Romania private investigations

Private security industry in Romania – found wanting

What ails the private security industry in Romania ?

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I do believe that, by reading the article attached at the bottom of this document, some of my Romanian colleagues will see (if they don’t already know this) what our own security industry lacks: a real licensing and regulating authority, professionally orientated, dynamically active, freed of the state control as much as possible; in other words, a real professional guild, as befitted to a European Community country of the XXIst century.

Alas, regarding the security industry in Romania, we are still in the infancy of this profession, still wasting good time in turning on our own tails, instead of a real development and modernization of the industry.

A nagging example: we still do not make any difference between a security agent for valuables in transit and that of a doorman. This is ridiculous; everywhere in Europe this difference is plainly visible, separately licensed, trained, supervised, and regulated. In Romania, it is not. Why? I very much doubt nobody has heard of this. Is this not indifference, blatant disregard of professional layout of the industry, professional impotence, a stupid plan of sabotaging the future of your own profession?

A vast majority of the industry’s efforts at this moment are focused on discussing why the prices have fallen and on finding empiric remedies to a fatal illness. The prices didn’t really dropped very low, but nobody seem to understand or realize that the market is trying to regulate itself, slowly beginning to comprehend that prices need to be equal to the quality of service provided, equal to the REAL demand and offer of the REAL security market, and then some other vectors. However, nobody seem to care that the main fault lies with the industry itself, and with how inappropriate it is organized, licensed, categorized and regulated, mainly because it had let her destiny into the hands of a state body. Did anyone ever took the trouble to pull the hypocrisy blanket off the whole situation and see the   real reasons of why this industry is ill? Nope, nobody even tried.

To have this working, the industry would need the ears of the powers-that-be, it’ll need a self-governing and professional manner of doing things, and yes, a new (alas currently non-existent) set of rules laid down by the industry, for the industry. Instead, what we have now is a handful of groups, each claiming to speak and act on behalf of the industry, squabbling with each other for petty reasons, and virtually non-cooperating for the greater good. And in the meantime, the said governmental body is keeping an ever watchful eye on the whole situation. An unnatural state of affairs.

We have so many good examples of security acts all over Europe, but we do not use these as possible sources.  Into the very near future, we’ll have to consider the upcoming European private security regulations (they’re already upon us, and the Romanian private security market is still struggling with the basics (and I really mean b-a-s-i-c-s) of organizing & regulating an ever emergent industry, etc, etc, etc. It’s plain and obvious that nobody in Romania moves a finger to attempt to heal the industry of what really ails it: too much of state control and interference, too many public contracts and tenders for security services taken or given in a shady manner by the same handful of companies, a blatant unprofessional conduct towards the industry itself, too rigid laws and regulating rules, too little support from the legislation and legislators, hardly any proper representation of the industry at higher level, and above all these, reigns supreme the incapacity of the industry itself to really comprehend that nobody will raise it from the gutter, nobody will lift a finger for help, unless the industry will bring  itself together, pull out its head from the sand, and start to act like a decent and professional body.

The unhealthy involvement of a certain governmental body (GB) is too deep in this profession, for most of the industry’s operators liking. I admit that such mixture of state and private happens elsewhere (on a larger or smaller scale), and I can also see some benefits in the principle of some supervision & control (up to a certain extent) of such a governmental body over some aspects of the industry. However, I completely fail to comprehend how and why did this BG burrowed itself so deep into the industry. Well, I have a decent clue on why, and the motives are far from those which should be the safeguarding of the industry. I don’t mind telling you that it doesn’t look too kosher from where I stand.

Looking at the current situation from a macro perspective and zooming onto the abnormal relation between these two entities, one may get a glimpse on the manner and motives of how and why the said GB forced itself onto the relation with the private security industry in Romania, and it’s keeping such a tight and curbing control over it. Having said that, it’s clear that such a situation damages the industry, it suffocates it, denying or repelling any control of the industry’s own choice of development and of designing its own future. It is corseted in a deadly mixture of strange regulations and old fashioned habits of doing things; the resistance to change is still this GB’s greatest asset.

Why would this  GB should act and feel honest towards the industry, when it’s not designed to do so, and it’s not its duty really to do so? Why would it genuinely have the industry’s best interests at heart? Why would they care? Why would any governmental body be in charge of, for instance, licensing security companies and indeed supervising everything in a despotic steel fashion, and why this role is not taken by the industry’s own regulating authority? Hold on, I forgot; there is no such professional body in Romania. Those which are in function now (if any), do not even begin to resemble to such entity.

The rules need to be drastically changed, and seriously redesigned; the current vectors of licensing are obsolete and grossly restraining the right of operating in the industry, if not downright infringing somewhat on the commercial liberties as seen by the EEC.

Example given: if a company uses unlicensed agents for their contracts, it should be the industry’s own regulating authority who will purge the professional market of such dishonest players, and withdraw the license. Instead, what do we have now? The GB’s procedures in such cases are so bureaucratic and marred by obsolete and useless laws versus new and similarly useless laws, by its own administrative apparatus rules which seem to (illegally) supersede any existing organic laws, that it will take serious time until the culprit is fined or something (anything) do happen. The culprit will appeal and the situation may drag for years. But if the industry is to regulate itself, it will withdraw the license, and nobody (nobody!) will be able to re-license that company. The business community and security market will be cleansed by the industry itself, and not by waiting for someone else to do the right thing in its stead.

Obviously this has to be done in an open, honest and professional manner. But…I can already hear some operators crying murder over this, saying it is too drastic, blah blah. Well, this is how other countries resolve to run their private security industries. Yes, it hurts; but it doesn’t have to hurt YOU. If you are an honest player, why would you be afraid of? Au contraire, you should actively promote such a body into existence: as said,  it will cleanse the industry and market of dishonest players, making your life (both professional and why not, personal) much easier. I, for one, would be happy to know that my business exists in a healthy environment and that it depends on me and me alone to develop my company and move forward to better business, more clients, decide my own professional and personal future as I see fit.

What the heck happened with regulating the profession of “security appraiser” (evaluator securitate) which was a pathetic stutter at its best ??? It was one of the most visible and risible examples on how the GB’s patent manner of regulating a private industry works (if I would be mean, I would say: an amateurish and careless way of doing things). Nobody in this industry should let anyone to decide on behalf of the private security industry in Romania. Such foreign interventions are a deal too expensive for everyone related to the said industry. Letting someone else to decide for your future is never a bright idea, if you ask me. And again, when the licensing rules were first made, promoted, published and enforced, nobody (from the industry that is) had the slightest objection to this “abusive dad” attitude.

Last, but not least: imposing onto each and every commercial entity the obligation of protecting themselves by signing up with a security services provider, in a mandatory and forcible fashion, stamped (nay, trampled) all over the rights of a commercial company to decide its own conduct and of a liberal management of its own future, and also gave the industry the measure of its weakness. Why this regulation even appeared? It should have been a plain insurance issue, between the company which suffered losses and its insurer, not any GB’s care.

Again, someone else was thinking for the private security industry in Romania, someone who doesn’t give a hoot about profession’s future and national status. And as such, the obvious did happen: the standards were dropped dramatically, prices went stupidly low, profession had suffered a significant blow of its image and impact in the business community everywhere in the country, training became useless and serious operators who paid for the training of their agents were beaten off by those operators who hired untrained personnel; it was like a deadly blow given by one of your family, and as such, all the more painful and deadly.

Because of the above and more, the industry is now managed by a handful of players who are extremely comfortable with the current situation: murky waters are the best environment for shady predators, without the slightest concern of the well-being of the pond. All they care is to reign unchallenged.

Do not misunderstand me; we have very good security specialists, some even had been heard of abroad. We also have an expanding class of trainers and good professional security managers out there. Some of the security services they render is par to the best on the international market. But the industry, as a whole, stagnates. Good professionals hesitate or downright decline to step in front and help putting matters right. Can they be blamed? No. Not when the industry to which they all belong seem not to care for its own well-being and for a correct, fair and ethical behavior and conduct. Obviously the professionals will dwindle and disappear, given the continuation of current status of this industry.

Therefore, what do we do? What needs to be done? What kind of change do we need or are able to bring to the profession? Do we even have a list on which the partisan views, pecuniary matters and petty squabbles are not among the first 5 tasks?

Such a list, on which the first tasks would be code of ethics, professional standards and fairness would be a good start, in my humble opinion.

Anyways, read the article; see who did what, and then what happened and why and by whom. It’s a real eye-opener for many out there:

http://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/about-news.aspx?newsid=536&ArtTypeID=16

Regards,

JT


NEW EUROSURVEILLANCE FULL LOGOVisit Julian Tanase’s LinkedIn page, for other articles and information on professional expertise and his company, Eurosurveillance CI Romania. This company just celebrated its 24th anniversary in 2015, making it one of the oldest in this profession in Romania, and indeed, in Eastern Europe.

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