Monday, August 25, 2008

What function do security guards undertake?

This photo was taken underneath the Gladesville Bridge, and it shows a security guard swiping his barcode reader over a barcode on the gate to this cage. Since it has high voltage signs on it, I will assume that it belongs to Energy Australia, although it has no visible signs on it to suggest who it belongs to. In order to get to the gate, this guard had to walk past several instances of graffiti, including some on the Energy Australia substation below where he is standing.

In his mind, I guess the guard has performed his duties as instructed. He has visited this cage, checked that it is secured and swiped across the bar code to prove that he has attended.

But has his presence here today actually added any value? What is the point of having him visit, but not having him report any problems with the surroundings, like graffiti and other malicious damage? Graffiti is a visible manifestation of a lack of security - the first thing that any company should do if it is worried about security (and the appearance of security) is to quickly remove any graffiti in the surrounding area.

Having this guard turn up, swipe his card and then leave without doing anything gives the appearance of providing security (and management can report that they have engaged a security contractor) without really providing any of the substance of security.

As a taxpayer, I get offended when I see my tax dollars getting poor value for money, as in this instance.

From Energy Austra...

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