Security guard gets to do his job sitting down

Security officer Mohd Azan Abd Khair is able to double the number of rounds by using an electric scooter to patrol the Watermark apartment complex at Rodyk Street in Robertson Quay.
Security officer Mohd Azan Abd Khair is able to double the number of rounds by using an electric scooter to patrol the Watermark apartment complex at Rodyk Street in Robertson Quay.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Electric scooter makes it easier for 69-year-old to patrol grounds

Even though he is older, security officer Mohd Azan Abd Khair has doubled the number of rounds he can do on the condominium grounds that he patrols.

A new four-wheeled electric scooter, introduced by his company last month, has enabled the 69-year-old former policeman to move around more on the job. He covers an area about the size of a football field comprising residential blocks, carparks and common facilities on the grounds.

"I do not have to walk too much any more, and the scooter allows me to move up the three levels in the apartment complex for more checks," said the grandfather of eight who is elated to have the device, which is similar to a mobility scooter.

The scooter, introduced by Keith Morton Security for security staff to patrol the Watermark apartment complex at Rodyk Street in Robertson Quay, is meant to enhance the operational effectiveness of older workers.

The firm has three devices used in three different condo locations where it provides security services.

"It provides a more relaxed work atmosphere, creates productivity and betters their attention span," said Mr William Morton Jr, who runs the firm.

By acquiring the buggy, each costing $1,200, he said the company is supporting the Government's aim of employing more older workers by improving job conditions, pointing out that about half of his workforce is over 50 years old.

Mr Morton said the scooters are more effective than bicycles as they ensure balance, and are more user-friendly for older workers.

He thanked the Employment and Employability Institute for the 60 per cent subsidy under a scheme that enabled the purchase of the devices.

Mr Morton plans to acquire more scooters for other condo complexes after evaluating this pilot project, believed to be the first where such devices are deployed in condo security management.

Security Association of Singapore president Raj Joshua Thomas welcomed the use of such mobility devices, stressing support for the introduction of technology to assist security officers in performing their duties.

"Security agencies have been, over the past few years, implementing various types of mobility devices. The four-wheelers in particular are easy to use and therefore ideal for older workers, who sometimes have difficulty adapting to new technologies."

He said mobility devices help to even out the ability of older workers to perform their functions.

There are some 43,000 security officers employed in Singapore, many of whom are above 50 years old. "My own firm has around 30 to 40 per cent of our officers over 50 at any one time," said Mr Thomas.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 21, 2017, with the headline 'Security guard gets to do his job sitting down'. Print Edition | Subscribe