Monday, October 19, 2009

So much for security

Every time I enter a mall or hotel or theater and am stopped by a security guard for a bag check, I feel a twinge of exasperated annoyance. I find this so-called security measure of peeking into people's bags laughably pointless. Some guards don't even bother looking, they just poke a finger or stick into the bag and let that suffice as "checking". Others just wave a metal detector thingy in front of the bag, and even when the device emits a shrill shriek or beep, the guard allows the person through anyway. Also, most guards only check bags, but not the other packages/shopping bags the person is carrying. And there's the occasional body frisk, but really, does that result in anything other than the awkward feeling of getting groped by a total stranger?

It's all so cursory, so superficial, and so careless, if someone really wanted to smuggle firearms or what not into the premises, it would be too ridiculously easy to do so. Same thing goes for carpark security checks, when the guards open the trunks of vehicles to look for God knows what (a big box labeled "BOMB", or sticks of dynamite with a ticking clock attached?), usually not even accompanied by bomb-sniffing dogs, or armed only with that stupid long-handled mirror they run underneath the vehicle (because you know, all smart terrorists still tape their explosives to the underside of their cars).

Yesterday's daring daytime armed robbery of a pricey watch store at Greenbelt 5 only proved how insufficient and impotent these security measures are. While the guards glanced into every ominous-looking Gucci purse or Prada handbag that passed by them, they let a bunch of armed men walk right into the mall unquestioned and uncontested. Because they were wearing bomb squad uniforms. Seriously. Seriously!?! That's like the oldest trick in the Hollywood heist movie handbook! Don't they teach that in security guard school or something?? When guys with big guns ask to enter, stop and consider for a moment that THEY'RE GUYS WITH BIG GUNS. Duh.

Maybe instead of wasting time and inconveniencing innocent civilians with bag checks and car trunk inspections, security groups should focus on training their guards to identify potential security threats and spot the real dangerous individuals, not to mention know how to neutralize them. If Taguig Mayor Freddie Tinga's bodyguards (who happened to be in the vicinity because Tinga was lunching nearby) hadn't engaged the robbers in a shootout, all the crooks would have gotten away free and clear. Security guards around the city need to do more than stand at mall entrances pressing clickers to keep track of daily foot traffic. They should dispense with the silly procedure of searching for lethal weapons in tiny purses and concentrate on REALLY securing the area they're supposed to be guarding against, oh say, the people toting huge-ass guns.

The ironic thing is, because of what happened at Greenbelt, now all malls and other commercial establishments are going to be even more paranoid and go on heightened alert for fear of becoming the next target of armed robbers. So over the next few weeks, we're probably going to see stricter "security measures", like 2-second bag peeks instead of the 1-second standard, metal-detector gadgets that shriek more loudly, and bigger mirrors with longer handles to scan car underbellies with. Hell, maybe they'll start doing random cavity searches. I feel safer already.


Post a Comment

<< Home