The security services industry is global. While many companies just operate locally, and some big security providers cover many different countries one thing is sure, security guards can be found in any country in the world. Be it Security Guard Services for Dallas or Mall Security in London, some kind of security guards are seen in any city. While these guards can be found everywhere there are some big differences in the way the security services work and what kind of uniforms they wear. These differences depend strongly on the legal environment and the security situation at hand.
The gun question
Europe and the United States have quite different gun laws. This means one will find way more guns in the hands of security guards in the USA than in Europe. Most European security guards are not armed. Only certain guards that drive Money transports and perform other dangerous tasks are allowed to use guns. The situation in the US is of course wildly different. Here everyone who is not a felon can buy and carry a firearm and this means that most security guards can carry a gun. This is also necessary as the wide proliferation of guns means criminals have a relatively easy access to firearms.
While only a superficial part of the security work, it’s still interesting to look at the uniforms used for security services. Most European security services use a rather muted look that doesn’t necessarily identify the security guard on first sight. Many guards even work in civilian clothes which makes it easier to catch thieves in the act. More flashy uniforms are usually used in cases where the main goal is to deter and not to catch thieves, shop lifters or other criminals.
In Europe a great deal of effort is made to not look like police and to be easily distinguishable from emergency services. This is not the case in the US. Here the security guards look like police men or soldiers in some cases. It can be quite confusing for foreigners if they see a fully equipped security guard with something resembling a sheriff star and they start to think they are dealing with a police officer. This has its advantages if dealing with criminals as well as naturally the police is more feared than a security guard.
Security guards in Europe and the US have a widely varying authority. In some shops in the US, it’s not even allowed to stop shoplifters by force as the security guard might be charged with assault by the district attorney or rather by one of his assistants. In Europe the security guards usually don’t react too violent but at the same time the state isn’t too eager to pursue security guards for actions taken during their work. Roughing up a shop lifter or breaking a finger while checking for train tickets doesn’t necessarily lead to persecution of the security service employees. Generally, security guards in Europe have the right to uphold the house rules and to expel unruly guests from the premises. They can also perform citizen arrests. The same rights apply to the US security guards and mostly the rights of guards can be compared to the rights of self-defense any citizen has.
Special authorities can be granted to security guards if they are so given by a state authority for a certain task. Sometimes security guards are used to guard public buildings when the police resources are not sufficient and it easier to pay a private company.
A very different job
Security services in the United States and Europe have quite different daily realities. Some parts of the US resemble a third world country while most of Europe is still quite civilized. These differences are slowly disappearing but generally security guard work is a bit more challenging in the States. The reasons here can be mostly found in the demographic make-up of the country and if the demographic make-up of Europe and the US would be more similar the work of the security guards in these countries would probably look more similar. As this doesn’t seem to be the case for the near future the tasks and realities of security work in the States and in Europe still vary quite significantly.
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