Friday, October 25, 2013

Flawed vetting of armed guards | Free Malaysia Today

Flawed vetting of armed guards

P Ramani and Vignesh Kumar | October 25, 2013
Credibility of armed security guards are in question since the AmBank shooting and robbery incident
PETALING JAYA: The reputation and trust towards the security industry has been trampled and compromised after an armed security guard of a bank pulled a daring heist yesterday.

A 37 year old operations officer of a bank was shot dead by the armed security guard within the bank premises during the incident in USJ1, Subang. The guard was at that time on duty in the bank.

The robbery and shooting took place at Am Bank USJ Central Branch as the officer, Norazita Abu Talib, went to the safe room while being accompanied by the security guard who is said to be from Tawau, Sabah.

The suspect is believed to have secured employment with the security company using a fake MyKad and apparently there were no records on his particulars when a background check was done by police officers investigating on the incident.

It is learnt that the victim was opening the safe when the suspect directed a pump gun towards her and shot her in the face.

Norazita has been with the bank for 16 years.

She died on the spot and the guard fled the scene on a motorcycle with an undisclosed amount of money from the safe.

Flawed vetting system

Commenting on the incident, a senior security consultant, Mark Davy from Hill &Associates stated that there is a serious flaw in the vetting system for security guards.

“The security companies should conduct a thorough background vetting before employing any security guard,” said Mark.

He also added that security guards hired by a client are entrusted to discharge their duties with full responsibility.

Mark also suggested that proper legislations and trainings should be introduced to strengthen the security industry.
In relating his experience, Mark suggested that Malaysia should emulate the successful model employed by the Hong Kong Security Bureau.

In Hong Kong, the security code of practice is known as ‘Security and Guarding Services Ordinance’ and the industry is regulated by the ordinance.

“It is high time for Malaysia to professionalize and regulate the security industry,” added Mark.

As an interim measure, Mark suggested that a detailed background check and proper training should be given to security guards before they are employed.

Gun license approved carelessly

Another senior security consultant and former Klang OCPD Aziz Ariarasa expressed his shock as to how the police could have overlooked the profile vetting of armed guards.

In confirming, he said that for a guard to carry a pump gun, the security company employing him must apply the ‘carry and use’ license from the police.

“The police should have done a thorough check on the guard before approving the license,” said Aziz.
The fact that police overlooked the fake MyKad further puzzled Aziz.

Aziz also suggests that security companies should have proper background profiling on their armed guards and not carelessly apply gun license for newcomers.

Meanwhile via a press statement, Am Bank Group Chairman, Azman Hashim offered his deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers to the family of Norazita.

The Am Bank Group is working closely with the police in the investigations on this incident and is rendering all necessary assistance to the family members of the deceased.

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