Private security personnel have been very useful force multipliers for police forces in countries around the world for centuries. Current austerity in government budgets is bringing those forces together more than ever.
In England last month, delegates from up to 64 private security companies attended a “bidders’ conference” to bid for a contract worth more than CDN$2 billion to run a wide range of policing services in the West Midlands and Surrey areas.
Services that include investigating crimes, detaining suspects and managing high-risk offenders are included in the bidding.
Local authorities say that all those services that can “be legally delegated to the private sector” have been put on the table while “preserving the integrity of the office of constable”. This move in England comes on the heels of one of the most austere budgets in Britain’s recent history.
Chris Sims, Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, said the objective of joint working with the private sector is to be more efficient and effective.”
Closer to home, the Toronto Association of Police and Private Security (TAPPS) facilitates education, training, information, and intelligence sharing in partnership with the Toronto Police Service. They do this to mobilize public and private sector entities in keeping the City of Toronto safe and secure
Here are many benefits for this sort of collaboration:
Freeing up police resources … Private security can take on a variety of time-consuming tasks that would otherwise drain budget-strapped police forces. Police chiefs can thus re-prioritize their personnel knowing that trained security professionals are taking on activities that back-stop the police
Enhanced community relations … This sort of collaboration often means more police on the front line, meeting with community stakeholders and increasing the presence of police in day-to-day community activities.
Broader scope of operations … Combined forces can cover a wider range of operations than if they operated alone. In that sense, the whole truly is larger than the sum of the security parts.
If current trends are any indication of what lies ahead, watch for more collaboration of private security and police.