This blog post from Titan Security aims to showcase the value of security guard services in deterring and disrupting criminal activity and answer the question “do security guards deter crime?”

By highlighting the importance of having well-trained and experienced security personnel, a comprehensive security plan, and ongoing training and assessment, we can promote the benefits of security guard services to potential clients and show that they do deter crime.

So where does the security guard fit into the most effective crime prevention strategies? Let’s take a closer look.

The overview

When it comes to crime prevention strategies, security guards have been a popular choice for decades. The idea that the mere presence of security personnel can deter criminal activity has been the subject of much debate. There is undoubtedly plenty of evidence to support the view that a security presence is a major crime deterrent.

On the other hand, some quite rightly claim that in many cases, relying solely on security personnel is not enough. The use of security technology, such as security cameras, can supplement security guards and provide additional protection. Also, the quality of the security guard and levels of training and professionalism are equally as important.

Security Guards as a deterrent

The theory that security guards can disrupt and deter crime is widely accepted in the field of criminology and has been supported by empirical research. A study conducted in the UK into the effectiveness of private security guards at South West Train stations concluded that the presence of security guards caused an increase in detections and that ” security guards are agents of deterrence”.

Security guards have a significant deterrent effect on criminal activity. The presence of security guards is associated with a reduction in burglaries, theft, vandalism and other crimes. Criminals are less likely to commit a crime when they believe they are being watched or may be caught. A visible security presence can also create a sense of security for employees and customers.

Security Guards as a disruptor

Security guards can also disrupt criminal activity that is already in progress. A trained security guard can respond quickly to an incident, assess the situation, and take appropriate action to prevent it from escalating into something more serious. This may include calling for backup, detaining suspects, or acting as a physical barrier to protect people that might be in danger.

High-quality guard services can provide businesses and property owners with peace of mind, knowing that their valuable assets are well protected. Read more about the qualities of a good security guard.

Security Guards and the use of technology

One common misconception about security guards is that they’re not as effective as security cameras because cameras can monitor a number of areas simultaneously. However, security cameras can have a limited scope unless they are being constantly monitored and security personnel are available to intervene if criminal activity is detected. Without security personnel, security cameras become little more than an evidence-gathering tool after the crime has been committed.

Security guards can proactively respond to suspicious behaviour, fill any gaps in surveillance coverage, and provide a crucial deterrent effect alongside the use of a combination of proactive measures, such as physical security like barriers and gates and surveillance technology to reduce criminal activity.

7 Ways that security guards deter crime

  1. Visible presence: Simply having a security guard present can deter crime. Criminals are more likely to target locations that appear unguarded, so the presence of a security guard can make them think twice about attempting to commit a crime.
  2. Surveillance: Security guards are trained to keep a watchful eye on their surroundings. By monitoring the area, they can detect suspicious behaviour and take action before a crime occurs.
  3. Access control: Security guards can control who enters a property or building, ensuring that entry is restricted to authorised people only, making it more difficult for criminals to gain access to the premises.
  4. Response time: In the event of a crime, on-site security guards can quickly respond and take appropriate action. This can prevent the crime from escalating and minimise or even prevent further damage.
  5. Communication and liaison: Security guards can communicate with the Police and other emergency services. This can help to quickly resolve any incidents and ensure the safety of everyone involved.
  6. Training: Security guards undergo training in conflict resolution and emergency response. This means that they are equipped to handle a variety of situations and can respond appropriately to prevent crime from occurring.
  7. Deterrent signage: Employing security guards means that a property or business can display signs that indicate their presence which can be an effective deterrent. Criminals are less likely to target a location if they know that security guards are on watch.

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The effectiveness of security guards in preventing and responding to crime

The effectiveness of security guards as a deterrent depends on a number of factors including:

  • Quality and levels of training: Security guards need to be trained on various aspects of security, including patrol procedures, emergency response, and conflict resolution. The quality of training they receive can significantly impact their ability to prevent and respond to crime. Ongoing training and assessment ensure that security guards are prepared to handle a variety of situations. This can include regular training on new security technologies, emergency response procedures, and conflict resolution.
  • Equipment and technology: Security guards need to have access to the appropriate equipment and technology to be effective. This can include 2-way radios, cameras, alarms, and other tools that can help them detect, prevent, and respond to potential threats.
  • Management and supervision: Effective management and supervision can help ensure that security guards are performing their duties appropriately and addressing potential security risks. Good supervision regularly appraises performance and provides an opportunity to introduce additional training when required
  • Communication: Good communication skills are essential for security guards. They need to be able to communicate effectively with other guards, other security stakeholders, and the public to prevent and respond to incidents. They also need to provide concise and useful reports in various formats
  • Physical fitness and health: Security guards need to be in good physical shape to be able to respond quickly and effectively to incidents. Being in good health can also help reduce the risk of injuries while on the job.

Security guards and your crime prevention strategy

Having a comprehensive security plan that includes multiple layers of security measures is also crucial for maximising the effectiveness of security guards. This can include access control, surveillance systems, and security protocols for responding to emergencies. By having multiple layers of security measures, security guards are better equipped to prevent and respond to potential threats.

What is a crime prevention strategy?

A crime prevention strategy is a plan developed to protect individuals and businesses from potential threats. It involves identifying these potential threats and vulnerabilities, assessing risks, and developing and implementing measures to prevent, detect, and respond to security incidents.

This may include physical security measures such as access controls, alarms, and security guards, as well as the development of policies and procedures for responding to security incidents and training and awareness programs for security guards, employees and other stakeholders.

A security strategy is tailored to the specific needs and risks of the organisation or individual and aims to ensure that necessary measures are in place to protect assets and prevent or minimise the impact of security incidents.

The importance of a crime prevention strategy

While security guards may be effective in preventing and disrupting certain types of crime, they may not prevent other types. For example, a security guard may be effective in deterring theft or vandalism, but may not be able to prevent cybercrime or fraud.

By taking an objective look at security weaknesses and vulnerabilities, a crime prevention strategy will help prepare you for all eventualities.

4 key takeaways

  1. Security guards are a proven deterrent against crime and this can be backed up by important research and empirical evidence
  2. Security guards are much more effective when deployed as part of a well-constructed security strategy encompassing physical and technological security measures
  3. Focusing on equipping, training and ongoing supervision of security guards increases the deterrent effect
  4. Security guards combined with security cameras transform CCTV from a reactive to an efficient, proactive security measure

Conclusion – Do security guards deter crime?

Yes, they do! In conclusion, security guard services are valuable in preventing and responding to criminal activity. By incorporating security guards into your security plan, you can maximise the deterrent effect and ensure a quick and effective response to any security threat.

Don’t wait until it’s too late – contact us today to learn how we can help protect your business. Our security experts are standing by to answer your questions and book you in for a free, no-obligation security audit

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