Following the spate of robberies in Metro Manila, police now want security guards to start carrying firearms when at duty in malls.
This is one of many recommendations included in a "Mall Security Manual" that the Philippine National Police has released on January 31.
The police also suggested re-training of private security guards who are assigned in malls.
“We just came out with a Mall Security Manual to serve as a guide for security practitioners involved in securing malls,” Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Alan Purisima said in a press conference.
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Police authorities held a press conference after President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III expressed alarm over the spate of armed robberies and high-profile crimes in shopping malls in Metro Manila.
The recent case involved robbers causing panic in SM Megamall after they run off with jewelry stolen from a department store. Another group robbed a Western Union remittance branch in Parañaque City on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, separate shooting incidents were reported in two mall branches of Robinsons in Quezon City and Manila.
The police chief recommended that private security guards will need to undergo more training on marksmanship and self-defense.
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He said security guards also need to be able to respond to emergency, medical, hostage or suicide incidents in malls.
Purisima stressed that regular meetings between mall security officials and police authorities should be enforced to ensure faster response to incidents.
The Quezon City Police District is investigating reports of a spare tire stealing incident in Robinsons Magnolia in New Manila. The incident reportedly forced a security guard to fire at a Mitsubishi Adventure while it drove out of the basement parking area at about 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, witnesses at the Robinsons Place said the mall guard fired at a vehicle that attempted to run him over between pass 4 p.m on the same day.
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The police chief said the PNP training service will lead specialized training on mall security guards next week.
But he also urged PNP-accredited training schools to hold continuing training of security guards.
“Security guards in their posts have long been carrying guns. Did it scare the people? No. We are just trying to stick to that now because we see them become sittings ducks,” Purisima said.
“Are we going to let these armed robbers go inside the mall because guards are not allowed to carry firearms? If we see that they do not (deserve) to carry firearms, then we can cancel (their) licenses” he asked.
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