Can the police in Poland be privatized? How to fight car thieves and about the legendary technologies to track criminals – expert of Gannet Guard Systems for spedycje.pl. „ I think that a professionally trained specialist can do the job better than the average cop. However, even the best-trained expert does not mean anything by himself. They come true only in movie roles. In practice, everything is based on multiplayer teams that – like a sport team – have to spend a lot of time on trainings and real actions to achieve a high level of efficiency (…). There were also those police officers, who – after being notified of the hiding place of some stolen machinery – stated that had to sit till late at night because of us, ‘cause they had to prepare appropriate documentation’. Others – after getting to the place of the located vehicle, greeted us with words „We finally met your team – there are legends of your tracking equipment”. Mirosław Marianowski, Security Manager, Gannet Guard Systems for our portal.
Michał Bruszewski: Do you think there might be a private police? Just recently we had a discussion about the privatization of the police in the UK where in the counties of the West Midlands i Surrey there was an attempt to privatize somehow some part of the police – private security or detective companies were allowed into the police competences, there are „Bounty Hunters” in USA acting legally in most states. One such example is also the Autodefensas formation in Mexico established to fight the drug cartels. How do you assess such ideas?
Mirosław Marianowski: When it comes to the issue of privatization of the police, or rather to allow private companies to carry out specific tasks, you can do everything if permitted by the law of a given country. It seems to me that in Poland for fear of corruption, no one will take up the challenge. Many years ago, the police tried to use Lojack vehicle location system, and everyone from the industry know how it ended. I think that a professionally trained specialist can do the job better than the average cop. However, even the best-trained expert does not mean anything by himself. They come true only in movie roles. In practice, everything is based on multiplayer teams, that – like a sport team – have to spend a lot of time on trainings and real actions to achieve a high level of efficiency (…). In the Polish system, potential, knowledge and experience of experts – practitioners leaving the service, who could provide trainings for the next staff is not used. Those teach who have paper – read knowledge. It is assumed that it is better not to hire people from outside. Lack of confidence prevents the use of knowledge of civilian experts in training uniformed services, and this in my opinion would be better than privatization.
In Poland there is no formation, which could be described as a private police. When it comes to activities under the law, there are detective companies, which can perform tasks within their remit. Property security companies existing on the basis of concession of the Ministry of Interior also in part perform tasks that lay within the remit of the police, e.g. escorting transport of cash or securing mass events.
How does your procedure in terms of, for instance, searching vehicles stolen from customers look like?
As for our company, we have the license of the Ministry of Interior for the protection of persons and property. Operations carried out by Gannet Guard Systems consist in close cooperation with the police. Search for stolen vehicles is carried out by our specialized radio bearing crews. Each tracking action is undertaken by prior contact with the police and after acknowledgment of the notification of the offence by the in-jured party. Of course, we check if the subscription is paid for a given year and whether the battery supplying the localization module with power was changed on time.
In the course of actions we contact the police and at the moment when we determine the area where the searched vehicle is located, we call uniformed services to the specific place in order to ultimately locate the vehicle or its hiding place. Then, based on the protocol, we hand over recovered property for further proceedings. In efforts to combat vehicle crime, you always have to reckon with the threat of the opposite party. Therefore, we do not undertake any chases so as not to endanger our employees or bystanders. It often happens that during the police intervention consisting in stopping car thieves there are collisions, and even the use of firearms.
You claim that nothing can stop the thief from stealing the car, so how to cope with it?
Thieves of course steal and will steal cars because there is a demand for such cars on the market. The thief does not steal for himself. That is his livelihood and as long as he will receive salary, he will not stop the procedures. One of the ways to prevent theft of vehicles is fitting them with different types of securities and systems for radio and GPS location. However, these solutions do not prevent theft, but only enable rapid recovery of lost vehicle by radio location or GPS monitoring to a large extent.
What infrastructure does a private company need to provide services such as location of stolen cars, their protection and fleet monitoring? How does it look like at Gannet? How much equipment and what (human) commitment is needed to recover stolen vehicle?
In order to provide effective services, Gannet Guard Systems had to invest a lot of many in infrastructure, i.e. stations monitoring Non-EU border crossings, antenna masts etc. It was also necessary to adapt the leased aircrafts to the installation of radio bearing systems, purchase the right amount of equipment and place it in radio bearing cars, and also to train the staff supporting radio bearing systems.
Knowledge of the techniques of operations is acquired over the years during practical activities both on the ground and in the air. This can not be learned from a textbook, simply because it does not exist. To secure cars, we use employees from the technical department of our company and a network of hundreds of partners cooperating with us in the area of Poland. We constantly conduct training activities for operators who cooperate with our company. We also try to flexibly adapt to the expectations of our customers.
Does the police glower at you that you take them a part of the ‘work’? Or maybe you rather gather praise from the uniformed services?
Based on many years of experience and knowledge of the police issues, I can with full responsibility say that we are not a competition for the uniformed services in terms of taking the bread out of their mouth. It depends on particular officers how they construe the way we act and the effects of our work. There were also those police officers, who – after indicating them the hiding place of some stolen machinery – stated that they sit till late at night, ‘cause they had to prepare appropriate documentation. Others – after getting to the place of the located vehicle, greeted us with words „We finally met your team – there are legends of your tracking equipment”, and then wrote acknowledgement for finding stolen excavator. With some police units the cooperation is perfect. These are among others Criminal Departments and the Departments for fighting vehicle crime at Warsaw Metropolitan Police and Town Police Headquarters in the area of Śląsk, Wielkopolska and Tri+City.
Our actions are based on the implementation of commitments in relation to customers and we derive satisfaction from the fact that the in-jured parties recover their stolen cars or machines. We also contribute to the improvement of police statistics. We are not concerned about any unhealthy competition. We can only regret that the majority of vehicles stolen in Poland does not have our systems, which usually results in the inability to locate after theft, and only a small part of the car is found by the police.