7 questions about the security industry we bet no Singaporean can answer


The security industry is a 24/7- industry. Yet, many people don’t know much about this industry that plays such a key role in ensuring our safety and security. We sat down with an “insider” – Mr Raymond Chin, who has been in the security industry for over 8 years, managing over 90 security officers. Raymond is also the General Secretary for the Union of Security Employees (USE) and he gives us the lowdown.


1) What kind of arrest rights do security officers have?

Security officers have citizen arrest rights. While they do not have the same type of arrest rights as our Police Force, they can… and will arrest individuals who are deemed to have committed an arrestable offence. Don’t play play ah! 😉


2) How many security officers do we have in Singapore?

There are 43,000 licensed security officers in Singapore. That said, there is still a 10,000 to 15,000 manpower shortage of officers.


3) How many security officers are unionised?

13,000 of these 43,000 security officers are unionised. This means that 30% of security officers have their rights represented by the Union of Security Employees (USE).


4) How many security agencies are there in Singapore?

There are roughly 250 security agencies in Singapore. With so many security agencies fighting for contracts, some agencies might be tempted to lower prices in order to get more business. With such keen competition, companies also then squeeze their workers by depressing their wages.


5) Are there any schemes to help security officers?

The Union of Security Employees (USE) gives out bursary education awards to help USE members and their children. In 2016, there were 337 recipients with over $93,000 being disbursed. This year, there were 370 recipients with over $98,500 being disbursed.

A licensing requirement for the security industry called the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) ensures that security agencies have proper career progression pathways for officers and also stick to a basic minimum monthly wage.

6) Does the security industry have some sort of grading system?

Just when you thought exams were over… we find out the even security agencies get graded on an annual basis. They are graded by the Ministry of Manpower (MO) and the Police Licensing Regulatory Department (PLRD) on various aspects and can obtain grades between A and D.


7) Are there things that security officers are often asked to do but shouldn’t really be doing?

These are just some of the things we’ve heard security officers are not supposed to be doing but have been made to do – catch rats in shopping malls, chase out birds when they get unwittingly trapped, clean up bubble tea spills, be your handy man by or your mail concierge. #truestory

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