For many businesses trying to determine the best way to ensure full security, visible, trained security guards offer one of the best ways to keep premises safe. Sadly, many companies assume that alarms will be a more cost-effective option than investing in security teams who are fully trained and stationed at the premises.
Unlike alarms, which are activated once a crime is already in place, visible security acts as a deterrent, thereby reducing the risk of a crime taking place at all. Businesses, stores, malls, factories and other premises that are obviously poorly protective often end up becoming easy targets. Many gangs will spend a great deal of time in planning and reconnaissance before implementing a break-in or burglary and random attempts are not as common as you may think. An alarm will inform private security or police or passers-by that a robbery is in progress – by then it can be too late however.
Why Are On-Site Trained Security Guards so Effective?
What is it that makes security guard training such an effective investment in the protection of premises, and how does visible guarding from well-trained security teams help in specific instances? Some of the most common scenarios where a visible guard may prove to make a notable reduction in potential crime include the following:
- Retail premises. Common targets for robbery, shoplifting, theft, muggings, vandalism and even carjacking, retail premises such as shopping centres, strip malls, plazas and stores require constant surveillance – even when they are located in “posher” areas. Patrolling guards or on-site security personnel show potential criminals that someone is taking notice, acting as a deterrent. Guards that are trained and experienced will be even more effective in preventing crimes from occurring in these types of premises.
- Office buildings. An alarm may alert to any break-ins at the office, but on-site security will stop would-be criminals from entering in the first place. Guards stationed in office blocks and corporate buildings often have a stringent procedure for every visitor that passes through the door, with many buildings having measures such as sign-in sheets, gated front foyers, metal detectors and access control. Vehicles in the parking area are also protected through sign-in sheets done at parking area entry points, further adding to the security of the building. These measures make it far harder for anyone to sneak past, providing better peace of mind for those working within the premises, as well as those who are visiting offices within the premises.
- Warehouses and industrial buildings. Often situated in quiet, industrial zones that are far from residential areas, warehouses and similar buildings can be a target without any patrolling or stationed guards on site. Patrols done at random, by trained officers who have experience in observation and response help to prevent theft and vandalism, while also protecting those who work within these buildings. Access control adds additional security, much like the case of office buildings mentioned above. Alarms on the other hand, are often not pro-active, and as warehouses are often out of CBD areas, response time can be too slow to prevent crimes from occurring when alarms are relied on without any other security measures.
- Event venues. Events often require security presence – especially those that are either large, have important dignitaries attending or are held at public venues that can be accessed by anyone. Weddings, concerts, open-air festivals, conferences, sporting events, launches, fashion shows and even larger private events all benefit from visible security guards. This ensures that attendees are put at ease, while also ensuring that the event goes off without a hitch. The last thing anyone needs at a high profile event is a security threat after all!
- Apartment buildings. Alarm systems, locks and access control can only do so much in a residential apartment block. Without fully trained, on-site security staff, it is easy for criminals to enter buildings. In fact, criminals are often let in by clueless residents who buzz them in without being aware of any threat. Criminals may also use disguises to enter, posing as a courier to gain access. Many modern apartment buildings have on-site security employees, who use the same type of sign-in system that businesses use to ensure the safety of residents.
As you can see, alarms and passive systems still have their place as part of your overall safety system. But while alarms help to send alerts to crimes in progress, few measures can compete with visible presence backed by security guard training when it comes to preventing crimes from occurring in the first place.