Legal Limitations Every Private Security Guard Needs To Be Aware of

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Legal Limitations Every Private Security Guard Needs To Be Aware of

A private security guard performs a lot of activities similar to that of a police officer. You might already be aware of that, aren’t you?

Well, often that’s where the trouble begins. People begin to believe a private security guard has the same rights and obligations as that of a police officer when that’s not the truth.

He may be in uniform but is not a public servant. He operates as a private citizen with legal limitations to arrest, to investigate, to defend himself and others, and also to carry firearms.

So, the real question is: What is it that they can and can’t do?

Power To Make A Citizen Arrest

Did you know that a private security guard has no more legal power than any member of the general public? Despite that, he is permitted to make a felony arrest that has actually been committed in order to protect the safety of the public.But, what if it’s not a felony?

Well, then that crime must be committed or attempted in the presence of the private patrol guard. The police should immediately be notified because merely touching an individual can be classified as an arrest.

If the person being arrested has a weapon, the

private security guard has the power to take it away. Just don’t forget to write a detailed report in real-time with the help of Guardso’s award-winning guard tour app that also allows attaching photos & videos seamlessly.

Power To Use Reasonable Force

Every private security guard out there is permitted to use reasonable force. And why should not they be allowed while working in situations that might demand it? FBI 2017 crime data stated that 23 percent were crimes against persons, and 16 percent were crimes against society.

However, the ideal condition is to always call the police, have them confront the person and attempt to make an arrest. But, is that always possible? Of course not.

A private security guard may have to take things into his own hands until the police arrive. He needs to, first of all, consider a few factors before using force, such as:

  •  The severity of the crime
  •  Risk of harm to everyone

Then try to effectively communicate with the person verbally and record it using watch mode of Guardso guard tour system as proof. If that doesn’t work out well, he should try to explore other options to bring the situation under control before using force.

Click here to know the security tips your private security guards should know!

Power To Enforce Rules On-Site

A private security guard is the one responsible for keeping private property/person safe. Whereas, a police officer is entitled to protect the entire community by enforcing laws and arresting the suspecting offender.

What you might not know is that some jurisdictions can commission or deputize private security guards by delegating them additional limited powers. That allows them to enforce rules & regulations made by the owner as long as they are not illegal.

For instance, a private security guard patrolling in a shopping mall can enforce rules such as no loitering. If this rule is broken, the guard can ask the person to leave the premises.

  • If the person refuses, using watch mode of Guardso guard tour system, the guard can make a video as a proof to attach it to the report, and then go on to use reasonable force to remove him or her from the area.
  • If the person still resists and become violent in the process, the private security guard needs to immediately call the dispatcher using Guardso guard tour app for help until the police arrive.

What They Can’t Do?

  1. They can’t ask a person to go with them unless he or she is arrested.
  2. They cannot search a person’s property unless a sign stating that it is a condition of entry.
  3. They can also not ban a person if it breaks anti-discrimination laws or stops a person on being public land.

Every private security guard needs to be well aware of their powers and their legal limitations in order to never overstep their authority.

Are your guards well aware?

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Comments (2)

  • Avatar
    Elijah William Reply

    Thanks, Cameron for Sharing this article. I’m looking forward to reading more useful contents like this one.

    January 30, 2019 at 11:25 am
  • Avatar
    Jesse Tristan Reply

    Very informative article. And yes we assure our guards are very well aware of their legal limitations. Thanks for sharing.

    February 19, 2019 at 11:07 am

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