Traditionally, society’s effort to prevent and control crime have relied almost exclusively on the police and on the other parts of the criminal justice system. Less visible are the private security industry.
Today private security plays a major protective role in the Nation’s life. It employs an estimated 2.4million persons and total expenditures of its products and services are estimated art N7billion.
Evolving Roles of Security Guards in Nigeria
To obtain a clear and current picture of the extent and nature of private security efforts, in this article we are taking a look at the general character of the private security industry in Nigeria, identify the impact of crime control and identify opportunities for improvement and conclusively describe the working relationship between private security and public law enforcement agencies and to develop recommendations for improved cooperation and coordination.
Private Security in Nigeria Today
Private security resources, both expenditure and employment now exceed those of law enforcement, and will continue to increase as resources for public law enforcement stabilize
Business, industry and institutions together spend an estimated N6Billion annually for security in their organizations.
Both police and security managers are receptive to the ideas that private security respond to some minor criminal incidents occurring on the property it protects and some non-crime related police tasks be contracted out to the private sector.
There is limited interaction and cooperation thus far between the public police and the private security industry in crime prevention and public safety.
Law enforcement establishment tend to view private security programs as largely ineffective in reducing crime they rate its performance generally low, partly because they don’t have legal access to the kind of security equipment and have limited authority.
In virtually all organization, the three major components of private security are physical security, information security, and personnel security.
The use of guards for physical security is perhaps the most visible aspect of security programs. But information security is also essential: the theft of customers’ lists, marketing plans, computer programs, and research and development data – especially in high technology industries.
Personnel security includes day-to-day protection of workers, as well as executive protection and protection against terrorism for many if not most multinational businesses.
Physical security is the protection of people, property and assets. Private Security Company have been instrumental to the many successes achieved by law enforcement agencies. An example worthy of note is in the Retail Security sector, the presence of security guards and installation of CCTV and alarm is serving as deterrent to shoppers with an intention to steal.
Opportunities for Improvement
The most rapid growth for private security appears to have occurred in the last 5 to 7 years, even in the midst of an economic recession and corresponding with slowed increases, tending towards stabilization, in police resources.
With the Nigeria currently under-policed, more private security companies should be encouraged to strength their mode of operations by providing up to date security intelligence training for their guards. Furthermore, individual and cooperation can also make provisions for self-help security, increasing the use of locks, lighting, burglar alarms, vigilante and security guards.
During the period, growing members of Nigerians undertook self-help measures against crime, increasing the use of locks, lighting, guns, burglar alarms, citizen patrols and security guards.
Such expanded use of private security and increased citizens’ involvement signals an increasing returns to the private sector for protection against crime.
Police and Private security collaboration
The police and private security operative must ensure a robust relationship if we desire a safe and secured country to live and work in. This synergy will ensure a better security framework for all, and make the job more effective. Read more
Increase police knowledge of private security: Seminars, training materials, designation of security liaison officers, inventories of security firms, and other mechanisms are recommended to develop a greater awareness by police of the role and resources of private security in their communities
Recommended strategies include identification of specialized investigative resources and equipment of private security that are available to complement police investigations, establishment of joint task forces for investigation of major or recurring losses, and development of official policies for sharing investigative information.