Although there are many advantages of security personnel including safety of yourself, your family and you belongings, there are certain limitations that are imposed on them. And even though security guards put their lives on the line, they often do not have absolute authority.
We see that overtime more and more people have turned to private security for personal as well as business purposes. But there is only so much that security personnel can do. For example, hiring private security personnel does not give them the authority to impose law on the citizens. However, in case of shoplifting or such crimes, a security guard has the authority to detain the shoplifter or person who has committed the crime.
- Although security officers and guards have the right to arrest an individual in case of a crime, it is advised that one should call the police as soon as possible. Security guards can make arrests in case when they witness a person committing a crime, they can’t arrest someone solely based on suspicion. This is where the limitation comes in because if a security guard arrests someone only on suspicion, they can be sued, which ultimately means that you can be sued as well.
- Also a security guard can hold a person in custody for only a reasonable amount of time. They do not have the authority to continue investigation on their own. A security guard who makes an arrest should contact the police immediately. If there is any delay in this, it could have repercussions for the security guard.
- Security guards are often hired to protect the property of the people who hire him/her. Other than that their jurisdiction might not allow them to pursue perpetrators who commit or are involved in the crime of another property. In this case they neither have the authority, nor the moral obligation to protect someone else’s property.
- Security guards are allowed to carry firearms after training and getting the relevant certification. But despite this they have certain limitations when it comes to using a firearm. In case a security guard uses a firearm, they have to prepare a report and send it to the relevant authorities about the reasons for the use of firearm.
Therefore, it is important that a security guard is aware about their jurisdiction so that they know when to get the police and other authorities involved.
Often security personnel do not have the required training that a police officer has. In addition to this, they also do not have the authority to impose law and order. Keeping this in mind, we should hire security personnel. These points will help you to be aware of what you can ask your security personnel to do and what not to do from a moral and legal perspective.