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SIA Security workers: friends or enemies? https://quickclicksecurity.com/news/SIA+Security+workers++friends+or+enemies?/NzZfbmV3cw https://quickclicksecurity.com/news-images/1200/1592485186-43797.jpg The past few weeks across the world have seen a series of peaceful demonstrations take place in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Last weekend however, the UK saw a clash take place with far-right counter-protesters in which a famous
Patrick Hutchinson carrying protester

SIA Security workers: friends or enemies?

June 17, 2020

The past few weeks across the world have seen a series of peaceful demonstrations take place in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Last weekend however, the UK saw a clash take place with far-right counter-protesters in which a famous image of Patrick Hutchinson, a BLM protester carrying a far-right supporter to safety was captured and trended across social media and news platforms. Hutchinson alongside his friends helped the man avoid a violent confrontation with other protestors.

Media outlets have praised how Hutchinson and his friends coordinated the rescue in an appropriate, safe manner which prevented further physical danger to both parties. Pierre Noah who is a security worker and friend of Hutchinson had helped to form a barrier to carry the man. In some respects, this incident has shone a light on what many security workers do daily; prevent risk and ensuring the safety of the public. The past few weeks, a lot of the protests have been aimed at police brutality and the unfair treatment received on arrests, imprisonment, interrogation and police checks. However, security workers have fallen into the category of repressive state figures who are perhaps replicating similar protocols to the police force. There is a key difference between the role of a security worker and the police force which was further emphasised from our article last year which looked at how the police saw private security workers.

Behind the security worker’s SIA badge and uniform

A key issue for security workers is that once the uniform comes on at a bar, supermarket or any public establishment, a barrier comes to light. People forget that security workers are members of the public, it is almost an involuntary reflex to see someone with a badge or uniform and feel some chivalry effect. But with security roles, they are people too. Parents, children, friends and partners; their only job is to prevent and implement safety measures. Security workers do not hold law enforcement powers like the police who are able to arrest you on the spot or even restrain members of the public. People tend to confuse the 2 roles and assume that SIA security workers are categorised the same as police. Hence a lot of hostility and tension is felt and people feel less trust in security workers, this is partly the reason a lot of confrontations and disputes take place in various settings.

Coordination with members of the public

Security workers depend on cooperation from the public in order to maintain safety measures and prevent risk. This is one aspect which differs from police who are normally not in the public premises unless they are called to the scene. The people you see at your regular shopping centres, retail outlets, bars, banks and offices are people that dedicate their work routine to ensure safety and risk management within the premises. Security workers in this capacity essentially operate as a community member, just like a neighbourhood watch or school patrol, SIA security workers are preventing risk or harm to be inflicted on members of the public. These are the same people ensuring that old or vulnerable people can make a purchase with ease at a supermarket, the one that helps with ensuring there are no threats made to employees and the one that helps people in the case of emergencies in fires, lockdowns and evacuations. This is where the job role differs from the police, how many of us are familiar with the security guard in our local supermarket? Or our local bar? Reflecting on this point will make many of you realise that we know our local security workers, even if we don’t know them personally, we can acknowledge that they are the same people we see on a regular basis.

How are security roles seen now?

Security workers since the start of lockdown have been crucial to the operations of establishments that have remained open for the duration of lockdown. Security workers have been given the status of key workers who have helped retail and medical establishments throughout this pandemic maintain order and consensus within the premises. Security workers have helped those older or vulnerable make purchases first, they have ensured a 2m gap has been implemented between customers in queues or using retail services. Some have even prevented hackers and scammers extract our personal and banking details online. It’s fair to say security roles have helped us through these tough times in various ways the police haven’t. Thus, can these roles be compared?

The aim of the article was to highlight the key differences between the role security workers play compared to the role of the police force. We can establish there are similar resonances, but the key differences are greater. We can agree that both roles seek to help target safety, but security roles should not be considered the ‘enemies’ of the public but rather a force that has enabled consensus within communities.

We hope you have enjoyed our article. Our aim at Quick Click Security is to centralise access to jobs, training and knowledge - creating a community and working together to professionalise the private security sector.

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