Security sector urged to move away from focus on manpower

More security guards does not mean better security. Instead companies should base their security contracts on outcomes which provide more productive and effective solutions that integrate manpower and technology. This was the key message from the security industry, which will propose ways for related government agencies to give a “big push” to change client behaviour.

Speaking at the Security Industry Annual Gala at the Resorts World Convention Centre, Security Association of Singapore (SAS) president Raj Joshua Thomas said: “This is an urgent measure we must take, to deal with the most pressing issue in the security industry in the years ahead.” He said it was important that buyers realised the “reality of cost increases” as manpower costs are set to rise though annual increments in the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) starting from next year.

He added that while the Security Industry Council – made up of the SAS, the Association of Certified Security Agencies and the Union of Security Employees – has rolled out a guide and seminars to help companies structure contracts based on outcomes instead of manpower, it needs the Government on board to “really move buyers”. “What I am saying is that it is imperative that industry, Government and the union join hands to bring the reality of cost increases and other developments in the industry to buyers in a big way,” he said.

To ensure security officers are well trained, the Government has come up with courses to teach them to tackle terror threats. The Security Industry Transformation Map launched in February will also help develop a modern and technologically advanced sector to achieve better security outcomes, he added. He also reiterated the Government’s commitment to adopt outcome-based security contracts. It was previously reported that the target is for most government agencies to adopt such contracts by 2020.

While the home team has strengthened its own capabilities to deal with the increasing threat of terrorism, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam stressed at the event that security officers play a key role as they are often the first line of defence.”They will be able to spot if something is not right, if they are well trained. They will be able to offer help, if they are well trained. They will be able to manage the public after the attack, if they are well trained. They can respond to any incident,” he said.