With recent rioting and reports of further Police cuts, its no wonder residents are worried and turning to security companies to monitor their streets and homes with mobile patrols.
A number of Essex based security companies are now offering residential patrols with powers to deal with low-level crime. Cost can start from as little as £1 per week per resident. Security companies have security guards in highly visible vehicles driving around local area's checking on properties for any signs of trouble. Residents on holiday have added piece of mind knowing they can ask the security company to check on their property more often during their time away from their home.
Essex Police are now working with some security companies awarding them accreditation, giving the security company powers to tackle anti-social behaviour, issue fixed penalty notices and confiscate alcohol. Under the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS), people can apply for accreditation to exercise limited legal powers.
Chairman Tony Payner said: "We think policing powers should stay firmly with the Police."
"If people can afford to pay £5 a week £250 a year whatever it is, then why can't they afford to pay that in additional precept to the Police authority for more Police officers to do it?" (source: BBC)
With more cut backs planned by the government we are likely to see less Police on our streets.
As we saw with the recent riots, due to lack of Police numbers compared to rioters, residents started to take action to protect their homes and businesses, with the unfortunate result of four deaths. This isn't just isolated to the riots. Parents in an estate in Laindon Essex, nicknamed Alcatraz, are so fed up with drug dealers and anti social behaviour, they decided to take matters into their own hands and now patrol their estate themselves which has sorted out anti-social behaviour from young adults and disbursed the drug dealing from their streets.
Although some Police do not like the idea of handing over some authority to security firms others felt they should embrace the idea. Security firms would work along side the Police to deter crime and improve community spirit whilst providing additional information and intelligence to the Police.
American's have been embracing security firms for many years, and have gated communities where there is a security check point on entry, they also have security patrols within colleges and universities responding to any minor problems, freeing up the Police to deal with more serious crimes. What America tends to do is have Police and Security officers visible to the public deterring criminals, instead of hidden in a room watching you on CCTV.
Many businesses were affected by the riots, now is the time to employ professionals to guard your property and offer secure alarm response to alarm activations, keeping yourself and your staff safe from harm.
However, before considering employing a private security company you need to take into consideration: Private policing has many pitfalls & dangers surrounding the issuing of tickets & detaining people.
Should we live in a country where we pay twice for policing? Community policing should be increased, not decreased as the government wants with all the cuts that are happening. If society is so willing to pay for private security, wouldn't they be willing to pay more tax to see more Police on our streets keeping us safe?
How will the private security company enforce payment, vet its staff or offer accountability to the residents? How can information be shared when the indices of the Police will not be available to the private guard. What about data protection issues? How will the Police manage the private intervention?
If you have any thoughts on these important issues please leave a comment below.
If you are interested in security for your property please contact us on 01277 725140.
The VIP Security Team