KARACHI: In the wake of a dissatisfactory performance of a special police cell formed to verify the details of private security guards in the city, authorities have decided to bring the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) in to evaluate the credentials of the private guards to be hired by various companies, it has emerged.
In March this year, the Karachi police had set up a cell to verify the personal details and monitor the performance of more than 50,000 security guards employed by about 200 private security companies across the city. However, the cell failed to meet the required task due to resource constraints as well as a lack of interest of those posted there.
Sources said that recent meetings between the police authorities and some key members of the association of the private security agencies led to a mutual understanding that the CPLC by using its database that contained the record of each FIR in Sindh would perform the verification of the private security guards’ credentials.
“The CPLC is maintaining a record of FIRs registered mainly in Sindh…the record would help scrutinising the personal details (whether the guard is booked in any criminal case) of the security guards employed with a number of private security companies,” said a source privy to the discussion at a recent meeting. “The police and the private security companies have agreed upon the decision.”
The decision to form the special cell was taken after the massive December 2009 robbery in an Allied Bank branch and similar heists involving private security guards. In what was being described as the biggest bank heist in the country, private security guards allegedly robbed the I.I. Chundrigar Road branch of the ABL of foreign currency worth Rs311.2 million in December 2009.
A new post, ‘Superintendent for private security agencies’, was created to run the cell, but since after its formation the cell, where a DSP and four inspectors were also posted, lacked the working strength and the required resources.
“The new cell was formed to coordinate with the security companies for the verifications of the credential of their guards,” said the source, adding: “For the last six months only the personal data of a few hundreds security guards had been verified while thousands of applications were still pending.”
Although the source conceded that the CPLC data would not be effective for those security guards who hailed from the other three provinces, still the CPLC would assist the authorities to verify the record of a large number of them.
The chairman of the All Pakistan Security Agencies Association, Mufasir Malik, confirmed that the verification process of the private guards was not at the required level.
However, he believed that the CPLC database would help a lot in the scrutiny.
“Before the existing system, we mostly relied on the data provided by candidates for getting jobs,” he said. “The new arrangement and the CPLC’s help in this regard would at least bring the police on board to check such data.
It would also help maintain a centralised database of all the security guards performing duties in the city.”