cannot integrate technology into its manpower solutions, then one can also be sure that the officers deployed on the ground will not be able to perform their job efficiently and effectively.
We are also clear that officers have to do their part to upgrade their skills and maintain a positive attitude. But as the man on the ground, an officer can do little to influence buying decisions and his employer’s capabilities.
Our union provides mediation support for our officers. But our approach goes beyond just managing instances when grievances arise.
We have been active proponents in industrywide initiatives such as the introduction of the Progressive Wage Model and the industry digitalisation programme.
We have, and are still pushing for, outcome-based contracting through workshops for buyers, agencies and technology providers.
We visit work sites to explain to buyers the need to deploy security solutions better through the integration of officers, technology and processes.
We believe the correct discussion on private security contracting should be about how best to leverage technology and manpower, rather than whether the security job is cushier than others.
Union of Security Employees