Work together to achieve security outcome


PAPUA New Guinea’s increase in crime and lawlessness and rising urban population has triggered off an expansion in the market for security services and equipment.
The security services industry has grown rapidly from just a handful of companies in major centres like Port Moresby and Lae in the first 10 years after independence to hundreds of firms of varying sizes today.
Security has become an expenditure item for nearly all businesses and organisations nowadays whether it be in the installation of sophisticated lock systems, electronic surveillance, electric gates, stationery guards or armoured vehicle escorts.
One aspect of the industry that gets reported frequently in the news media is the men and women who are employed as security guards. Their bravery, collusion with criminals, assaulting members of the public or striking over pay and conditions get media attention quite often.
Security guards are tasked to ensure public safety and protect property against theft or vandalism. Their responsibility and territory is determined by the paying client. It is a job that has its own obvious risks. They are at times are expected to help enforce public order and protection of property, especially within areas they are assigned to. It makes no sense to see guards from some security firms engaged at shopping malls stand by as members of the public deface pavements and walkways at will.
Before the betel nut ban in Port Moresby came into force, selling cigarettes and betel nut at two the entrances of shops was a thriving business. On any work day the guards made no attempt stop people from spitting betel nut or throwing rubbish around these public areas.
It was a relief to see these shopping areas cleared of the litter bugs since the betel ban was enforced.
It is certainly not too much to expect of these guards to help in policing the ban and help in the general cleanliness of the city. This is the least the public and City Hall expect from them.
Security issues will continue to be a major concern for private entities and government organisations in cities like Port Moresby and Lae. Indeed, security will be a price to pay for such development as the country experiences an influx of people from the rural areas into major urban centres.
The rate of crime and lawlessness is expected to increase, hence the need for increased security by organisations and entities that rely on this service.
The Inaugural Papua New Guinea Security Congress in March this year showcased world-class security innovation, technologies and solutions from global market leaders.
With the advancement of technology in PNG more partnerships between physical security operators, hardware and technology companies, and communities were required to create integrated security solutions with a focus on preventative security. Some hardware that should be looked into is the latest innovations in smart closed-circuit television (CCTV), artificial intelligence, solutions to deter and stop vehicle attacks, wireless-linked emergency alert systems, and access control solutions. If we help security operators to improve public safety and protect assets, investments will become less-risky and increased investment will follow. This will create more jobs for local people, and will generate broad social benefits.
Many will not take an interest to find out more about security strategies in PNG. We can no longer rely only on police to do that provide security. Let us be realistic that it is time for an increased public and private collaboration to achieve best security outcomes for PNG communities and businesses.

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