Clients need to look at security outcomes to transform industry

A security guard filling up a form at a guard post of a facility in Singapore.
A security guard filling up a form at a guard post of a facility in Singapore.PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

Mr Liu Fook Thim is right in pointing out that the onus of buying the correct private security services lies with clients (Eliminate guards to transform security industry, Feb 25).

This process starts with the clients determining the security outcomes they wish to achieve, and this must be done by making a professional security, risk and threat assessment.

The correct technologies should then be installed before the manpower solutions are worked out.

Security officers remain essential as the initial response force or trigger for any security incident.

Sadly, most buyers today continue to procure security services by the number of security officers they can get at the cheapest rate, and security technology solutions are separately procured.

This approach greatly reduces the effectiveness of a man-machine combination.

The Union of Security Employees and the Security Association Singapore believe this has to change.

It would be wrong to assume that we take a narrow view of this matter in order to protect our own interests. We are focused on helping to transform the industry.

We have been involved in the Security Industry Transformation Map since its conception and have organised eight buyers' seminars and technology showcases thus far.

Buyers broadly fall into four segments: public, commercial, industrial and residential.

The public sector has set for itself a timeline to procure security services based on outcomes by next year.

Buyers from the other segments, especially the residential segment, need to do this also.

Only then will we be able to raise the overall security protection for Singaporeans, in support of the effective work our law enforcement forces are doing.

Steve Tan

Executive Secretary

Union of Security Employees

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2019, with the headline 'Clients need to look at security outcomes to transform industry'. Print Edition | Subscribe