SISF unlikely to foray into private sector

After Kerala’s State Industrial Security Force (SISF) took up the security assignment at Technopark, there has been a sea-change with at least 20 to 25 unauthorized entries being reported each day . SISF commandant Unwin Antony said that unauthorized entries are reported as those without legitimate identity cards and the force is on a mission to regulate such entries. Technopark is following the Infopark in Kochi, where 56 armed SISF men protect four government buildings, entrances and guide private security of individual offices in security matters. At present Technopark is manned by 22 SISF personnel.

But, SISF is unlikely to pose any threat to the mushrooming private security industry as it is unlikely to foray into that sector since its 980-personnel have to cater to many existing government establishments. SISF offers services at a fee that varies according to requirement.

At present, SISF charges Rs 1,500 day for an armed person and Rs 1,400 for one without firearms. SISF was launched in the state in 2012 along the lines of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) that provides cover to all major central PSUs. States like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have similar forces, with several battalions, which earn a decent revenue for the police force.

At the same time, the state has put in place a set of rules on the basis of the centre’s Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act, 2005 to control and regulate private security agencies in the state; but such rules are proving to be ineffective when it comes to field-level implementation. The rules, framed in 2010, outline instructions for conducting a thorough verification before granting permission to an agency. The rules mandate the controlling authority, which is the home department, to conduct a thorough check on the antecedents of the applicant and provide training to new security guards.