An issue that was raised in your paper on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 titled “Firearms law flouted at will” is a matter of grave concern.
Being a frequent visitor to banks, I have seen private security guards on duty with arms but never cared to know their credentials. I hope that the relevant authorities pay heed to the matter and take necessary rectifying steps and implement proper regulations as set by the central bank before an innocent life is lost or affected.
The government should simplify the procedure to allow banks to recruit professional security guards instead of complicating the issue by involving different departments. Even though Bangladesh Bank regulations instruct financial institutions to get their own gun licenses, the process is time consuming due to bureaucratic hassles and huge costs.
The fact that banks use security agencies to have gunmen is not ethical. True, the supply of gunman does not coincide with the growth of the banking network. Not all gunmen are ex-servicemen and they are not bound to fire their arms except for self-defense.
After reading the abovementioned article, I have also noticed that private security gunmen being used in carrying cash which is even more alarming. In many countries such as the UAE, Singapore, etc. it is essential for an individual to obtain a security guard license from the law enforcing authorities before he is cleared for a security job.
In this tech savvy and uncertain times, the world has progressed far ahead in terms of security. Men do not require to stand guard; a well-placed functional CCTV can do his job at one third the price with 24/7 efficiency. I commend The Daily Star for bringing this issue to light and hope it does not fall on deaf ears.
Sami-Al-Islam, By e-mail