BPOs want police to relax security norms

February 07, 2011

The thriving BPO industry in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) virtually admitted to logistical problems with their staff security programs by indicating that they were unable to 'monitor' the travel plans of women employees and secure confirmation of their safe passage during night shifts.

At a meeting with the Delhi Police Commissioner B.K. Gupta late last week, representatives of BPO industry asked the cops to define night shifts, relax norms for dropping women staffers at their doorstep and to install GPS on their call center vehicles in a shorter time frame than the six months stipulated earlier.

They suggested that the police orders, issued following the sensational abduction and rape fo a call center employee late last year, did not specify 'night shift' in terms of timings. In addition, they revealed that the BPO facilities team were unable to ensure that employees made the token phone call once they entered their homes.

Senior officials of Nasscom and BPO companies located at the NCR met the police commissioner last Thursday to discuss security measures for transporting employees to and from work.

On his part, the police commissioner sought increased coordination between the police force of Delhi and other states that make up the NCR. "We are in the process of issuing guidelines to private security agencies on the lines of the directions given to BPOs and media organizations offering pick-and-drop facilities," he was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

Nasscom chief Som Mittal, who attended the meeting along with representatives from 12 BPO companies, said they sought police help in finishing the verification process of guards and drivers at the earliest. In addition, they sought relaxation of the rule that guards should accompany women staffers during day shift.

The report published in the Times of India quoted police sources to suggest that the key to resolving the problem lay in the reform of private security sector in the absence of proper laws and guidelines for their formation. It was felt that only 400 of the 3,000 security agencies in the NCR region had proper permissions to conduct business.