There’s no guarantee that the police will respond in time to stop any break-ins or acts of vandalism. Without the right security, you leave your business vulnerable to criminal activity. That’s why many businesses hire mobile patrol security to protect their people and property from crime.
When you opt for mobile patrol security, you’ll have peace of mind there’s always someone watching over your business and prepared to respond to security threats. Having an on-site security presence can be enough to deter intruders from targeting your property and business.
When hiring a private security company, you need to know how exactly security guards will protect your business, as well as the actual powers they have to confront criminals. After all, they’re not a police officer. In this blog, we’ll be exploring exactly what mobile security guards can do and how they can protect your business from crime.
The daily duties of a security guard will depend on their qualifications and specialisation. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of services and security solutions available to your business:
Mobile Security Guarding
Mobile security guards can patrol your property on-site either on foot or in a vehicle to keep a watch for criminal activity or intruders. This may also be paired with additional services such as CCTV monitoring, security checks on visitors and reception/front of house duties. If a security incident does occur, they will have to deal with it appropriately, which could involve liaising with the police.
Lone worker Escorts
Lone workers at your business can be vulnerable to crime and intimidation from criminals. Our lone worker escort ensures that your employees have protection and support while they work. They can either accompany employees as they go about their business or keep watch from afar. Either way, a lone worker escort helps lone employees feel safer in the workplace.
An alarm response service ensures that all alarm activations are investigated by trained professionals. When an alarm is triggered, the security provider will receive a warning and launch a response. Trained security officers will be sent to your site to carry out an investigation. If a crime is taking place, your security team will take the necessary steps to protect your business, including contacting the police and re-securing your property if needed.
When you opt for a key holding service, a copy of your property’s keys will be safely stored by your security provider. If you ever find yourself locked out or missing a key, your security provider will be able to grant you access. A key holding service can also be paired with a lock/unlock service, where your key holder will be responsible for locking and unlocking your property as and when you need it.
Vacant Property Inspections
Vacant properties aren’t only vulnerable to crime. They can also suffer from natural decay or damage. With a vacant property inspection, you can schedule a regular inspection of your properties. An inspection officer will access your property with a copy of your keys and inspect your building for damage. They can also carry out meter readings and simple maintenance.
Security guards do have the power to detain or ‘arrest’ people under certain conditions. Under 24A of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, any member of the public, including security guards, is allowed to make a ‘citizen’s arrest’ if:
Under this law, security guards are able to detain or perform a citizen’s arrest if they see a crime being carried out. Under the clause ‘preventing a person causing loss of or damage to property’, this could also include crimes like theft or vandalism.
What if a person resists arrest? Are security guards allowed to use force to detain people? Under section 3 of the Criminal Law Act 1967, security guards are allowed to use what’s called ‘reasonable force’ to prevent a crime.
The section states:
“A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime, or in effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders, suspected offenders or of persons unlawfully at large.”
This states that force can be used by a security guard but that it must be proportionate to the threat of the situation. Using any excessive force beyond that could be deemed illegal. Again, this legislation applies to every citizen, not just security guards. This law enables them to use ‘reasonable’ force to protect themselves, your property and other people when serving in a professional capacity.
No, they cannot. Unlike the police force, who are granted extra powers in their line of work, security guards in the UK are not legally allowed to carry any sort of weapon, even for self-defence.
Security guards are allowed to carry handcuffs but can only use them within the remit of ‘reasonable’ force e.g., if a person becomes a danger to others. It’s recommended that security guards receive training in this area to avoid crossing the line and acting illegally.
While security guards aren’t allowed to use weapons, they are allowed to team up with security dogs, which brings added benefits, including personal protection.
Again, there are strict rules about how the dogs are controlled and used, which are regulated under the Guard Dogs Act 1975. Security dogs can only be used alongside trained handlers and must be under control and on the lead the whole time. You also need to display a notice containing a warning that a guard dog is present.
Security guards can only search people and their property with the persons consent. They are not permitted to carry out a forced search, even if someone is suspected of having committed a crime.
If they suspect someone of shoplifting, for example, they are not authorised to perform a forced search without the suspect’s consent. In this case, they would have to detain the suspect (which they are permitted to do under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 ( and call the police (who are allowed to conduct a forced search).
There are some instances in which security guards are permitted to carry out searches without consent:
They can search people’s property if it’s left unattended in suspicious circumstances e.g., if a bag is left unattended in a public place.
They can search someone’s possessions if they are unconscious and need to find out who they are in order to help them.
Many businesses will employ security guards to search people’s bags before they can enter a certain space e.g., clubs, museums, or sports stadiums. These searches can be conducted to prevent drug use, spiking or terrorism and usually constitutes a voluntary search. If individuals refuse to comply, security officers are well within their rights to refuse entry.
If security guards aren’t granted extra powers over regular citizens, then why do they need an SIA licence? By law, security guards need an SIA licence to carry out ‘licensable activities.’
The SIA licence is issued by the Security Industry Authority, the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry. There are various licenses available, from security guarding, door supervision, close protection, cash and valuables in transit to public space surveillance using CCTV, key holding and vehicle immobilising.
This ultimately ensures that security guards have the training they need to protect themselves, your business, and others. It also covers what they can and cannot do so they don’t cross the line and act illegally.
If so, Churchill Support Services should be at the top of your list. With our SIA licensed guards and range of mobile security services, we will help secure your business against crime and offer peace of mind that your business has the protection it needs.
SIA Licensed Officers
At Churchill Support Services, we ensure that all our security guards and officers hold the right SIA licence for their role, so you can trust us to deploy highly trained security guards and exceptional customer service.
We can offer our comprehensive range of security services to businesses and organisations across the whole of the UK, so you can benefit from a high-quality Churchill solution no matter where you’re based.
Churchill Support Services is SIA and ACS pacesetters approved, as well as ranked in the top 1% of all SIA security providers, so you know your business is supported by a trusted and reputable provider.
We recognise that every business will have unique security requirements and personal security challenges. That’s why we always offer a tailored security plan to safeguard your business against criminal activity.
Churchill Support Services is a leading cross-industry security provider, supplying reliable and effective security services to businesses and organisations across the UK. To find out more about how Churchill Support Services can support your business and its operations, get in touch with us today.