The main responsibility of security guards is to observe, report and interdict, but what is often forgotten is that security officers are responsible for preventing crime from happening. An effective officer will be visible, because he is frequently patrolling the site he is responsible for. He will be vigilant of potential risk factors like suspicious individuals, suspicious behavior and people out of place. If a criminal observes a vigilant security officer that is constantly patrolling it is more than likely that he will move on and choose an easier target. Many security companies dress their security officers in black uniform to make sure that they are less visible at night. The opposite should be occurring. A guard is not a police officer whose main concern should be to catch criminals, but his main concern should be the safety and security of the site he is responsible for.
If a security guard is more visible he will not only deter potential perpetrators, but honest people will have easier access to him in order to warn him about suspicious activity and to seek his help. A security company should choose a uniform that is easily visible even in the dark and it should ensure that officers are not only sitting in one spot, but frequently patrolling. The detox system is one very important tool to make sure that guards are patrolling sensitive spots of the property, are active and visible. The detox system consists of two parts. A wand records information like time and location and magnetic strips that are installed at sensitive spots of the property. As the security officer swiped the magnetic strips with the wand, time and location are recorded. When a security companies field supervisor visits the site he will download the data and will be able to determine if the officer has been frequently patrolling the site.
A security company should also provide a lot of signage to clients, which should state the security company’s phone number and a warning to potential perpetrators that a security guard is patrolling the site. That will not only deter criminal behavior, but it will give witnesses and honest citizens the opportunity to warn the security company about suspicious people and behavior. A marked vehicle with amber lights should be provided to larger sites, because it increases the action radius of the officer and increases his visibility. Additionally the guard will be able to respond to emergencies and incidents much quicker.
Many security companies and clients hold the antiquated opinion that a security officer should act as invisible as possible and appear at the perfectly right time to catch criminals. Unfortunately security guards today are covering vast areas and it is more than likely that they will not be present when a crime occurs. Therefore it is most important to make security officers as visible as possible. Potential perpetrators will rather choose a different location without a guard present. Preventing a crime is better than actually catching a criminal in the act, because the liability and potential for harm of preventing a crime before it happens is much lower. Modern and effective security officers must be as visible as possible.