Enlist private guards to beef up national security
THE EDITOR, Sir:
After the terrorist acts of 9/11, public and private security became more dynamic on the global scene. The private security industry has grown, and in most jurisdictions, it outnumbers the local police, Jamaica being no exception.
Surely, terrorism is not the only reason for exponential growth in the private security industry. The demand is a direct correlation of businesses and citizens needing protection that local law enforcement simply cannot provide.
Most of our critical infrastructure and services are protected by private security personnel because public law enforcement is busy trying to curtail crime. Security services at our bauxite plants, airports and seaports; airport and aircraft security, pre-board screening, seaport and shipside security, ensuring compliance of International Civil Aviation Organisation and International Maritime Organisation standards and recommended practices are conducted by private security.
Crime is a constant concern and brings about rising fear, resulting in private security to treat the fear. Risk is inherent in any venture, including life. Why do people feel safer behind high walls, mobile patrols, armed response units and gated communities?
Private security supplements policing, sometimes replacing policing by providing a service that lies between those extremes. A mobile patrol contracted to protect a community, in the process of conducting duty, may engage in proactive and tactical enforcement techniques in order to deter a robbery or other serious offence, which sometimes leads to apprehension.