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Security vs Police

How the public and the private sector complement each other

The work of a Security Guard is often compared to that of a policeman, they might not have exactly the same powers, but many aspects of their jobs overlap and they carry out similar duties.

Back in 2009, the BBC news reported that Sir Ian Blair, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner said that there should be no role for the private sector in Britain’s law enforcement. This was in answer to growing number of security companies who were taking on work patrolling public streets, paid for by private residents who wanted the extra security that patrolling guards would provide. The first patrol of this kind took place in Darlington.

Fast forward to 2012 and the police are inviting bids from private security firms to take on policing duties and work alongside the police force in order to relieve some of the strain caused by budget cuts within the force.

Now, in 2014 the private security sector is providing more and more support to the police and the prison system. Security Guards now provide support to police forces throughout the country, they work in custody services, secure courier service, border protection.

The police in Darlington now say that they are comfortable with the presence of a private security firm on the streets, which of course a massive change of opinion from that voiced in 2009 and as we can see Security Guards now provide an invaluable service in the protection and safety of the British public alongside the police.

Although security guards don’t have the same powers as the police, they do a similar job, which is highlighted in the roles that the two professions undertake. They are both employed to protect the public from theft, assault, terrorism, drugs and alcohol and they also provide help and support to the public, including first aid.

Security Guards and Police Officers have many similar skills, they need to know how to restrain people without breaking the law, they can search people for drugs and weapons (although security guards can only do this in the course of their work on private premises, not on the streets) They are used to patrolling, observing, organising and dealing with problems caused by aggression, theft, drugs and alcohol.

Many ex- policeman go on to work in the security industry and many security guards decide to become policeman. By working together they provide a safer environment for the public, especially in the light of the police cuts, which are still continuing and the ever present threat of terrorism.

In the past security guards received minimal training, which was in direct contrast to the extensive training and education necessary to join the police force. However, nowadays, Security Guards are trained in a variety of topics, with the opportunity to take individual courses which provide further education and an opportunity to specialise.

Today security guards are well trained and professional, much the same as the police and together they provide a safer environment for us to live in.

November 30, 2014

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