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Hardlook: Demand is for cheap services, says Top SIS official

Company COO Rituraj Sinha speaks about the lack of regulations and problems being faced by the industry.

New Delhi | Updated: December 7, 2015 4:48:22 am

Police have accused your company of not following security norms?
Since there is no rule from any governing body on private security agencies, all are following their own set of standards. This approach has led to the rat race of getting services for cheap. People say everything is insured and demand services saste mein (cheaper) and then such problem arises.

So you are saying there is no rule for cash logistics companies?
No rule or act was formed after Private Security Agencies Regulation Act, 2005, and Delhi Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Rules, 2009. These are old and the city’s demography has changed. There is a need to amend, or implement new laws for us.

What procedures do you follow during cash-in-transit?
We follow the best set of standards and our command room is equipped with modern gadgets. In the recent case (heist), it was our GPS system through which we located the van within the seconds of it breaking the prescribed route. Thereafter, police tracked down the driver. The company has taken several internal security initiatives such as state of the art cash vault, GPS tracking of all cash vans, use of CCTV cameras, detailed address verification and reference check of employees, training and audit procedures as part of its own best practices. These are not mandated under any law and guidelines.

How rigorous is your verification process?
We conduct a proper verification of each and every employee. In this case, we provided every detail about the driver which helped the police reach him easily, within hours.

Is there a problem procuring commercial licences for guns?
Cash management companies need arms licences in large numbers to secure 8,000 plus cash vans and over 200 vaults operated by the industry across India. State police departments across India have refused to grant arms licences to cash management companies, citing “no specific provision” under Arms Act and “absence of specific guidelines” from Ministry of Home Affairs. This issue was escalated in 2013 when police departments in Maharashtra, Karnataka and several other states issued directives to forbid cash management companies from hiring individuals holding arms licences in private capacity to act as armed guards for cash vans.

Has the industry mentioned its problems to authorities?
Industry bodies such as Ficci, Central Association of Private Security Industry, and Cash Logistics Association of India have sent representations to MHA, RBI and IBA in this regard over the last three years. The cash companies wrote to RBI, banks and MHA indicating their intention to close down operations. The government agencies, at that point, came forward to assure concrete steps would be taken to enable cash management companies to obtain arms in adequate numbers. A specific recommendation was also developed by Ficci for the MHA. However, the matter of arms licences for cash management companies remains unresolved and the shortage of armed guards across the sector continues.

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