Revise all industry standards for security officers

 If security officers are deemed to be performing a vital role, then all the industry standards, such as remunerations and working hours, should be revised, and not just the penalties.
If security officers are deemed to be performing a vital role, then all the industry standards, such as remunerations and working hours, should be revised, and not just the penalties.PHOTO: ST FILE

I am conflicted by the latest measures to punish errant security officers with possible jail terms and fines if they are caught sleeping or breaking the rules (Giving security officers peace of mind, despite the penalties; Jan 18).

On the one hand, everyone agrees that the security officers perform a vital role and hence, they should be given serious penalties if they break the rules.

On the other hand, what these officers are being paid does not accurately reflect the importance of their role.

Also, many of them are in their 50s and 60s. This, too, is not commensurate with the vitality one would expect from a security officer.

It is ironic that when it comes to paying security officers more, many people are quick to point out that the role does not require many skills.

However, when it comes to imposing severe penalties on them for sleeping on the job or breaking rules, the same people will point to the importance of the role of such front-line officers and the need for more stringent regulations.

In short, we expect the maximum from someone who is paid the minimum. There is a glaring inconsistency present.

If security officers are deemed to be performing a vital role, then all the industry standards, such as remunerations and working hours, should be revised, and not just the penalties.

Seah Yam Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 22, 2019, with the headline 'Revise all industry standards for security officers'. Print Edition | Subscribe