Should security officers be armed?

Yes, say some, to protect themselves and do their jobs better. No, say others, as this risks escalating incidents. Empowering, rather than arming, security guards might be a better solution.

Security officer Mohamed Sidek patrolling Our Tampines Hub using a security Segway. Instead of armed power, the consensus among industry players is that it would be more effective to empower officers through better legal protection and to give the pr
Security officer Mohamed Sidek patrolling Our Tampines Hub using a security Segway. Instead of armed power, the consensus among industry players is that it would be more effective to empower officers through better legal protection and to give the profession due respect.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

For private security officers, it is not uncommon to be scolded and sometimes punched or kicked. Many shrug off such treatment as part and parcel of the job. When things get physical, they are expected to step aside and alert the authorities.

A viral video in April documented a dispute at the Roxy Square carpark that left 60-year-old security supervisor Andrew Lim with a swollen eye, a sprained neck and broken spectacles.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 20, 2019, with the headline 'Should security officers be armed?'. Print Edition | Subscribe