If you're in retail, you stand to lose a great deal of profit to theft. In most retail stores, theft accounts for approximately 1.5 percent of revenue. In an effort to curb theft, many retailers install cameras and theft detection systems. Some even hire armed security for their store. If you're thinking about hiring security, you should know that there is evidence that armed security deters theft effectively. What's more, armed security can address other problems that might arise in your store, such as fights and mischief caused by rowdy customers. If you're thinking about hiring armed security, following are three things you should know before you make the call.
The Difference between Police and Security
There are some marked differences between police officers and private security officers. While police officers track, detect and address all types of criminal activity, private security officers play a protective role. Their primary concern is protecting your property, your inventory and your customers. Furthermore, private security officers have a very narrow focus: your store. Police officers, while on duty, have the obligation to protect everyone. However, some stores do hire off-duty police officers to act in a private security capacity, meaning that they also have a narrow focus.
The Roles of A Private Security Officer
A private security officer's primary role is theft prevention. In most cases, the simple presence of a security officer is enough to deter theft. If a theft does occur, the officer's role is to observe and report the offense. Theft prevention officers can detain someone who they believe has stolen something, but they have to know certain key things before doing so, such as what the item is and where it's concealed. They also have to keep an eye on the person from the time they suspect that they've stolen an item until apprehension.
Security Officers Have A Narrow Apprehension Window
Security guards are not allowed to detain someone until they are past the cash registers and exiting the store. They are also not allowed to pursue anyone off of the property. This makes the window during which a private security officer can detain someone very narrow. For this reason, they often have to call in police to help with apprehension, especially if the suspect gets away.
If you're thinking about hiring private security, make sure you research all of your local commercial security companies. Learn all you can about their training, policies and employees before making a decision to hire one.