Rangers and police on Saturday launched a crackdown on illegal security guards across Karachi.
According to sources, the records of security guards deployed at important installations and residences in Karachi were checked during the crackdown. In the first phase of checking, a large number of security guards were found untrained at which strict instructions were issued to the relevant security companies.
In the second phase, the records of 4,661 security guards were checked in four districts of Karachi. The record of suspicious guards was verified from the crime reporting index system.
During the arms verification, 337 arms were found to be unverified and weapons with 159 guards were found to be unlicensed. Records of unlicensed weapons have been sought from security companies.
Need of the times
According to estimates, at least 600 security companies exist, though many of them are non-functional. There is obviously a demand for private security, due to deteriorating security conditions, an increase in kidnapping and extortion threats and, above all, the lack of faith in law enforcement agencies.
Even though many of the security firms appear to be small, low-level outfits, upscale, established organisations are a force to be reckoned with. The control rooms of such companies could rival that of a law enforcement agency - employees monitor the tracking systems of vehicles, respond to house calls, keep an eye on the headlines and liaise with law enforcement agencies, employees and response teams to understand the situation in the city.
Even though the security business has proliferated, it has come with a number of disadvantages. Security guards have been found complicit in bank robberies as well as in cases of household theft.
Security firms say it boils down to the verification of the guards hired.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 26th, 2021.
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