Security guards are an essential and crucial part of modern society. They provide protection, security for both individuals and physical assets, yet unlike other security services such as the police or armed forces, the powers granted to a security guards are limited.

The fact that one of the main aims of a security service provider and its guards is to maintain a degree of law and order within our community. It’s understandable how when faces a volatile situation, instincts can recklessly kick in and compliance can easily be damaged. Keeping this in mind, it’s important for security guards to understand the complexities of law, so when they are faced with such a situation, they know just what they should – and more importantly what they shouldn’t do.

A person must only carry out self-defensive actions if he/she has reason to believe that it is entirely necessary. This could be:

  • To defend themselves or others against threat
  • Safeguarding the property, establishment and the public from aggressive, violent and often, criminal behaviour.
  • To protect property from damage, destruction or interference
  • To prevent criminal trespassing onto any premises or secure land.
  • Investigating and apprehending a person suspected of committing an offence

For some personnel self defence skill is a personal necessity. Many industries dealing directly with the public on daily basis,  it’s also a necessary component to the long-term sustainability of business operations. It makes the employees feel more valued, secured, capable and confident. Violence, regardless if it happens within the workplace our outside, can result in significant physical and or psychological damage to you or your employees. It decreases their productivity because they are scared or stressed to perform well at work. Self-defence training can be the key in such cases.

While the majority of situations would simply involve a security guard observing and reporting suspicious activities to the police, they may equally be faced with a situation where they need to defend themselves, remove someone from an area by force, or use force to protect an someone. But the question is…how far can these defence actions go, while still remaining within the boundaries of the law & order?

The answer can be a little vague, but in aspect any force used should be both reasonable and least required for the situation. As an example a shoplifter may simply respond to the verbal queries of a security guard and should require no more than gentle restraint in order to make a detention. Conversely if you are under attack from a criminal intent that may cause you harm then you should use the minimum amount of force necessary in order to protect yourself. Perhaps more importantly, to protect you in a court of law…you should be in no doubt that any force used was in absolute necessity and that this belief is based upon reasonable grounds. Human nature and instincts can sometimes interfere with judgements and acting in compliance with professional training; often as a result of fear or panic.

At Westech we’ve been in the security business for over twenty three years and pride ourselves on passing on our knowledge and expertise through regular training to our growing team. Part of this training includes the laws surrounding self-defence and when you can and can’t exercise that right.