Private Security & Law Enforcement: Roles & Cooperation

private security

Law enforcement agencies should be encouraged to engage with the private security sector and to have their roles and powers explained.

private security

It often makes more sense for law enforcement agencies to draw on the expertise and resources of private security firms. People hired for security tend to have a better understanding of what the private sector can do and what goals it is trying to achieve. In other words, the private security industry can provide a private force that is dispassionate about problems and is therefore an authority with more reasonable and rational perspectives.

Law enforcement agencies should be encouraged to engage with the private security sector and to have their roles and powers explained. Well trained private security operators, in this delicate historical moment where the demand for security is taking an increasing curve, should also be involved more in relevant national and governmental anti-terrorism projects, such as the protection of sensitive targets, in order to leave more opportunities to the police forces to operate in other more complex aspects of national security, reallocating resources.

Several states are already experimenting different solutions of collaboration between police forces and the private security sector with a gradual increase in the functions of the latter operators. However, considering the multiple and basic differences of functions between the parties, it is important to define the limits and also to provide adequate training for the police functions delegated to private operators.

It must never be forgotten that a police operator is generally a fully trained person, not only as regards the ability to guarantee passive and active security, but also in the investigative field. Demarcating a line on what can be delegated and what cannot is a fundamental point.

Most private security firms would welcome higher standards of testing and training, but the market, business and government, do not want to pay for it. In addition to the natural distrust that governmental agencies often have for the private sector, we must consider how the transfer of some powers to private bodies is accepted by the society.

On the other hand, companies do not want to invest easily as they tend to pursue maximum profit at any cost. In short, even on this point it is necessary to find a meeting point between the parties, but it is not an easy undertaking, as often there is no single mediating body for the myriad of private companies present on the international field. A poorly regulated private security industry can pose unique governance problems and impede peace-building and development.

One thing is certain, in the next few years we will see the influence of private companies grow in the sphere of national security of almost every nation, as it has now become almost impossible to be able to effectively meet the growing need for security with only state units present. in the field, often in shortage of personnel or engaged in multiple investigative functions which can consequently decrease the effective presence on the field with patrols, guards.

The private security sector will certainly undergo a strong surge, it is only hoped that the professionalism and training curve of the units will be able to grow in parallel and at the same pace.

Adriano Margarone

for Insider Release

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