Senior police officers have recommended the cancellation of licences of 250 private security agencies in the state for failing to adhere to norms and not imparting training to the guards they employ. That could mean downing the shutters for 75 agencies in Chennai and more than 2,000 security guards facing loss of jobs. At least 5,000 guards could lose their livelihood if police close all blacklisted agencies.
Tamil Nadu Commando Force Commandant and Superintendent of Police, Abhishek Dixit, said many agencies did not have even basic training facilities. Police found the owners of some agencies had dubious links and others had submitted fake or non-existent addresses to their jurisdictional police. The industry, projected to be worth in excess of Rs 40,000 crore in India by the end of 2015, is subject to few checks and does not follow any set norms. Private agencies virtually hire people off the streets, a senior police officer said.
There are around 750 security agencies in the state. Most employ men over the age of 50, compromising the security of their clients and employees. Armed robbers have attacked and even killed security guards at several ATMs across the city over the past two years.