One of the questions that we’re sometimes asked is what powers a security guard has in regard to self defence?
Security guards have an important place in the community with regards to maintaining law and order. Similar to a police officer they are responsible for such things as:
- Investigating and placing under arrest any person who is thought to have committed an offence
- Removing a disruptive or violent person from public or private premises
- Safeguarding the public and buildings from behaviour that is considered aggressive, anti-social, violent or criminal
However, unlike a police officer, their powers are considerably more limited. What this means in effect, is that should a security guard carry out actions which are against the law, they could find themselves facing criminal charges and being questioned with reference to the actions they took in a volatile situation.
Instinct and human nature coupled with panic or fear, can often impact on our judgement and ability to act within the compliances of professional training. The law with regards to self defence is relatively complex, so we’ve done our best to simplify it for you below.
The Commonwealth Criminal Code Section 10.4(2) states that
“A person should only act in self defence if they believe that is the necessary course of action to:
- defend themselves or another person
- prevent or put an end to the false imprisonment of themselves or another person
- protect property from unauthorised entry, damage, destruction, or interference
- remove a person who is trespassing on any premises or land.”
Which loosely translated means that provided a person believes their act of self defence was unavoidable and necessary then they will not be held responsible for the offence.
In comparison state legislation with regards to self defence varies in jurisdiction but generally speaking it states that a security guard should only use a level of force based on the circumstances and the situation.
Should a security guard finds themself in a situation where they’re being interviewed by the police, then above all they should remain focused and calm. Getting angry is not going to help matters. The first step is to know their rights as an individual and how they should act within the law as a security officer. Secondly they should always seek advice from law experts such as firms which are members of the Australian Defence Lawyers Association. These firms understand the law as it stands in the security industry and your rights as a security professional.
Here at MA Security our security guards have undergone extensive training and know how to respond to a variety of situations. As part of their role, they will always adhere to the rules and regulations of the company hiring them. If you’re considering hiring a security guard or guards, then we’re highly experienced with a proven track record. Why not give us a call on 03 9339 3500 and find out how we can help you.