Wed | Oct 4, 2023

Letter of the Day | Private security is relevant and critical

Published:Monday | June 19, 2023 | 12:05 AM


After the September 11 (9/11) terrorist attacks in the United States, private security became more dynamic on the global scene. The 9/11 events caused governments, corporations, businesses, institutions, and the Church to look at security as a proactive mechanism to mitigate risk. The increased demand for security services resulted in an exponential growth for the industry and provided job creation. Businesses and citizens need protection for their assets, whether they are tangible or intangible.

Critical infrastructures, government facilities, airports, seaports, and public- and private-sector service facilities are all protected by private security personnel. Many security personnel were former law-enforcement officers or were in the military; the industry has gained a lot from their years of experience and expertise. Security measures within the International Ship and Port Facility Code under the Safety of Life at Sea Convention is conducted by private security. Annex 17 of the International Civil Aviation Organization Convention that governs all matters relating to airport and aircraft security are conducted by private security. Screening of passengers at airports is very critical to passenger and aircraft security.

Assets are exposed to many risks, which is a constant concern and causes fear, resulting in private security to minimise that fear and to prevent an unwanted situation. Risk is inherent in any venture, including life. People naturally feel safer behind high walls, with mobile patrols and armed response units, because there is less risk of being harmed.

Security companies deploy security officers and in so doing, accept the risk to keep assets in a safe and secure manner. Private security aids law enforcement, it sometimes ‘replaces’ the police by providing a service that lies between those extremes. There are known instances where private security personnel have prevented a crime from being committed; tactical procedures are used at times, and sometimes their mere presence is a deterrent.

Innovations in technology have allowed the industry to be more far-reaching in its applications and thus be able to offer a wide menu of services in the field of electronic and digital security. Security officers should be trained properly and evaluated regularly to validate their competence.