Technology cannot replace humans in security industry

A security guard near the carpark gantry of a facility in Singapore.
A security guard near the carpark gantry of a facility in Singapore.PHOTO: ST FILE

Mr Liu Fook Thim's suggestion (Eliminate guards to transform security industry, Feb 25) fails to recognise the effort and sacrifices made by private security personnel to provide the public with a first line of defence without having to call upon the police.

The presence of security guards at shopping malls, schools and condominiums, for example, is crucial in preventing crimes such as illegal parking, theft and sabotage.

Guards also play an important role during the fire evacuation process.

The presence of closed-circuit television cameras alone may also not be enough to deter offences such as the tailgating of condominium residents through side entrances.

Despite having many such cameras, major shopping malls still need in-house detectives to nab shoplifters.

We are still a long way from a total reliance on robots and technology.

During the Trump-Kim summit last year, thousands of police and security personnel were mobilised to ensure the event ran smoothly.

A total reliance on robots and technology then would have been a huge gamble.

Syed Abdul Muneef Syed Muhammad

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2019, with the headline 'Technology cannot replace humans in security industry'. Print Edition | Subscribe