How An Unqualified Security Guard Can Damage Your Business

Business / Event security / Protection

13 December 2018

Prevention is always better than a cure. Whether it’s your health or your home, protecting the things that are vital for your well-being and peace of mind before anything goes awry is well worth investing in. Your business should be no different, in fact, it’s even more important to ensure that your livelihood, and the livelihood of your employees, is protected from robbery, vandalism or arson.

CCTV and alarm systems are a great starting point but, unfortunately, these measures are often only useful after a crime has been committed in the apprehension of a thief or vandal. When you’re business assets are at risk, this may not be enough and a more visual deterrent is needed. This is where security personnel can help to protect what’s most important to you before anything happens.

However, by hiring a security guard firm that is unqualified and unlicensed, you might be exposing yourself to more damage than any of the threats that made you hire them in the first place pose. Here we detail exactly why it’s so important that any security you hire have the right credentials, as well as the risks that come with employing security guards who aren’t up to scratch.


How Security Companies Can Help To Safeguard Your Business

Before we get into those risks, it’s worth talking about how a good, accredited security service can give you peace of mind. The presence of a guard, or team of guards, acts as a visual and physical deterrent to any would-be thieves, vandals or arsonists. As opposed to other forms of non-physical security, a security guard can investigate and apprehend a criminal before a crime has been committed. If a large-scale robbery occurs at your business and thousands of pounds worth of assets are taken, it can take months for a police investigation to be concluded and for you to get any of that capital back. If you’re a small business, the threat of that loss of cash and assets can be existential. Security guards have the right to use reasonable force to halt and detain a criminal during a crime whilst the police are called. This can be the difference that averts disaster.

One of the most common forms of security is the presence of a static door guard. This is a proven method to protect your business from crime. If you own a bar, venue, or run events, then this static presence will help to make sure there is no reputation-damaging trouble and that no one makes off with any valuables. As well as being a there to safeguard your guests and your business from crime, well-trained and licensed security guards can uphold evacuation procedures and ensure that health and safety rules are being met.

If you’re in the retail business, then the threat of shoplifters can be very real. If a more sophisticated burglary of your property occurs, then the implications on your profits can be profound. A security firm can cauterize any potential risks with a number of solutions and services. Most obvious is a physical presence in a shop or outside it, but an accredited and licensed team will also be able to help assess and improve pre-existing systems to give you the knowledge that will help you be proactive about your security.

Whatever the industry, a qualified security guard or team of guards will be able to provide a service to protect your goods, services, data or staff. However, this can all fall foul if the company that you employ are not licensed.


It’s Imperative To Hire Professional Security

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is the UK body responsible for regulating and authorising the security industry. They report to the Home Secretary and work under the terms and conditions of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. The remit of this independent body is to enforce and control the licensing of security personnel, which covers manned guarding, key holding and vehicle immobilising. The aim and purpose of the SIA is to make sure that anyone working in the security industry is qualified to do their job correctly and that there is no concern about their personality that would make them unsuitable to work in the industry.

When security guard hiring, it’s important to keep an eye out for this accreditation to ensure that the people you hire are fit and licensed to carry out security work. Under the Private Security Industry Act, it’s illegal for any security personnel to work without a valid license. Doing so can incur large fines as much as £5,000 and prison sentences for the security guards involved as well as their employers. However, there are some circumstances in which you, as the owner a premises, may be liable if the security is unlicensed and there is criminality on their part.

In a 2003 case (Mattis v Pollock), a doorman was employed at a nightclub and became involved in a violent incident with a customer at the venue. After the incident, the bouncer left to get a weapon from his home and returned to stab the customer outside of the club. In this case, the proprietor knew that the door man was unlicensed and unfit to work – it’s claimed that he even condoned the violence – and in this circumstance, the defendant was vicariously liable for the acts of the bouncer.

Now, this case clearly involved a substantial amount of wrong-doing from the proprietor – which is extreme and not representative of most business owners – however, it illustrates a situation in which you may become responsible for the actions of a door man. The fact of the matter is that security personnel that have not been vetted can pose a risk to the public. They have not been approved and licensed by the SIA, which involves ensuring they’re ‘fit and proper’ to work. If you’re aware that a security firm, or security guard, who you’ve hired to protect your business is not qualified or licensed then you may be vicariously liable for any wrongdoing on their behalf, depending on the specifics of the situation. From the prosecution’s point of view, they may look to establish who is ultimately responsible and the relationship between business-owners and security firms or individual security guards may be investigated.

This sort of situation can have financial repercussions. If you’re found to be liable for the wrongdoing of an unlicensed security guard, you may be lumbered with a fine along with the security guard and his or her employer. More lasting, perhaps, is the reputational damage this may cause to you and your business. A good reputation is something that’s built over many years and it can be lost in the blink of an eye. Once that’s gone, it can be incredibly hard to get back. More generally, hiring an unqualified security guard can put the public at risk and, if you’re a club owner, having customers put at risk can have a lasting effect on the footfall and long-term profitability because of reputational damage.


The Vast Majority of Security Service Personnel Are Great To Work With

Although in the above case the security guard involved was clearly unfit to work in the industry, the vast majority of security service personnel are strict professionals with only their clients in mind. To ensure that this is the case when looking for a security company near you, look out for what accreditations they have. At the very least, they need to be SIA licensed, but it’s worth digging through their website to see what other qualifications or training they have. The more the merrier!


Who We Are

Leisure Security provide complete security solutions for businesses across North West England. Operating in Greater Manchester, Nottingham and Stoke, we have a team of over 100 highly trained, SIA-Licensed security personnel who are available to protect your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We have a history of working with some of the biggest names in hospitality, entertainment, accomodation and retail. Whether you are looking for a static guard or a mobile parol, we can offer a flexible solution for your specific need to give you peace of mind.

We put our clients at the heart of our service, so endeavour to provide a bespoke service. We provide additional training to all of our officers so that they can be on hand for everything from investigation to customer service in uniform or plain clothes.

Protect your business today and contact us today to find out more about our expert services. You can find us at Leisure Guard Security (UK) Ltd, Ground Floor Office, 1 Mayor, Street, Bolton, Lancashire, BL3 5DU or call us on 0800 035 6607.

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