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          Previous studies of the Belgrade Center for Security Policy (BCBP) have confirmed that insurance companies significantly affect the general characteristics of the private security sector. They do this by determining the possible amount of bonuses and penalties as well as discounts available, which affect companies that already operate in conditions where a handful of legal documents ineffectively regulates private security. There is still no overarching legal document regulating the private security sector: to be precise, it is now finally being drafted.

          Therefore, a need arised to find practical solutions that could help regulate private security sector which led to Serbian Chamber of Commerce (SCC) hosting May 17, 2011, a round table entitled "The quality of private security services and their impact on the reduction of the insured risk", in organization of the Association of Private Security and the Committee on Banking and Insurance at the SCC. Round table was attended by representatives of the insurance company "Dunav", private security companies, the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) and the Faculty of Security. Specific aim was to introduce two newly acquired standards "Dictionary of private security services" and "Private security services: user requirements and conformity assessment".

          The biggest problem highlighted at the meeting was actually the application of newly adopted standards in practice. When they decide on the amount of premiums to be paid, insurance companies only determine whether protective measures exist or not, but do not consider their quality. So the company, as well as their customers choose the cheapest option that does not offer the quality, but only satisfies their most basic requirements.

          This deviation is explained by the practical example of video surveillance. Policy of insurance companies is to count the cameras and determine the size of area covered, but not the clarity of the image, all important when it comes to determining responsibility for the burglary; identification of offenders thus becomes difficult or even impossible. Also, the issue was raised of distinguishing "public" from "private" space, where solutions were proposed in terms of what is allowed and what is not. The fact is that whatever solution is adopted, it will be in accordance with the existing provisions of the Law on Protection of Personal Data, which does not recognize any distinction between public and private spaces.

          Standard of conformity assessment, also adopted, will allow insurance companies to analyze the degree of investment in the security of the insured property. The key determinants for companies that provide security include total resources of the company, the number of employees, the existence of the control room, service vehicles, and net salaries amount. Attention should be especially paid to net earnings of employees as salaries in the sector are very low, and how it affects the motivation of staff, and the very development of the profession. Therefore it is not surprising that workers in the private security sector, attracted by higher wages, when the season of construction works start, just look for a job at a construction company.

          Another determinant of standards is that in fact they are reduced to the description of the level of compliance with demands ranging from insufficient, over a very small, small, medium to very large and complete. More precise evaluation criteria would affects the level of premiums and would have a stimulating effect on customers consequently leading to companies that provide security. The problem arises in applying these standards, as stated in the roundtable.

          "Dunav", which provide insurance to the largest number of business facilities in Serbia (estimated to provide 60% of that market) does not yet apply these standards. Nothing motivates firms to invest in the quality of service they provide for clients since such requests are not mentioned in the tenders. What was noticeable, was the lack of other insurance companies ("DDOR", Delta Generali, "Triglav" and others) and a rather small number of private security companies present in the roundtable. Whenever the debate started gaining momentum, this was abruptly interrupted, hence the lack of any meaningful concluding remarks.

          Marko Milosevic, Researcher in the BCSP

        • Tags: private security, insurance, PSC, Security sector, service, Law
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