As more condominiums are built in Singapore, more of us come into frequent and even daily contact with security officers. However, there still seems to be common misconceptions about security guards and the work that they do.
One comment that we spotted from the Facebook comments section:
Oof. That’s not a nice thing to say.
Some common misconceptions that they face:
- They are old and lazy
- They don’t provide value-added work, they just sit and do nothing while watching the door
Many face abuse and clients who don’t respect them
Other common problems, on top of the misconceptions that they face, include:
- Being ordered to do work that’s not in their job scope
- Being disrespected by clients, or even verbally abused
- Long working hours and shifts
- Low pay
About two years back, a case of abuse went viral on social media after the guy was filmed verbally abusing a security officer. This case cast a spotlight on the issue and highlighted the need for better treatment and welfare for security officers. The guy who verbally abused the security officer was doxxed online for his actions but that’s not the right outcome we should hope for in such cases. Instead, we should be looking into improving laws to protect security officers’ welfare.
More protection of security officers from abuse
Hence, we are pleased to share that a new Bill has been passed in Parliament, which calls for more protection from abuse faced by security officers. This includes new offences and tougher penalties for those who harass, assault or verbally abuse officers while they are carrying out their duties.
Under the Private Security Industry (Amendment) Bill, such penalties are stiffer than those meted out to individuals who commit the same offence against members of the public. For instance, offenders who assault or use criminal force against security officers may be jailed up to two years or fined up to S$7,500, or both.
Nominated MP Abdul Samad, who is also NTUC’s vice-president, said the Union of Security Employees (USE) will be launching an application in the fourth quarter of this year to allow security officers and agencies to report any harassment or work-related grievances to the union. Other avenues for reporting include a one-stop email helpline launched by the Security Industry Council and the USE’s mediation centre.
Mr Samad also encouraged more security officers to join the union so that they can gain better representation of their rights.
A little kindness goes a long way
We hope that this would help safeguard security officers’ welfare and allow them to carry out their work safely. Be kind, greet the security officers that you meet and appreciate the work that they do!