Ludhiana Police issue security guidelines for finance firms

After a robbery bid at the Dugri Road branch of Muthoot Finance, the Ludhiana police has issued security guidelines for finance companies in the city. Commissioner of police Rakesh Agrawal has made it mandatory for all finance companies and other such institutions to install night vision CCTVs outside the premises and at all entry and exit points, reception desk and all other vital points inside the branch with storage of up to 30 days with power backup.

According to the police chief, the management shall be responsible to install the DVR/NVR and its UPS, in a place not easily identifiable by visitors, to prevent any damage to the same by miscreants. There must be a provision of remote recording and storage of footage, maybe at a regional office or headquarter of the company. The order stated that the management shall be responsible to install and ensure smooth functioning of burglar alarms in the branches. The panic alarm function of the burglar alarm should be separately operatable by the branch manager, cashier, and any other official of the branch from their seats.

Agrawal said that the alarm should be linked to their respective head offices, and the head offices must, in turn, have an effective and prompt communication system where calls and messages can be immediately dispatched to the police control room (PCR). A BSNL landline phone with an autodialer should be installed in the branch. As soon as the alarm goes off, a teleprompter should automatically inform the PCR regarding the suspicious activity in the branch in a pre-recorded message. The alarm should be audible to neighbouring areas up to 100 metres so that any police patrolling in the vicinity can immediately respond and the civilians can be cautioned.

“The vulnerable valuables like gold and huge amounts of cash must be placed in a separate vault/locked room/strong room. There must be a system of delayed lockers that opens after a delay of 20- 25 minutes post-OTP based authentication. The locking system must be linked to a power backup system so that the security can be ascertained 24×7 and power failure doesn’t lead to any laxity in security. The strong room’s access control system should necessarily have OTP-based authentication before opening. The strong room should not be opened when visitors are inside the hall,” said Agrawal.

“The management shall be responsible for deploying armed guards at the entrance of all branches. Currency chest branches and gold loan companies must have at least two armed guards during working hours and at least one armed guard round the clock. All armed guards should be provided with a lanyard with whistles. Gun licences must be kept up-to-date,” he added.

SECURITY TODAY feels that there is an urgent need to develop and enforce national operational security standards for such finance companies which lays down the SOPs, as well as the type and category of Intrusion Detection & Hold-Up Systems, Video Surveillance Systems and Access Control Systems which should be deployed in such finance company outlets. The LITD 26 Committee of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has done some work in this area and the resultant BIS standards should be referred to by the police officials across the country, instead of formulating their own.