Do Security Guards Have Any Authority? Are We Supposed To Follow Them?
In recent days we have seen exponential growth in the sector of Private Security Services and a lot of places we visit have their own guards who make us follow some rules that might not be necessary to follow according to the constitution, but nonetheless, we have to follow them.
Let’s evaluate what is the reason that we are compelled to follow these rules. And what authority these Private Policemen have?
The first thing we should know that:
Private Security Guards are not the same as Government elected policemen.
As such any private security guard has none authority by himself in public. They are like any other common citizen of the nation and have the same rights as any other citizen while not on the job.
But when they are hired for any job, for instance, to regulate and check incoming guests at any event, you will have to obey them. So we see that actually, they are the enforcers of the laws made by their employer in the first place.
But the thing here to understand is that while they are enforcing the laws made by their employer in the first place, they are still not above the law and order regulated by the constitution.
They do their job while following the rules and regulations of the nation. They can’t enforce any kind of rules that are illegal.
Authority of Private Security Guards
Now we try to understand what kind of authority these Private Security Guards have. At any private place like residence, hotel, hospital, school etcetera and at any private event the private security guards are hired to enforce the laws or rules set by the owner or the organizer.
So if the rules at anyone of such place say no shoes allowed, the hired security will have the right to and will enforce it, and if you want to enter the premises you will have to take off your shoes.
Obviously, they can’t act on their own whim and just make-up rules for the place. It is the owner who decides what rules people are supposed to follow when entering the place.
Obviously, not anyone can hire a Security Guard to enforce rules at the place which the employer doesn’t own or is public.
What Security Guards can do?
As these Private Security Guards are hired to protect the place and its valuables, if they encounter anyone robbing or damaging the place and its valuables, they cannot arrest them like the government-sanctioned policemen.
Yet they can detain them until the police arrive and arrest the perpetrators or they can take them to the nearest police station. This is equivalent to a citizen’s arrest.
In cases of disturbances and loitering the security guard hired will ask the person responsible for disturbance to leave the premises and might even use force to enforce the laws. It is not very common but very much possible. They might also detain the person and hand them over to authorities.
Security Guards can also carry a weapon on them with proper permission and License from government and can use it in case of self-defense or in case of defending their employer.
But their weapons should be registered and they need to prove innocence in court in case of any casualties by their weapon. And nobody else except the person to which the weapon is registered to can wield it.
In case of any casualties, while defending their employer or themselves by use of excessive force, they have to prove innocence in front of the court. It is done in order to be sure that it was self-defense and not a case of manslaughter. If proven innocent the Security Guard and the employer are acquitted.
These are the ways a Security Guard for hire works. No more than a regular citizen of a nation, yet priceless at enforcing laws and regulations and keeping everything in order.
Be it hospitals or schools or malls or any other place, these Private Guards keep watch over people and make sure that there is peace. They play an important role in preventing robberies, any misdemeanor, kidnappings, assassinations, vandalism and any other kind of anarchy while regulating the laws set by their employer.