Published: 12 Sep 2020 in


Our security guards are highly trained in providing excellent security, and this means operating within the confines of the law. In this blog, we wanted to highlight exactly what security officers working in the UK are able to do, and some of the things that only police officers can carry out.

Can security guards arrest individuals?

Contrary to popular believe, security personnel, in fact, arrest someone, and this is called a 'Citizen's Arrest'. There are some strict terms and conditions attached to it though, detailed below:

  • You witness a person commit an indictable offence
  • Have reasonable grounds to suspect the person is committing an indictable offence
  • To prevent a person from causing loss or damage to property
  • To prevent a person from suffering physical injury
  • It is not practical for a police constable to make the arrest
  • To prevent a person from running away before the police constable arrives to assume responsibility for them

You can imagine there are plenty of scenarios that a security officer could find themselves in to authorise any of the above conditions in making a citizens' arrest. Namely, security guards who suspect or catch someone shoplifting, to detain someone being violent towards others and most predominantly, to detain someone until the local police force arrive -- which is the last bullet point on the list above. This is particularly important is someone is attempting to break in and enter, burgle or vandalise and they need to be kept on scene until police arrive.

In order to ensure justice is carried out, it's hugely important for a security officer to detain criminals, so this is a huge part of their role should a situation arise.

This is one of the main reasons our security officers are fitted with body cameras as standard. Not only do body cameras protect our security guards by acting as a great deterrent to crime, and therefore essentially discouraging anyone from being violent, but they can even be used in the court of law to show film of someone committing an offence. For our undercover security guards, this might be recording someone shoplifting, only for our security team to step in and detain that individual until the police arrive, for example.

More limits of our security officers can be found in the second part of this blog.

For more information on how we can work with you to provide a quality security service at your business during these unusual times, please don't hesitate to get in touch a member of our team.

Alternatively, if you're looking to further your career within the security industry, please check the careers section on our website or email us an up to date copy of your C.V. We never subcontract our staff, we invest in their training and we work hard to support our staff. We look forward to meeting you.

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